President Signs Three New Free Trade Agreements and a Bill to Increase the Merchandise Processing Fee and Renew the Generalized System of Preferences
On October 21st the Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with South Korea, Panama and Colombia were signed into law in the United States. The three partner countries must negotiate and meet obligations of the agreements before the FTAs may take effect.
On the same day, H.R. 2832 to increase the Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) from 0.21% to 0.3464% and to retroactively renew the Generalized System of Preferences program was signed into law. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is in the process of modifying its automated system to accept the new MPF rate. They will notify filers when they can begin submitting entries with the new rate approximately one week before the system is ready.
CBP will begin processing retroactive GSP refunds immediately. A memorandum regarding GSP refund procedures may be viewed on CBP’s website.