Updates on China Tariffs

Section 301 Tariff Exclusions Update


Exclusion Process for List 1

USTR started granting exclusions for products included in List One in December of 2018 and has continued to do so at irregular intervals. Below is a full list of excluded products (as of June 12, 2019) that are relevant to the water treatment industry. Companies are eligible to be excluded from tariffs even if they did not file an exclusion request so long as the product they are importing from China matches one of the descriptions below:

  • Apparatus, including pitchers, bottles, and units designed for incorporation into refrigerators, appliances or sink faucets, the foregoing fitted with filters for filtering or purifying water (described in statistical reporting number 8421.21.0000)

  • Drinking Water Coolers, Refrigerated, Self-contained (all products imported under statistical reporting number 8418.69.0120)

  • Machinery for filtering water, submersible, powered by batteries, manually operated, such machinery designed for use in pools, basins, aquariums, spas or similar contained bodies of water (described in statistical reporting number 8421.21.0000)

  • Machinery designed for removing waste from water in saltwater aquariums by injecting air bubbles then filtering such bubbles (described in statistical reporting number 8421.21.0000)

  • Electronic water oxidizers designed for purifying water for household washing machines (described in statistical reporting number 8421.21.0000)

  • Hand-held ultraviolet water purifiers powered by batteries (described in statistical reporting number 8421.21.0000)

  • Filter housings, covers, or couplings, the foregoing of steel and comprising parts of machinery or apparatus for filtering liquids (described in statistical reporting number 8421.99.0040)

  • Water oxidizers and chlorinators (described in statistical reporting number 8421.21.0000)

  • Filtering or purifying machinery or apparatus of a kind used for waste water treatment (described in statistical reporting number 8421.21.0000

  • Submersible machinery for filtering water, designed for use in pools, basins, aquariums, spas or similar contained bodies of water (described in statistical reporting number 8421.21.0000) (10) Water distillation machinery and apparatus not covered by heading 8419 (described in statistical reporting number 8421.21.0000)

  • Cast steel and steel structural forms designed for use in filtering machines, such machines used in mining or manufacturing facilities (described in statistical reporting number 8421.99.0080)

 
Companies with Chinese imports matching one of these descriptions should consult with whatever entity handles their import filings to confirm they are eligible for tariff relief. Detailed instructions on how to file for tariff relief on new imports and retroactive reimbursement of tariffs paid on excluded products can be found here.

Questions related to tariff entry filing requirements should be emailed to Traderemedy@cbp.dhs.gov. Questions from the importing community concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) entry rejections involving product exclusion numbers should be referred to their CBP Client Representative.

Exclusion Process for Lists 2 and 3

The deadline for submitting exclusion requests on products on List Two has passed, and no requests for exclusion have been granted yet. WQA will update members once any products from List Two are granted exclusions.

The exclusion process for products on List Three is expected to begin on or around June 30, pending any developments on a trade deal with China. WQA will provide members with information on filing exclusion requests for List Three once that information becomes available.

Background

The Office of United States Trade Representatives has posted three separate lists of goods imported from China that will be impacted by additional tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. To determine if a good is impacted, refer to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) Code. Each good has the corresponding eight-digit HTSUS code next to it. Search (Ctrl+F) each list for your HTSUS codes.

List One

  • 25% tariff on listed goods
  • Went into effect July 6
  • The deadline to submit requests for exclusions was Oct. 9, 2018


List Two

  • 25% tariff on listed goods
  • Went into effect August 23
  • The deadline to submit requests for exclusions was Dec. 18, 2018

List Three

 

Note for goods on List Three: In the December 1, 2018 White House statement, President Trump has agreed to leave the tariffs on List Three at the 10% rate, and not raise it to 25% at this time. If at the end of 90 days, the US and China are unable to reach an agreement, the 10% tariffs will be raised to 25%.

 House Bill 4318, recently signed into law, does not affect the duties imposed pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. HR 4318 will continue for three years (technically through December 31, 2020), most of the general tariff relief that had been in place under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States but had expired. We would refer you to the list on HR 4318.


Exclusion Process

Review the USTR Exclusion Request Application Status Report

There is a public list of the status for all exclusion requests online (Visit Webpage).
Note: from the link above, click on Initial $34 Billion Trade Action Index of Product Exclusion Requests and Review Status” to download the Excel spreadsheet. The USTR has been updating the spreadsheet every Friday.

Update on the US/China Exclusion Process (Sept. 28, 2018)

The USTR updated its catalog of requests for exclusion on List One with new information on the stages of review. Those stages are listed below.

Thus far, no companies have been approved for an exclusion (Stage 4), and only 26 requests have reached Stage 3. USTR has denied 108 requests, saying they either failed to show that the product is unavailable outside of China or failed to show that the tariff would cause severe economic harm. 

Stages for Review of Exclusion Requests Filed in Accordance with the Procedures to Consider Requests for Exclusion of Particular Products from the Determination of Action Pursuant to Section 301: China's Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation, 83 FR 32181 (July 11, 2018) [“Product Exclusion Notice”]

Pre-Posting Stage – Format Review

Review of whether the exclusion request conforms with the instructions provided in Product Exclusion Notice, including whether the request includes all required information. Requests that pass the Format Review will be posted on the regulations.gov docket and proceed to Stage 1. Requests that do not pass the Format Review must be resubmitted.

Stage 1 – Public Comment Period

As provided in the Product Exclusion Notice, interested persons will have 14 days from the date a request is posted on the docket to respond to the request. If a response is submitted, the requester will have 7 days to reply to the response. At the close of the public comment period, the request proceeds to Stage 2.

Stage 2 – Initial Substantive Review

Initial Substantive Review of whether the exclusion request should be granted, based on the substantive criteria set out in the Product Exclusion Notice. Requests that pass the Substantive Review will proceed to Stage 3.

Stage 3 – Administrability Review

Based on consultations with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the request is further reviewed to determine whether an exclusion would be administrable. Requests that pass the administrability review will proceed to Stage 4.

Stage 4 - Publication in Process

The exclusion has been granted and will be prepared for publication in the Federal Register. Exclusions are effective starting from the July 6, 2018 effective date of the additional duties and extend for one year after the publication of the exclusion determination in the Federal Register.

Denied

Letter to the requestor posted on Regulations.gov


Key dates:

April 20, 2018: Conference call with Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for China and Mongolia to discuss challenges for doing business in and with China
April 26, 2018: Conference call with WQA stakeholders to review industry response to proposed tariffs
May 11, 2018: Due date for submission of written comments on List One of proposed products
May 15, 2018: The section 301 Committee will convene a public hearing in the main hearing room of the US International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW Washington, D.C. beginning at 10:00 a.m.
May 22, 2018: Due date for submission of post-hearing rebuttal comments
June 19, 2018: Conference call with stakeholders to review the president’s June 15 announcement to move forward
June 29, 2018: Due date for filing requests to appear and a summary of expected testimony at the public hearing and for filing pre-hearing submissions on list Two of proposed products
July 6, 2018: List One of tariffs goes into effect
July 11, 2018: Conference call with WQA stakeholders to review updates on tariffs process and List Two
July 23, 2018: Due date for submission of written comments on list Two of proposed products
July 24, 2018: The section 301 Committee will convene a public hearing in the main hearing room of the US International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW Washington, DC beginning at 9:30 a.m.
July 31, 2018: Due date for submission of post-hearing rebuttal comments
August 23, 2018: List Two of tariffs goes into effect
Sept. 6, 2018: Due date for submission of written comments on List Three of proposed products
October 9, 2018: Due date for exclusion requests for List One items.

Resources:

Instructions for Exclusion process from the Office of the United States Representative for List Two (Visit Webpage)
Instructions for Exclusion Process from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representatives (
Download PDF)
Product Exclusion Form (Download PDF)
Exclusion Process Handout (Download PDF)
Press Release from USTR on Exclusion Process for Products on List One (Go to Webpage)
WQA Letter Submitted for Section 301 Committee Public Hearing on List One (Download PDF)
WQA Letter Submitted for Section 301 Committee Public Hearing on List Two (Download PDF)
WQA Letter to Federal House Ways and Means Committee on Counterfeits and Tariffs (Download PDF)
China Announcement of Additional Tariffs (Download PDF)
US Exports covered by Chinese Tariffs List One *unofficial version (Download PDF)
US Exports Covered by Chinese Tariffs List Two *unofficial version (Download PDF)
US Exports Covered by Chinese Tariffs List Three *unofficial version(Download PDF)
Press Release from USTR on Section 301 Investigation 6/29/2018 (Go to Webpage)
Press Release from USTR on Tariffs on Chinese Products 6/29/2018 (Go to Webpage)
Wall Street Journal Article of Tariff Exclusion Process of Steel and Aluminum (Download PDF)