The U.S. Census Bureau released trade data today for February 2011, allowing us to update our GSP expiration costs.  Through the first two months of the year, American companies paid an estimated $100 million in tariffs on (previously) GSP-eligible products.  Perhaps that is why nearly 160 companies and associations have already added their name to the GSP Supporter List.

Tariffs paid in February totaled $45.8 million on $1.2 billion worth of imports, down slightly from January 2011.  Many February imports likely were ordered last year, so it’s too soon to make bold claims about the impact on sourcing decisions, but one thing is for sure:  expiration is VERY expensive for the American companies that have come to rely on the GSP program.

For all you AGOA importers out there: we saw a noted drop in tariffs paid on imports from AGOA countries like South Africa and Angola (and an increase in duty-free imports under AGOA).  That a good thing, as it means companies and customs brokers are switching the exemption claims on the import documents.  Remember: If you’re importing from AGOA countries, make sure to claim those benefits – and not GSP – to avoid paying unnecessary duties.