Sri Lanka expects renewal of lapsed US trade benefits

Jan 07, 2011 (LBO) – A United States trade facility allowing duty free Sri Lankan exports that lapsed is likely to be renewed with retroactive effect as has happened in the past, officials said. The US Congress has not renewed the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program before its conclusion of business and therefore GSP expired from December 31.

“The Congress considered legislation in December 2010 to extend the facility but ultimately adjourned without taking action to extend it,” Subhashini Abeysinghe,
Economist at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said.

“This means, GSP products from GSP beneficiary countries arriving in the United States on or after January 1, 2011, will not be eligible for the concession.

“This has happened before and the last time authorization of the GSP program lapsed was in 2001,” she said.

“The Congress subsequently reauthorized the program ten months later with the renewal being made retroactive.”

If renewed retroactively, companies can arrange to be reimbursed for tariffs paid during the gap period.

In the past, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has arranged for the timely processing of refunds of duties deposited on GSP-eligib