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USTR Issues New Round of Exclusions, Fixes for Face Masks, Medical Equipment

Posted July 10, 2020


The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative this week announced a new round of product exclusions to the administration’s $300 Billion Section 301 trade action against China (List 4, currently subject to an additional duty of 7.5%). The exemptions cover 61 specially prepared product descriptions, covering a total of 86 separate exclusion requests. 

Presidential Seal against backdrop of China, Money, Trade

Additionally, the USTR has made a series of modifications to current exclusions, including several for face masks, to reflect recent changes to the tariff schedule that took effect July 1.

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Scope of Coverage


Products included in the USTR’s latest round of exclusions are as follows:

  • Cynomolgus Macaques and Rhesus Macaques, captive-bred for research (described in statistical reporting number 0106.11.0000)
  • Feathers of a kind used for stuffing, of ducks or geese (0505.10.0060)
  • Baby Bottle Nipples of silicone plastics (3924.90.0500)
  • Compressive Eye Masks of blended cotton & spandex fabric used for mitigating migraine headaches/eyestrain (3924.90.5650)
  • Shower Heads of plastics, designed to be fixed, hand-held, height-adjustable or combinations thereof, and parts for same (3924.90.5650)
  • A-Frame or Sandwich Board Signs of plastics not containing printed matter (3926.90.9990 prior to July 1, 2020 & 3926.90.9985 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Brackets of plastics, suitable for vertical surface mounting, measuring at least 90 mm but not more than 200 mm in height/at least 32 mm but not more than 80 mm in width & at least 64 mm but not more than 80 mm in depth (3926.90.9990 prior to July 1, 2020 and 3926.90.9985 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Covers of plastics for battery compartments in combination weather sensors, each cover measuring not more than 90 mm in height by not more than 140 mm in width & valued over $0.60 but not over $0.70 per piece (3926.90.9990 prior to July 1, 2020 and 3926.90.9985 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Tapered Sound-Dampening Earplugs, each consisting of two plugs of foamed plastics connected by a plastic cord, each plug measuring not more than 3 cm in length and not more than 2 cm in diameter, presented w/ a carrying case of plastics measuring not more than 6.5 cm in length and not more than 4.5 cm in width (3926.90.9990 prior to July 1, 2020 and 3926.90.9985 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Wallpaper, other than described in subheading 4814.20.00, with floral, landscape, figure or abstract designs or solid backgrounds painted by hand (4814.90.0200)
  • Printed Art and Pictorial Books, valued under $5 each, hardbound, each w/ silver foil cover and a depiction of the main character on the cover & silver foil & embossing on the dust jacket, w/ dimensions of at least 13.5 cm but not more than 14.5 cm in length by at least 21 cm but not more than 22 cm in height by at least 2 cm but not more than 3 cm in width and weighing at least  8500 g but not more than 600 g (4901.99.0060)
  • Printed art and pictorial books, each valued at least $5 but not more than $17, each measuring at least 22 cm but not more than 39 cm in height & at least 14 cm but not more than 32 cm in width, weighing not more than 3 kg, w/ die-cut or tipped-in extra pages and bound w/ foil stamping or w/ silkscreen on the cover stock (4901.99.0065)
  • Dust covers of knitted polyester fabric, designed for bed mattresses & pillows (described in statistical reporting number 6302.10.0020)
  • Pillow covers, not knitted or crocheted, of woven fabrics in chief weight of cotton, with a thread count of at least 1,450/cm2 but not more than 3,900/cm2 each measuring at least 44 cm but not more than 57 cm in width and at least 62 cm but not more than 139 cm in length, incorporating a zippered opening (6304.92.0000)
  • Comforter shells of fabric in chief weight of polyester, each measuring at least 171 cm but not more than 202 cm in width & at least 227 cm but not more than 230 cm in length, weighing not more than 90 g/m2, with an opening on one side (6307.90.9889)
  • Fabric Shells for Backrests in chief weight of polyester fabric (6307.90.9889)
  • Fabric Shells for Cushions in chief weight of polyester fiber, designed for use w/ seats of heading 9401, other than seats for aircraft or motor vehicles (6307.90.9889)
  • Shells for Life Jackets of manmade fibers (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)
  • Shells for Pillows and Comforters of microfiber fabric (6307.90.9889)
  • Athletic, Recreational and Sporting Headgear comprising shells of polyvinyl chloride, polycarbonate plastic or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, each with an inner liner of expanded polypropylene or expanded polystyrene, designed for use w/ bicycles (6506.10.6045)
  • Bright C1060 Galvanized Round Wire, containing by weight 0.6% or more of carbon, measuring at least 0.034 mm but not more than 0.044 mm in diameter (7217.20.4530)
  • Bars and Rods of high-speed steel, not cold-formed, of circular cross-section, in lengths of at least 10 cm but not more than 50 cm (7228.10.0010)
  • Seamless tubes, of circular cross-section, of 304L stainless steel, cold-rolled, w/ an external diameter of not more than 21.1 mm, w/ the thickness of the tube wall not more than 2.9 mm, each tube measuring at least 2,964 mm but not more than 6,350 mm in length (7304.41.6045)
  • Razors of stainless steel, each measuring at least 11 cm but not more than 13 cm in length, weighing not more than 100 g, having a single edge (8212.10.0000)
  • Sewing Machines of the household type, each weighing not more than 22.5 kg, having a touch screen control, a sewing light, a presser foot lifter & an automatic needle threader (8452.10.0090)
  • Gasoline-Powered Earth-Drilling Power Augers, each weighing not more than 16 kg, having a gasoline engine of a cylinder displacement not more than 55 cc & an output shaft connectable to an auger bit (8467.89.5060)
  • Gasoline-Powered or Propane-Powered Engines of a cylinder displacement not more than 80 cc, each machine including a fitted auger bit specially designed for cutting through ice covers of bodies of water (8467.89.5090)
  • Parts of Hand-Operated Faucets, of copper, each weighing no more than 5 kg (8481.90.1000)
  • Parts of Backflow Preventer Valves of iron or steel, including Valve Bodies (described in statistical reporting number 8481.90.3000)
  • Digital trail cameras able to capture & record still/moving images in visible light, each w/ an infrared sensor & lens, housed in a case of plastics, measuring not more than 16 cm in width, not more than 21 cm in length and not more than 13 cm in thickness (8525.80.4000)
  • Kits, each containing Protective Eyeglasses and Ear Protective Devices (9004.90.0000)
  • Non-Prescription Spectacles, other than sunglasses (9004.90.0000)
  • Prism Binoculars, other than for use with infrared light, comprising a plastic, aluminum or magnesium alloy body with a rubber jacket, w/ magnification ranging from at least 4X but not more than 22X & aperture ranging from at least 21 mm but not more than 56 mm (9005.10.0040)
  • Rotary Microtomes (9027.90.2000)
  • Acoustic Upright Pianos, other than used, containing a case measuring less than 111.76 cm in height (9201.10.0011)
  • Acoustic Upright Pianos (other than used), each containing a case measuring 111.76 cm or more, but less than 121.92 cm in height (9201.10.0021)
  • Acoustic Upright Pianos (other than used), each containing a case measuring 121.92 cm or more but less than 129.54 in height (9201.10.0031)
  • Acoustic Upright Pianos (other than used), each containing a case measuring 129.54 cm or more in height (9201.10.0041)
  • Acoustic Grand Pianos (other than used), each containing a case measuring 152.4 cm or more but less than 167.64 cm in length (9201.20.0021)
  • Acoustic Grand Pianos (other than used), each containing a case measuring 167.64 cm or more but less than 180.34 cm in length (9201.20.0031)
  • Acoustic Grand Pianos (other than used), each containing a case measuring 180.34 cm or more but less than 195.58 cm in length (9201.20.0041)
  • Acoustic Grand Pianos (other than used), each containing a case measuring 195.58 cm or more in length (9201.20.0051)
  • Acoustic Guitars, each with a soundboard measuring at least 2 mm but not over 4 mm in thickness, valued not over $100, excluding the value of the case (9202.90.2000)
  • Harp Sharping Levers of steel (9209.92.8000)
  • Parts of a kind used for adjusting Motor Vehicle Seats, consisting of cables of steel in cable housings of plastics (9401.90.1085)
  • Parts of Child Safety Seats incorporating springs (9401.90.1085)
  • Pillow Shells of cotton, each filled w/ goose or duck down (9404.90.1000)
  • Quilted Pillow Shells of cotton (9404.90.1000)
  • Quilted Pillow Shells of man-made fibers (9404.90.2000)
  • Parts and Accessories for the Exercise Machines of subheading 9506.91 (9506.91.0030) Arrowheads of metal (9506.99.0520)
  • Spinning, Spincast or Baitcast Fishing Reels, valued over $8.45 each (9507.30.6000)
  • Paintings, Drawings or Pastels, each executed entirely by hand (the foregoing other than drawings of heading 4906 & other than hand-painted or hand-decorated manufactured articles), each measuring not more than 300 cm by not more than 2,000 cm (9701.10.0000)
  • Collages and Similar Decorative Plaques (9701.90.0000)
  • Original Engravings, Prints & Lithographs (9702.00.0000)
  • Original Sculptures & Statuary, in any material (9703.00.0000)
  • Postage Stamps (9704.00.0000)
  • Collections and Collectors’ Pieces of Historical Interest, the foregoing other than numismatic coins, archaeological pieces or ethnographic pieces (9705.00.0085)
  • Collectors’ Pieces of mineralogical interest (9705.00.0085)
  • Antique Silverware of an age exceeding 100 years (9706.00.0020)
  • Antique Furniture of an age exceeding 100 years (9706.00.0040)

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Exclusions Amended for Face Masks, Other Medical Products, etc.


The modifications to existing exclusions are necessary because of changes to residual “other” subheadings 3926.90.9990 for plastics and 6307.90.9889 for made-up textiles in the mid-year update to the HTS.

Because CBP requires that the product description and subheading are both correct for an importer to use an exclusion, the discrepancies created by the change meant that exclusions became unavailable for importers of face masks and other medical products as of July 1, when the tariff schedule changes took effect.

To correct these new discrepancies the USTR is amending the following existing exclusions:

  • Bed Sheets & Similar Household or Hospital Articles of paper pulp, paper, cellulose wadding or Webs of cellulose fibers (4818.90.0000 prior to July 1, 2020 and 4818.90.0020 or 4818.90.0080 effective July 1, 2020
  • Bowls of molded plastics, w/ clips for retaining guide wires during surgical procedures (3926.90.9990 prior to July 1, 2020 and 3926.90.9985 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Disposable Graduated Medicine Dispensing Cups of plastics (3926.90.9990 prior to July 1, 2020 and 3926.90.9985 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Pads of Foam plastics, w/ hook and loop fastener straps, integrated arm protectors, & accessory headrest, body straps, lift sheets, handgrips & face masks, of a kind used for positioning patients during medical procedures (3926.90.9990 prior to July 1, 2020 and 3926.90.9950 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Single-Use Sterile Drapes & Covers of plastics, of a kind used to protect the sterile field in surgical operating rooms (3926.90.9990 prior to July 1, 2020 and 3926.90.9985 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Sterile Decanters of polystyrene plastics, each of a kind used to transfer aseptic fluids or medication to and from sterile bags, vials or glass containers (3926.90.9990 prior to July 1, 2020 and 3926.90.9985 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Cold Packs consisting of a single-use, instant, endothermic chemical reaction cold pack combined w/ a textile exterior lining (6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020 and 6307.90.9891 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Disposable Shoe & Boot Covers of man-made fiber fabrics (6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020 and 6307.90.9891 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Eye Compresses, each consisting of a fabric cover filled w/ silica or gel beads (6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020 and 6307.90.9891 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Face Masks and Particulate Facepiece Respirators, of textile fabrics (6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020 and 6307.90.9845, 6307.90.9850, 6307.90.9870, or 6307.90.9875 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Gel Pads of textile materials, each w/ removable fabric sleeves, in the shape of hearts, circles or quadrants (6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020 and 6307.90.9891 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Hot Packs of textile material, single-use (exothermic chemical reaction) (6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020 and 6307.90.9891 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Laparotomy Sponges of cotton (6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020 and 6307.90.9891 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Patient Restraint or Safety Straps of textile materials, w/ hook-and-loop or ladder lock fasteners (6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020 and 6307.90.9891 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Single-Use Blood Pressure Cuff Sleeves of textile materials (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020 and 6307.90.9891 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Single-Use Medical Masks of textile material (6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020 and 6307.90.9845, 6307.90.9850, or 6307.90.9870 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Single-Use Stethoscope Covers (6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020 and 6307.90.9891 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Woven Gauze Sponges of cotton in square or rectangular sizes (6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020 and 6307.90.9891 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Coverings, of plastics, designed to fit over wound sites or casts thereby forming a protective seal for keeping the covered area dry & debris-free while showering/bathing (3926.90.9990 prior to July 1, 2020 and 3926.90.9985 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Pouches of plastics, of a kind used w/ manually operated pill or tablet crushers to capture the powdered medicaments (3926.90.9990 prior to July 1, 2020 and 3926.90.9985 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Refillable Dispensers of plastics, designed for mounting on a vertical wall, of a kind used to store and dispense emesis containment bags in medical settings (3926.90.9990 prior to July 1, 2020 and 3926.90.9985 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Sterile Urology Drain Bags of plastics, designed to fit over a urology table extension, w/ a flap extension that provides sterile separation of the patient from the table surface & directs fluids into & through a filter at the top of an attached drain hose leading to a collection container (3926.90.9990 prior to July 1, 2020 and 3926.90.9985 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Ice Bags of textile materials, for treating injuries or soreness, each refillable (6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020 and 6307.90.9891 effective July 1, 2020)
  • ID Wristbands of textile materials, each w/ a blank panel (6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020 and 6307.90.9891 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Disposable ID Wristbands of plastics, designed to be worn by patients during medical procedures, each consisting of a plastics strip with an integrated window for inserting paper with relevant patient ID, such bracelets measuring 0.95 cm or more but not more than 3.2 cm in width & having a secure closure (3926.90.9990 prior to July 1, 2020 and 3926.90.9985 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Fittings of plastics, of a kind used to connect mop heads w/ mop handles (3926.90.9990 prior to July 1, 2020 and 3926.90.9985 effective July 1, 2020)
  • Shells for pillows and comforters made from microfiber fabric consisting of filament yarns not more than 1.22 decitex, such fabric w/ a weight of at least 55 g/m2 but not more than 155 g/m2 (6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020 and 6307.90.9891 effective July 1, 2020)

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Refunds Available


These product exclusion extensions will apply retroactively from September 1, 2019, through September 1, 2020, and apply to any product that satisfies the description in the Federal Register annex, regardless of whether the company using the exclusion filed the request. 

Note: Each exclusion is governed by the scope of the HTS heading and the product description appearing in the annex of the Federal Register notice; it is not governed by the product description set out in any particular exclusion request.

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Need More Information?
 

We now have a solution for you with our new  ➡️  Section 301 – Search Tool  ⬅️

It's super easy to use – 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 these latest product exclusion extensions, need help determining whether your goods qualify or require assistance filing to reclaim duties paid, don’t hesitate to contact one of our trade experts today.  We’re always here to help you.

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