To Our Valued Customers:
Section 301 (China Tariffs): Although there has been a lot of focus over the last few months on market adjustments due to Covid-19, Section 301 tariffs have also been continuing to impact importers. Some have been experiencing positive adjustments to their bottom line from granted exclusions, while others have been dealing with their exclusions expiring and the additional tariff being reinstated on certain products from China.
New Exclusions: Exclusions are continuing to be granted on a rolling basis which is providing importers some relief on particular products. Throughout Q1 of 2020, 14 rounds of new exclusions have been granted. These exclusions will allow importers to file for retroactive refunds of duties already paid, and avoid paying additional duty on upcoming imports while the exclusion is valid. To verify exclusion qualifications, importers should check the lists very carefully against their product details and work with their customs broker to prepare the associated filings.
Exclusion Expirations and Extensions: Exclusions which have been in place for some time are starting to expire. Just as they are granted on a rolling basis, they also expire in the same manner. Exclusions are typically only valid for 12 months. Prior to reaching their end date, the USTR opens a ‘comment period’ for importers to request exclusion extensions. Just like initial exclusion requests, the USTR requires certain information to be included in the request – including company revenue, import activity, and a business case.
It’s crucial that importers act within these short ‘comment’ windows if they wish to request extensions to their exclusions. Each product with an exclusion applicable will require a separate comment, and the comment periods are different and separate for each round of exclusions.
The comment period for some exclusions on List 1 and List 2, which were initially granted in July of 2019, is open through June 1, 2020.
The comment period for many exclusions on List 3 is open through June 8, 2020.
Importers who wish to draft comments requesting exclusion extensions should act now before the window on these particular exclusions closes.
We are currently assisting importers in drafting their comment submissions. Contact your Laufer representative for more details on the process and requirements.