CBP Issues Guidance on Protests and Liquidation Extensions re Section 301 Litigation

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Trade Update • DECEMBER 8, 2021

Last week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued guidance on requests for liquidation extensions and protest processing related to pending litigation in the Court of International Trade challenging the lawfulness of the Section 301 duties on Chinese goods.

The CIT case in question concerns the List 3 and List 4 tariffs placed on imports from China under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. First brought by HMTX Industries LLC in September 2020 and initially targeting just List 3 tariffs, the lawsuit has since grown in size, expanding to include List 4 tariffs and has been joined by thousands of companies.

Liquidation Extensions

Stating that the pending litigation before the CIT “is not sufficient to show good cause for the extension as required under 19 U.S.C. § 1504(b)(2),” CBP says that it will deny requests for an extension of time for liquidation of entries based solely on that basis.

Protests to be ‘Suspended’

To facilitate administrative processing, CBP advises that it will now be placing any protests challenging the lawfulness of the Section 301 duties (List 3 and/or List 4A goods) in “Suspended” status. As such, CBP will not be acting on these protests at this time.

The agency points out that suspension “does not in any manner acknowledge the validity of such protests but is merely an administrative convenience for CBP.”

Note: This guidance does not pertain to entries filed under List 1 (subheading 9903.88.01), List 2 (subheading 9903.88.02), submissions pertaining to exclusion requests pending with the U.S. Trade Representative, or submissions not contesting the validity of List 3 and/or List 4A Section 301 duties on Chinese goods.

Additional Information

Questions related to Section 301 liquidation extensions and protests should be sent to the appropriate CBP Center of Excellence and Expertise.


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