To Our Valued Customers:
The Covid-19 situation impacting all of us is constantly evolving and we want to continue to advise what we are seeing and experiencing in the market. At Laufer, we are committed to providing you with information as possible as quickly as possible, understanding, of course, that events are quite fluid and changing rapidly.
Here is a shortlist of what we are seeing this week:
*NEW* Duty Deferral: On April 18 the President signed an Executive order allowing 90 day duty deferral to finally become a reality. US Importers can qualify by demonstrating severe hardship through full or partial business shut down due to Covid-19 and less than 60% of revenue compared to the same period last year. The 90 day payment delay applies to goods entering the US with a formal customs entry in the months of March and April. Refunds will not be given for any payments already made, and any changes to the Section 301 and 232 will be ineligible for relief through duty deferral, and companies will need to pay
Periodic Monthly Statement must be made on April 20those duties and taxes as scheduled. The published temporary final rule can be found here.
*NEW* Imports of Emergency Medical Equipment: There has been a dramatic surge in the import of emergency medical equipment to assist in addressing the needs of US hospitals and consumers. The imports of these products are very complex and the FDA has stated this is an important area of focus for them. They will be paying close attention to documentation, licensing, and other special requirements to ensure the goods meet all US requirements and standards before being distributed around the country. For more information, we have created the following general information sheet, found here. Additionally, shipments containing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be treated with expedited US Customs clearance as they come in to the country. The Chinese government is also being very stringent on exports of medical supplies, including review of CIQ requirements and contracts between factories and shippers. Shipments not meeting all requirements may be seized and not allowed to leave China.
US Customs & Participating Government Agency Operations (CBP & PGA): Many ports have issued standard ‘potential delays’ notices. Some processes and procedures for paper document submission have been altered. Several ports are only open certain days of the week with reduced staff, and many employees are working from home around the country. Specific issues should be handled directly with the port of entry. We will most likely begin to see some back ups and additional exams through Customs and some PGAs – FDA specifically, with the surge of increased imports of medical and emergency relief products.
Section 301 and 232 Tariffs: Section 301 and 232 tariffs are still being collected on any applicable imports. Exclusions to Section 301 tariffs, however, are continuing to be granted on a rolling basis which is providing importers some relief on particular products. Three sets of exclusions were granted in the month of March.
Of the 39 exclusions granted last month, more than 80% were related to medical supplies and Personal Protective Equipment. Some of them cover the entire chapter heading, and some are product specific. A general list is provided here for reference. Connecting with your Customs Broker to provide detailed product information and back up documentation will be crucial in applying these exclusions to any imports.
Single-use textile face/medical masks
Medical gloves mittens, and mitts of natural or vulcanized rubber (other than hard rubber)
Full category of nonwoven disposable apparel designed for use in hospitals, clinics, and laboratories Disposable shoe and boot covers
Plastic coverings to fit overwound sites
Supplies and Equipment:
Some soaps and hand gels
Single-use: Cold packs, hot packs, blood pressure cuff sleeves, stethoscope covers, and sterile drapes Laparotomy cotton sponges and other cotton gauze sponges
Refillable ice bags
Eye compresses filled with silica or gel beads
Patient restraint or safety straps
Bedsheets and similar hospital articles of paper pulp, paper, cellulose wadding/webs of cellulose fibers Laboratory ware
Bowls for use during surgical procedures
Graduated medicine dispensing cups
Decanters used to transfer fluids/medication to and from sterile bags
Powdered medicament plastic pouches
Emesis containment refillable plastic dispensers
Plastic urology drain bags
Pads and straps (of specific materials)
Lift sheets, face masks and other items used for positioning patients
*NEW* Additionally, 8 exclusions issued in 2019 which were set to expire on April 18th, have been extended for another year. 13 others will expire as planned and the additional tariff percentage will be assessed on applicable imports once again.
We truly appreciate all your support as we navigate this event together. Should you need any additional information or guidance, please feel free to contact your Laufer sales or team member.