There may be opportunities for you and your business if you have been importing products from China that have been identified as part of Section 301 tariffs. In September of 2018, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) imposed additional duties on goods from China with an annual trade value of approximately $200 billion, (known as Tranche 3). This was part of the action in the Section 301 investigation of China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation. The USTR initiated a product exclusion process in June 2019, and interested parties were able to submit requests for the exclusion of specific products.
Since the exclusion was put into practice companies have been submitting their requests and the USTR has issued 11 different notices of products being removed from the punitive tariffs. Each notice has been posted in the Federal Register, identifying the products and descriptions along with the HTS number that is currently associated. Last week, the USTR posted the biggest number of exclusions of products ranging all the way from chemicals to LED candle lights.
One important takeaway is that the exclusion process for Section 301 is based on products and not an individual company. So while you may not have taken any action to seek relief from the punitive tariffs, someone else may have and now you can take the time to review the actions to see if you are qualified to seek a refund.
As stated in the September 20, 2019 notice, the exclusions will apply from September 24, 2018, to August 7, 2020. Yes, the exclusion process takes into account when the punitive tariffs went into effect in September 2018 with an end date of August 7, 2020. As such, a new request for exclusion would need to be submitted to continue to receive the exclusion process benefits.
This link provides the USTR site with the Federal Register pages of each notice and the products that are associated with each notice. Additionally, now is an ideal time to review your ACE data to help you identify the entries impacted so that the post summary correction can start to take place. Exclusions for Tranche 1,2 and 4 are also available to the exclusion process if your product(s) were listed in a Federal Register notice.