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Congress Could Soon Resume Process to Suspend Import Duties

Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Import duty suspensions or reductions enacted in 2010 on hundreds of products are scheduled to expire at the end of 2012, and importers may soon have an opportunity to extend those measures and seek new ones. The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill process provides up to three years of duty breaks for inputs and other goods not produced or otherwise available domestically. MTBs may also include amendments to customs laws and technical modifications to trade preference programs.

A successful MTB effort could save each company up to $1.5 million during the three years it remains in effect. In addition, duty suspensions can be extended past the initial three-year period, making the potential for savings even greater. There is no limitation on the number or types of products that can be included in an MTB and the last one covered nearly 700 products, including chemicals, yarns, fabrics and numerous other manufacturing inputs as well as food and finished consumer products such as electronics, food preparations, footwear and sporting goods.

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg has a strong record of helping clients take advantage of the MTB process to lower their costs. Considering that there will likely be a short window for lawmakers to introduce duty suspension bills once the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees issue a call for such legislation, which could come in the next month or two, companies should act now to ensure that products of interest to them are included. For more information, contact David Olave at (202) 216-9307.

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