The Biden administration has recently proposed to establish a process for excluding goods from the Section 301 tariffs on imports from China. However, importers should be aware that such exclusions will not likely be available for some time.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has issued a Federal Register notice seeking comments by June 28 on whether hundreds of specified subheadings under Chapters 84 and 85 of the HTSUS (covering certain machinery used in domestic manufacturing) should be eligible for temporary exclusion from the section 301 tariffs. It is important to note that comments may also be submitted on whether products classified in Chapters 84 and 85 that are not on USTR’s list should be eligible for exclusions as well.

At the same time, USTR is accepting comments through July 30 on a separate notice setting forth the information USTR plans to require from those requesting tariff exclusions for goods deemed eligible. That information includes 10-digit HTSUS numbers, detailed product descriptions, and product availability in the U.S. and third countries.

Once the above processes are completed, which could take several months, USTR will issue a notice opening a new portal through which companies can request exclusions for eligible goods. There will be an opportunity for objections to submitted requests as well as rebuttals to any objections.

Given this sequence of steps, it is possible that no new Section 301 tariff exclusions will be available until late this year at the earliest. USTR has said exclusions granted through this process will be effective through May 31, 2025, but has not indicated when they will become effective; e.g., on the date granted, or retroactive to a particular date, or another time.

ST&R has helped numerous companies secure exclusions from the China Section 301 tariffs in recent years. For more information on how we can help your business, please contact your ST&R professional or via this email.

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