Import Tariff Update

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Import Tariff Update

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11-Jul-18

Import Tariff Update

As previously announced, new 25% tariffs on goods from China went into effect on July 6, 2018. These tariffs under Section 301 cover $34 billion of a variety of goods and over 1,000 tariff lines items identified as List 1 https://mskllp.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/list-1.pdf . There are another $16 billion worth of products on List 2 we import for China that are under review for imposition of 25% tariffs. All importers should be reviewing these lists to see if their products are impacted.

The Commerce Department has also announced the process to request exclusions from these new tariffs which is more detailed and somewhat different from the exclusion request process previously announced on the steel and aluminium tariffs in effect under section 232. The exclusion process for steel and aluminum brought over 20,000 requests, far more than originally anticipated by Commerce.

A few highlights on the new exclusion request process:

  • Requests must be submitted by October 9, 2018
  • After the request is posted on regulations.gov any party will have 14 days to respond to support or oppose the action
  • a further 7 day period is allowed to respond to the comments and the USTR will then rule on the request.
  • Exclusion requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis but the final determination will apply to all imports of the specific product (not just to the particular importer making the exclusion request)
  • Exclusions will be retroactive to July 6, 2018 and be good for only 1 year requiring the process to be repeated each year
  • Requests must include - identification of the specific product, characteristics that distinguish it from others in the 8 digit HTS code - the 10 digit subheading of the applicable HTS code - information on the ability of Customs and Border Protection to administer the exclusion - annual quantity and value the applicant has imported from China for the previous three years
  • Whether the product is available only from China
  • Explain how the new duties would result in significant hardship to the applicant or other U.S. interests
  • Whether the particular product has special strategic considerations or is related to the "Made in China 2025" or other Chinese industrial programs.

Meanwhile the review of the other $16 billion worth of Chinese products goes on. The public comments are due by July 20th and a public hearing is still scheduled for July 24th for the Commerce Department to continue the review of these products.

While it does not appear to be an easy task to obtain an exclusion there is a limited time apply. Importers need to act within 90 days. It appears the Commerce Department intends to act more quickly on these requests than the steel and aluminum exemption requests but time will tell.

As all this proceeds China's retaliatory tariffs are having some impact on U.S. exports already. We will be watching to see how this anti- trade activity continues to develop. Please let us know if we can be off assistance.