On October 11, 2019, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) opened the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill “duty suspension” process, which allows for duty relief to the normal tariffs on qualifying U.S. imports. The deadline to submit such petitions is December 10, 2019.
Mandated by the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, the MTB provides for temporary suspensions and reductions of duty on specified raw materials and intermediate products used in manufacturing that are not produced or available domestically. The legislation is intended to ensure that American companies are not disadvantaged relative to their foreign competitors when sourcing manufacturing inputs.
Availability of Relief
Any company able to demonstrate that it will likely benefit from a duty suspension or reduction can apply for MTB relief. There is no limit on the number of products an importer can petition for duty suspension/reduction, however, the maximum amount of relief may not exceed $500,000 for each single product.
Note: MTB relief addresses only normal Most-Favored-Nation tariffs and is not applicable to antidumping/countervailing duties, or to trade remedy tariffs such as those currently being levied against Chinese products under Section 301.
Application & Review Process
Companies seeking MTB relief—including a renewal of a suspension or reduction from the 2016 MTB cycle—must submit their petitions through the MTBPS Portal established on the USITC’s website. Each petition must include: a detailed description of the product, tariff classification; intended domestic use; identity of any domestic producers (if known); and, an estimate of the likely total value of imports for the next 5 years.
Petitions are subject to public comment and are reviewed by the USITC with input from other relevant government agencies. Reports detailing the commission’s analysis and recommendations are then submitted to Congress, which considers them for inclusion in any new MTB legislation. According to the USITC’s published timeline, the full petition process spans 300 days, meaning a new bill is projected to be signed into law by the end of 2020 or early 2021 (becoming effective January 1, 2021 and expiring on December 31, 2024).
The current MTB covering 1,663 items in the U.S. tariff schedule was passed on October 13, 2018 is set to expire on December 31, 2020. Petitions seeking a renewal of provisions from the 2016 cycle must also be filed by December 10, 2019. It should be noted that companies may request renewal of an existing provision even if they were not the original petitioner in 2016.
Need More Information?
Additional USITC reference materials:
- Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Petition System
- Regulations Part 220 – MTB Petition Process
- MTB Program Resources
Should you have any questions about the MTB process or require assistance preparing a petition for duty relief, don’t hesitate to contact us – our trade experts are here to help.