The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has announced that the exclusion process for Chinese imports subject to List 4A Section 301 tariffs of 15% will be available on October 31, 2019 and will conclude on January 31, 2020.
The Trump administration originally announced on August 6, 2019, that it would impose additional tariffs of 10% on approximately $250 billion dollars of imports from China identified on List 4, but this levy was subsequently increased to 15% amid rising tensions with Beijing over the then-stalled trade negotiations.
Any interested person, including trade associations, may request exclusions from the Section 301 tariff on List 4A items. To be eligible, an importer must demonstrate that:
- there is an insufficient supply from U.S. or third-party party sources;
- the additional duties have or will cause severe economic harm; and
- the imported good is not identified on Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” list.
Exclusion requests are specific to products imported at the HTSUS 10-digit level and any request must clearly and succinctly identify the physical characteristics in such a way that U.S. Customs can properly administer the exclusion. Requests must also provide information concerning:
- The relationship between the party submitting the request and the product (e.g., importer, U.S. producer, purchaser, industry association, other).
- Specific data on the annual quantity and value of the Chinese-origin product, domestic product, and third-party product purchased in 2017, 2018, and the first quarter of 2019.
- Whether the product is subject to an antidumping or countervailing duty order issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
- The requestor’s gross revenues for at least 2018 and the first half of 2019.
- For imports used in the production of final products, applicants must identify: (i) what percentage of the total cost of producing the final product(s) the Chinese-origin input accounts for; and (ii) what percentage the final product(s) accounted for in relation to the requestor’s 2018 gross sales.
Once a request is submitted via the USTR’s Section 301 website, interested persons have 14 days to object, support, or otherwise respond to, the submission. Requestors then have seven days to reply to any such responses.
Exclusion Coverage Period
The USTR has stated that any approved applications will be effective for a period of one year from September 1, 2019, the date when the first tranche of List 4 tariffs (“Annex A”) came into force. A second tranche (“Annex B”) covering mainly consumer goods—which are unlikely to be excluded from the additional tariff—was delayed until December 15, 2019.
Act Now to Avoid Delays
Given the thousands of requests that can be expected to be submitted and considering the problems that have been experienced by the USTR and Department of Commerce in processing exclusion requests in the past, interested parties are encouraged to submit requests as soon as possible in order to increase the possibility of obtaining a timely decision.
Need More Information?
Should you have questions about the Section 301 exclusion process, require additional information, or need assistance obtaining duty relief for your product(s), don’t hesitate to contact us – our trade experts are here to help.