China Tariff Exclusion Request Denials Increase Amid Limited Approvals
Over the last month the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has denied hundreds more requests for exclusions from the Section 301 additional tariffs on imports from China. USTR is continuing to review outstanding exclusion requests for List 1 and List 2 goods, imports of which are collectively worth about $50 billion, and has set a Sept. 30 deadline for requests for List 3 goods, which are worth about $200 billion.
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.
Information from USTR indicates that of the 10,837 exclusion requests submitted for List 1 goods, as of Aug. 23 there were 6,876 denials (up from 6,624) and 2,812 approvals (unchanged). A full list of approved List 1 exclusions, which are retroactive to July 6, 2018, can be found here.
All of the remaining List 1 exclusion requests (1,131, down from 1,388) are being reviewed with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to determine whether the exclusions would be administrable.
USTR has denied 1,483 of the 2,941 exclusion requests received for List 2 goods (up from 1,319) but has issued 292 approvals, which are retroactive to Aug. 23, 2018. Eight new requests are at the initial stage of review, one request is still undergoing substantive review (unchanged), and 1,142 (down from 1,306) are being reviewed for administrability.
USTR began accepting tariff exclusion requests for List 3 goods as of June 30 and all such requests must be submitted by Sept. 30. USTR has already announced the first ten products excluded from List 3 but has released no information about the status of other requests. Any exemptions granted will be retroactive to Sept. 24, 2018.
An additional 15 percent tariff is set to be imposed on $300 billion worth of goods imported from China on Sept. 1 (List 4A) and Dec. 15 (List 4B). 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.