U.S. Customs and Border Protection has indicated that goods made in Hong Kong will not be subject to Section 301 tariffs on imports from China despite a new requirement for such goods to be marked to indicate China as their country of origin. This and other clarifications are set forth in a guidance document CBP recently posted on its website.  

19 USC 1304 requires articles of foreign origin to be marked so as to indicate to purchasers the country of origin of imported goods. Pursuant to a July 14 executive order, CBP suspended the application of section 201(a) of the U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, under which the U.S. continued to treat Hong Kong as a separate customs territory after it reverted to Chinese control in July 1997, to 19 USC 1304. As a result, beginning Sept. 25 goods of Hong Kong will have to be marked to indicate China, rather than Hong Kong, as their country of origin.

However, CBP’s guidance states that this marking change “does not affect country of origin determinations for purposes of assessing ordinary duties under Chapters 1-97 of the HTSUS or temporary or additional duties under Chapter 99 of the HTSUS,” which include the Section 301 tariffs on imports from China. As a result, CBP states, “goods that are products of Hong Kong should continue to report … country code ‘HK’ as the country of origin when required.”

Other clarifications in the CBP guidance include the following.

- goods not marked properly after Sept. 25 may be brought into a foreign-trade zone to be properly marked under a permit to manipulate issued by the port director

- goods that are improperly or falsely marked may be brought into an FTZ under a permit to manipulate to correct or remove such marking so as to comply with the laws and regulations (19 CFR 134.13(b))

- entry summary procedures have not changed and filers should continue to file their entry summaries and duty payments according to current regulation and policy

- there is no change with regard to the outward processing arrangements

For more information, please contact Elise Shibles at (415) 490-1403 or Larry Ordet at (305) 894-1003.

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