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China Tariff Exclusion Request Denials, Approvals Increase

Monday, October 07, 2019
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Over the last month the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has denied about a hundred more requests for exclusions from the Section 301 additional tariffs on imports from China and approved several hundred others. USTR is continuing to review exclusion requests for List 1, List 2, and List 3 goods, imports of which are collectively worth about $250 billion. Additional tariffs on some List 4 goods are now in effect but no exclusion process has yet been announced.

Importers should be aware that approved exclusions are available for any product that meets the specific product description, regardless of whether the importer filed an exclusion request. In addition, the scope of each exclusion is governed by the scope 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 effective for one year, retroactive to a specified date (see details below), and importers of excluded goods may apply for refunds of tariffs paid on covered goods since the associated date.

List 1

Information from USTR indicates that of the 10,837 exclusion requests submitted for List 1 goods, as of Sept. 27 there were 6,876 denials (unchanged) and 3,528 approvals (up from 2,812). A full list of approved List 1 exclusions, which are retroactive to July 6, 2018, can be found here and here.

All of the remaining List 1 exclusion requests (418, down from 1,131) are being reviewed with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to determine whether the exclusions would be administrable.

List 2

USTR has denied 1,584 of the 2,941 exclusion requests received for List 2 goods (up from 1,483) but has approved 688 (up from 292) retroactive to Aug. 23, 2018 (full list available here and here). Eight requests are undergoing substantive review and 585 (down from 1,142) are being reviewed for administrability.

List 3

USTR has granted 48 exclusions for List 3 goods (full list available here), which are retroactive to Sept. 24, 2018. However, USTR has not yet posted any information indicating how many requests have been submitted or the status of any such requests other than those approved.

List 4

An additional 15 percent tariff was imposed Sept. 1 on List 4A goods and is set to be imposed on List 4B goods as of Dec. 15. No plans have yet been announced to accept requests to exclude specific products from this tariff.

Customs and trade law firm Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg can help companies understand whether their products are among those that have been or might be excluded from the Section 301 tariffs. ST&R has also been successful helping companies get specific tariff numbers and products removed from the lists of those subject to these tariffs. For more information, please contact your ST&R professional or Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.

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