Filing for exclusions from Chinese import tariffs

Now that all three lists of Section 301 Chinese imports subject to tariffs have been finalized, the exclusion process has begun. While to date, no exclusions have been granted, Christine J. Sohar Henter, of counsel with NAFEM’s legal partner Barnes & Thornburg, says, “The initial submissions that have all been denied give us a ‘sneak peek’ at the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) process.”

According to Christine, NAFEM members considering applying for exclusions need to carefully review the Federal Register notice and address all points. This includes making sure the exclusion can be successfully administered, the items are properly identified, determining whether the item is related to the “Made in China 2025” plan or other Chinese industrial programs, detailing how duties impose severe economic harm on U.S. interests, and determining whether the items are only available in China. USTR has recently updated the exclusion form and requires that the current version be submitted for List 2 items.

Following are details of the Section 301 import tariffs and deadlines for the exclusion process:

  • $34 billion in 25 percent tariffs on items on List 1 went into effect July 6. The exclusion process for this list ended October 9.
  • $16 billion in 25 percent tariffs on items on List 2 went into effect August 23. Exclusion requests for items on this list are due by December 18.
  • $200 billion in 10 percent tariffs on items on List 3 went into effect September 24. The tariffs on these items will increase to 25 percent January 1, 2019. The process and deadline for submitting exclusion requests for items on this list has not been announced.
  • Any exclusions granted are retroactive to the date the tariffs went into effect. Once approved, exemptions are in effect for one year after the publication of the exclusion determination in the Federal Register.

U.S. Custom and Border Protection has issued instructions for importing items on Lists 1, 2 and 3 from China. Members should work with their customs brokers to best understand these processes.

NAFEM will continue closely monitoring this issue, including any new announcements from the administration or the Chinese Foreign Minister.

It also continues to be important that elected officials hear from NAFEM members impacted by these tariffs. To help members easily share this information, NAFEM regularly updates its Advocacy Toolkit of talking points and email messages for members use.