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Why the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)? Why the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)?

Bronze medal Reporter Adv. John Posted 14 Jun 2019 Read More News and Blogs
Why the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)?


U.S. trade preference programs such as the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) provide opportunities for many of the world’s poorest countries to use trade to grow their economies and climb out of poverty.   GSP is the largest and oldest U.S. trade preference program. Established by the Trade Act of 1974, GSP promotes economic development by eliminating duties on thousands of products when imported from one of 120 designated beneficiary countries and territories.

GSP promotes economic growth and development in the developing world. 
GSP promotes sustainable development in beneficiary countries by helping these countries to increase and diversify their trade with the United States.  The GSP program provides additional benefits for products from least developed countries. 

GSP supports U.S. jobs and helps keep American companies competitive.
Moving GSP imports from the docks to U.S. consumers, farmers, and manufacturers support tens of thousands of jobs in the United States.  GSP also boosts American competitiveness by reducing costs of imported inputs used by U.S. companies to manufacture goods in the United States.  GSP is especially important to U.S. small businesses, many of which rely on the programs’ duty savings to stay competitive.

GSP promotes American values.
In addition to promoting economic opportunity in developing countries, the GSP program also supports progress by beneficiary countries in affording worker rights to their people, in enforcing intellectual property rights, and in supporting the rule of law.  As part of the GSP Annual Review, USTR conducts in-depth reviews of beneficiary countries’ practices in response to petitions from interested parties.

What documents are needed to ensure GSP duty‐free treatment?

The documents that CBP may request vary on a case‐by‐case basis. Examples of the types of documents that should be available to establish and document a GSP claim are:

  • GSP Declaration (see 19 CFR 10.173)
  • Bill of Materials
  • Invoices
  • Purchase Orders
  • Production records kept in the ordinary course of business
  • Payroll information to document labor costs
  • Factory profile ü Affidavit with supporting documentation.

The documentation necessary to substantiate a GSP claim must be kept readily accessible, should CBP request it. Records may be requested from the importer of the products for which GSP is claimed, from the foreign exporter, or both. The substantiating documentation must be kept for a period of five years.

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