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Section 301 Tariff Refunds May be Available Due to Recently Filed Lawsuit

Posted September 15, 2020


On September 10, 2020, HMTX Industries LLC and two of its subsidiaries, all importers of vinyl tile, filed a complaint at the U.S. Court of International Trade alleging an unlawful escalation of the Trump administration’s ongoing trade war with China through the imposition of the third round of tariffs on imports covered under List/Tranche 3.  
Columns with Court of International Trade Seal

Arguing that the Trade Act of 1974 did not confer authority on the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative “to litigate a vast trade war for however long, and by whatever means, they choose,” the complaint contends that the USTR had a limited time to determine any actions to take and that the “arbitrary manner” in which the List 3 tariff actions were implemented violates the Administrative Procedure Act.  

Accordingly, the complainants seek to set aside what they consider to be the USTR’s unlawful actions and obtain a refund of any duties paid on imports of List 3 products from China. 

Act Now to Preserve Your Right to Claim Refunds


Importers have a very narrow window to join this challenge and preserve a right to refund regardless if products were subject to exclusions.

If the litigation is successful, then it will result in a refund of Section 301 List 3 duties paid (plus interest) and may extend to List 4A duties as well.

However, due to the two-year statute of limitations involved, potential plaintiffs need to decide whether to file a complaint by September 18, 2020 or lose their right to participate in the litigation.

Companies interested in joining this challenge are therefore strongly encouraged to contact their legal counsel immediately to take action.

Note: Appeals from final decisions of the court may be taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and, ultimately, to the Supreme Court of the United States.

How GHY Can Help


GHY can provide you with an assessment of your refund recovery potential and provide ongoing assistance to your legal counsel in ensuring that any eligible refunds of the Section 301 duties paid are identified and properly secured. 

Try our Section 301 Search Tool


GHY’s Section 301 – Search Tool can help you easily navigate through the complex array of Section 301 tariffs and product exclusions. Search by HTSUS number (i.e. 0304.61.0000; decimals are required, or the first 4 digits i.e. 0304), or search by product description (with a word/few words). 

If you have any questions about Section 301 product exclusions or Section 321 programs, don’t hesitate to contact one of our helpful trade experts today.

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