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Tariff Reduction Petitions May be Submitted Starting Oct. 11

Thursday, October 03, 2019
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The period for submitting petitions for tariff suspensions and reductions under the miscellaneous trade bill process will open Oct. 11 and close Dec. 10. Petitions may seek new suspensions or reductions or a continuation of those approved in the most recent MTB, which will expire Dec. 31, 2020.

MTBs suspend or reduce most-favored-nation duties (i.e., not those imposed under provisions such as Section 301) on imported inputs and products for which there is no or insufficient domestic production and availability. Each approved duty modification can result in savings of up to $500,000 per year.

Petitioners must demonstrate that they are likely beneficiaries of the requested duty suspensions or reductions, submit disclosure forms, and include specific types of information. The International Trade Commission will have to publish all petitions that contain the required information and related disclosure forms on its website by approximately Jan. 10, 2020. After a 45-day public comment period, the ITC will submit a final list of approved petitions to Congress, which could approve the MTB in the fall of 2020.

Each MTB provision is evaluated against several criteria, including whether it is enforceable by U.S. Customs and Border Protection; i.e., whether it includes a correct tariff classification and uses descriptive language that clearly and narrowly describes the product in a manner that supports that classification and is administrable by CBP. Noting that many of the nearly 700 petitions not recommended to Congress for inclusion in an MTB during the last cycle had “issues” in these areas, the ITC has urged prospective petitioners to act now to ensure their goods are correctly classified.

Customs and trade law firm Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg has helped companies save millions of dollars through the MTB process. For more information, please contact trade consultant David Olave at (202) 730-4960 or register to attend his Oct. 17 webinar reviewing the MTB process.

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