How to File for Tariff Exemptions on New China Tariffs

How to File for Tariff Exemptions on New China Tariffs

It’s no doubt that the new tariffs on products imported to the U.S. are a hot topic. The initial scare over steel and aluminum was one thing, but with the whole new slew of products having tariffs applied, businesses across the U.S. are anxious of the effects.

As of July 6, 2018, Section 301 tariffs went into effect on Chinese imported goods. It details all the products and HTS Codes that will have tariffs applied. However, as a follow-up to these new tariffs, the USTR announced a time-sensitive process for companies in the U.S. to request exclusions from tariffs on a particular product from the new tariff list. This notice can be viewed here.

Filing for Tariff Exemptions on New China Tariffs

In order to be eligible for filing a request of exemption, you must have the following:

  • Physical identification of the requested product exemption. This includes dimensions, weight, material composition, etc. that distinguish it from other products. Precision is key. Products may not be identified by the producer, importer, consumer, or actual use or chief use. Likewise, trademarks and tradenames cannot be used.
  • The 10-digit subheading of the HTSUS applicable to the product.
  • The annual volume and value of the Chinese-origin product that the purchaser (you) have purchased in each of the last 3 years.
  • Whether or not the product is available in China exclusively, or other countries as well.
  • Whether or not the new tariff would cause harm to the purchaser or other U.S.-affiliated organizations, individuals, or businesses.
  • Whether the particular product is strategically important or related to “Made in China 2025” or other Chinese industrial programs.

Any request that contains business confidential information must be accompanied by a public version. The public version will be posted on

All requests, responses, replies will be filed on under document ID USTR-2018-0025-001. Once the Federal Register notice is published the forms will be accessible through the portal.

The most important factors in request evaluation on the part of the USTR are: whether the product is available for purchase outside of Chinese suppliers, whether the new duties/tariffs would cause significant economic harm, and whether it is important to Chinese industrial programs (like Made in China 2025.)

Important Dates

  • The public will have 90 days to file a request for a product exclusion; the request period will end on October 9, 2018.
  • Following public posting of the filed request on, the public will have 14 days to file responses to the request for product exclusion.  After the close of the 14-day response period, interested persons will have an additional 7 days to reply to any responses received in support of or opposition to the request.
  • Exclusions will be effective for one year upon the publication of the exclusion determination in the Federal Register, and will apply retroactively to July 6, 2018.

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