Companies can request Section 301 tariff exclusions starting June 30

WASHINGTON – Companies have until Sept. 30 to file a request seeking an exemption from the 25% tariffs recently placed on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, including finished furniture and bedding products.

The office of the U.S. Trade Representative recently posted instructions on how companies can request an exclusion of certain products covered in this third – and latest – round of tariffs, which in early May rose from 10% to 25%.

Interested parties can post their exclusion requests directly online. This portal will be available starting at noon on June 30 and be open until Sept. 30.

According to the USTR each request must specifically identify a particular product and also provide supporting data or rationale for the exclusion request. The USTR said it will review each request on a case-by-case basis, while also considering whether the exclusion would undermine the objective of the Section 301 investigation.

After a request is posted to the USTR online portal, interested parties have 14 days to respond to that request, either indicating support or opposition, along with reasons for their position.

Those companies seeking to exclude two or more products must submit a separate request for each product. However, a single product may include two more items with similar product attributes or characteristics.

Any product exclusions granted, the USTR noted, will be effective starting from the Sept. 24, 2018, effective date – when the tariffs originally were set at 10% – and continuing one year after the publication of the exclusion list in the Federal Register.

Two previous exclusion lists have already been published in the Federal Register in March and May which address select items in the $50 billion in products included in the first two rounds of tariffs. Unlike the third round of tariffs, those lists do not cover finished furniture products.