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 119 designated beneficiary countries and territories. The GSP Guidebook provides basic information on the program.
The U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), a program designed to promote economic growth in the developing world, provides preferential duty-free treatment for approximately 3,500 products from a wide range of designated beneficiary developing countries (BDCs), including many least-developed beneficiary developing countries (LDBDCs).*† An additional approximately 1,500 products are GSP-eligible only when imported from LDBDCs. The GSP program, first authorized by the Trade Act of 1974, came into effect on January 1, 1976. Authorization of the GSP program expired on December 31, 2017. On March 23, 2018, the President signed legislation authorizing the GSP program through December 31, 2020, retroactive to January 1, 2018.
The purpose of this Guidebook is to facilitate public understanding of the GSP program and the documents that implement the program. The statute and implementing documents, however, are the controlling authorities. The statutory authorization of the GSP program may be found in Title V of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. §§ 2461 – 2467). GSP regulations may be found at 15 CFR Part 2007. Both are also available on the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) website: https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/trade-development/preference-programs/generalized-system-preference-gsp.
The GSP regulations of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) may be found at 19 CFR Part 10.171 -10.178. In addition, CBP has posted a variety of information that may be useful to importers and exporters using the GSP program at http://www.cbp.gov/trade/priority-issues/trade-agreements/special-trade-legislation/generalized-system-preferences.