Friday, January 09, 2009

CAFTA-DR Refunds

One side effect of Costa Rica finally implementing the Central American Free Trade Agreement is that the clock has started to run on certain retroactive claims for duty-free treatment.

As implemented in 19 CFR 10.699, the Agreement permits retroactive application of the duty preferences and, therefore, refunds of excess duties paid on goods that qualify.  There are lots of requirements for this work:

  • The merchandise must be a textile or apparel good entered on or after January 1, 2004 and before January 1, 2009 (the implementation date for Costa Rica).  
  • The good qualifies as originating
  • Duties in excess of the preferential rate were paid
The request for a refund must be made to the port of entry within 90 days.  So . . . go look at those Central American entries and see if there is anything on which you paid duty that might be the subject of a refund.  The refund request has to contain information confirming the originating status of the merchandise.  That means you will likely need certification or backup from your supplier.

Happy hunting.

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