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HTS 9902 Duty Reductions Expire; Companies Advised to Heighten Recordkeeping Efforts as Congress Aims for Renewal

Monday, January 14, 2013
STR Client Advisory

Hundreds of duty suspensions on imported products found under heading 9902 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule expired Dec. 31, 2012, after Congress failed to approve the Miscellaneous Trade Bill. As a result, companies are once again being forced to pay millions of dollars in import tariffs on these goods. Affected companies should take steps to renew the tariff suspensions on their products and ensure their right to a possible refund of the duties they are currently paying.

A new MTB (H.R. 6727) was introduced in the House of Representatives Jan. 2. Upon enactment this bill would extend most of the recently-expired duty suspensions through Dec. 31, 2015, and create new duty breaks for some other goods. However, some products are not on the MTB renewal list and could thus remain subject to higher duties even if the bill is passed. Companies are therefore advised to review the MTB to determine if goods of interest to them are included.

Heading 9902 provisions have lapsed several times in the past, but Congress has always made the renewal of those provisions retroactive to Jan. 1 of the year following the date of expiration. While it is unclear if Congress will once again add retroactive language to the MTB, to prepare for this possibility importers of goods subject to expired tariff suspensions and their brokers should carefully document all entries of goods that would otherwise have received a special duty rate under heading 9902. The same intense recordkeeping goes for any new heading 9902 provisions that are on track to be added.

ST&R government relations and customs professionals have represented dozens of companies over the last decade to help them achieve the maximum duty savings available under the MTB. For more information about the MTB process, please contact David Olave at 202-730-4960 ( or Nicole Bivens Collinson ( at 202-216-9307. For assistance with the customs documentation process please contact Larry Ordet ( at 305-894-1003. 

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