Trade Compliance

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Section 301 Tariff Exclusion Update & List 4A Application Reminder

Posted October 30, 2019

Ahead of opening a new exclusion process starting October 31 for Chinese imports subject to List 4A Section 301 tariffs of 15%, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative recently provided a status update on the processing of requests for exclusions from the additional tariff on imports covered by three prior lists of goods from China.

List 1

Trade Value: $34 billion

USTR states that of the 10,823 List 1 exclusion requests received, 7,157 were denied and 3,666 were granted. The exclusions granted (HTSUS subheading 9903.88.14) are retroactive to July 6, 2018, and effective for one year from the date they are published in the Federal Register.

List 2

Trade Value: $16 billion

Of the 2,868 exclusion requests received for List 2 goods, 1,794 were denied and 1,074 were approved. The exclusions granted (HTSUS subheading 9903.88.17) are retroactive to August 23, 2018, and effective for one year from the date they are published in the Federal Register.

List 3

Trade Value: $200 billion

USTR has to date received 30,329 exclusion requests for List 3 goods, of which it denied 378 and approved 83. The exclusions granted (HTSUS 9903.88.18) are retroactive to September 24, 2018, and will expire August 7, 2020.

It should be noted that outstanding List 3 requests are currently either still open for public comments, are under detailed review by the USTR, or have been referred to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for administrative purposes.

List 4

Trade Value: $300 billion

USTR has announced that between October 31 and January 31, 2020 it will accept requests for exclusions from the additional 15% tariff imposed on List 4A goods. Any exclusions granted will be effective until September 1, 2020. Click here for more detailed information about the exclusion request process.


It should be noted that approved exclusions are applicable to any product meeting the specific product description, regardless of whether the importer filed an exclusion request (many submissions having been made by trade associations on behalf of multiple companies).

Importers should also be aware that the scope of each exclusion is dictated by that of the 10-digit subheading or the specific product description to which it applies, not by the product descriptions set out in any particular request.

Exclusions are retroactive to a specified date and importers of excluded goods are entitled to apply for refunds of tariffs paid on them since the relevant effective date.

Need More Information?

Additional information about the administration’s enforcement actions against China and the Section 301 exclusion process can be found on the USTR’s website here.

Should you want to confirm whether any of your imported products are among those excluded from the Section 301 tariffs or require assistance filing applications for refunds that may be applicable on prior imports, don’t hesitate to contact us – our trade experts are here to help with this or other duty recovery opportunities.


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