301 Tariff Exclusion Process Begins for Chinese Imports on List 3

On June 30, the Office of the US Trade Representative opened the process for requesting exclusions to Section 301 tariffs on Chinese products on List 3. The products on List 3 include Wire Products from Chapter 73 of the Harmonized Tariff System of the United States (HTSUS). The process is very different than the exclusion process under the Section 232 Steel tariffs.

Effective Dates for Successful Applications: USTR clearly states that any exclusions would be effective dating back to September 24, 2018 (the initial date at which 10 percent tariffs were imposed) and would extend for one year beyond publication of the exclusion decision in the Federal Register.

There is a 3 month window to submit List 3 exclusion requests, after which the exclusion process closes.  The deadline is September 30, 2019.  Once an exclusion request is posted to the public docket, there is a 14 day period to respond to requests (file an objection). After a response is posted to the docket, there is a 7 day window for the applicant to reply to a response.

Applicability of Exclusions: Unlike product exclusions for the Section 232 steel tariffs, exclusions are granted for products at a more specific level than the 8-digit HTS codes listed in the tariff announcements: either products at the 10-digit level of the HTS or for specific product descriptions.  Exclusions then apply to any company importing products meeting that scope, regardless of whether they were the applicant.

There are NO Explicit deadlines for USTR to post applications or make final determinations, though in each case applications must go through a multi-stage review process, including a format review (pre-posting), a posting and public comment period (Stage 1), an initial substantive review by USTR staff (Stage 2) and a Customs administrability review by CBP (Stage 3).  USTR’s process also includes Stage 4, when publication is in process, but in practice that process has been quick.

All exclusion requests must be submitted through the USTR portal here: http://exclusions.ustr.gov  You will need to create an account on the site to view, submit or respond to exclusion requests.

You can find the posted exclusion requests on the List 3 Public Docket page here: https://exclusions.ustr.gov/s/PublicDocket  The docket is searchable by organization, HTSUS code, or product name. AWPA has also posted a spreadsheet of exclusion requests for Chapter 73 – wire products, only, on the AWPA website. The spreadsheet provides links to the original exclusion request form, for your convenience.

When submitting a response to an exclusion request, log in to the portal, and then navigate to the Public Docket and click on the associated “Exclusion Request ID” to view the public details of the request. Then, click the “Submit New Public Response” button. You can submit a response in opposition to, or in support of, an exclusion request.