Tag: tariff

New Section 301 (China) Tariff Rates and Exclusions Request for Comments

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) made public a “Request for Comments” after the report on the 4-year review of the Section 301 China Tariffs (see that story here).

The comment period, open to the participation of interested parties, will run from May 29, 204 to June 28, 2024. Comments must be submitted through the USTR comment portal. Comments can be submitted concerning:

  1. Adding or increasing section 301 duty rates
  2. Subheadings eligible for an temporary duty-exclusion process for “particular machinery used in domestic manufacturing” classified within certain subheading under Chapter 84 and 85 of the HTSUS
  3. 19 potential exclusions for “certain solar manufacturing equipment” (effectively immediately and to expire on May 31, 2025).

The notice details the proposed changes as follows:

Consistent with the President’s direction to increase section 301 tariff rates on certain categories of products, included in Annex A to this notice are 382 HTSUS subheadings and 5 statistical reporting numbers of the HTSUS, with an approximate annual trade value of $18 billion (2023). The President has directed that increases for certain products take effect in 2024, 2025, and 2026. The Trade Representative is proposing that increases in 2024 be effective August 1, 2024, and that increases in 2025 and 2026 be effective January 1 of the corresponding year.

There’s a lot more detail in the full notice which is available here. Contact Great Lakes Customs Law at 734-855-4990 via the contact page for assistance.

Section 301 China Tariff Exclusions (October 2021)

The current U.S. Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, is expected to publicly announce a new Section 301 exclusion process that would allow companies to request that certain products be exempt from Section 301 China tariffs. Details will be made available on our website once an official announcement and more details are made available. Here is Ambassador Tai’s presentation where she laid out her thinking on the status of U.S.-China trade:


Tariff Classification – Proposed HTSUS Modifications

Imports into the United States must be properly classified in the HTSUS tariff schedules, officially known as the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). The HTSUS is based off the nomenclature published by the Word Customs Organization (WCO). A good importer knows that if your tariff classifications for imports are wrong you may find yourself facing some serious 592 penalties if you do not make a valid prior disclosure to U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP).

When changes are made to the nomenclature that the HTSUS is based on then the United States is to make changes to the HTSUS. This can sometimes have an affect on tariff classification. Recently, the agency responsible for maintaining the HTSUS, the United States International

HTSUS Tariff Classification
HTSUS Chapter 84 Classification Affected by the Proposed Changes

Trade Commission (USITC), notified the public about upcoming recommended changes and will provide an opportunity to comment on them. An invitation to comment is likely to begin sometime around December 2014. A notice about this was also published in the Federal Register.

Though the United States is still preparing its proposed modifications to the HTSUS you can get a preview of the changes by viewing the WCO’s original recommendations HERE (PDF). As can be seen, there are numerous proposed changes that may affect HTSUS tariff classification of imported fish and seafoods, dairy products, infant formulas, beverages, inorganic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics, wood and wooden articles, fabrics, ceramics, copper and copper articles, mechanical/agricultural appliances, and many others imported goods in almost every chapter of the HTSUS.

In addition to the recommended changes to the HTSUS the USITC is proposing changes from by CBP that would potentially effect the proper classification (at least for statistical purposes) of corned beef and taros, otherwise known as dasheens.

As the director of the HTSUS division wisely said, importers and exporters who might “be affected … will want to stay on top of the process as it moves forward.” This is because interested parties will have an opportunity to comment on the proposed changes, and possibly make a difference in how the changes are implemented, if at all.

If you need help classifying your imports privately or by requesting a prospective ruling from CBP, need to protest a classification decision of CBP, or want to comment on the proposed changes to the HTSUS that will affect how your company’s imports are classified for customs purposes, you should contact our office by e-mail or call (734) 855-4999. We are experienced in adressing specific concerns of clients before federal angencies, congressional committees, and classifying products in the HTSUS. You can also make use of our other articles, such as: