Recent Trade & Tariff Perspectives

April 13, 2022  |  Anahi Czeszewski  Product Development Manager

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Certain Section 301 China Duty Exclusions Retroactively Reinstated—Now What?

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) recently announced it will reinstate more than 350 previously expired Section 301 China duty exclusions through the end of this year, and retroactive to October 12, 2021. As this development can result in significant duty savings, ensure you act now to identify qualifying exclusions and estimate your potential duty refund amount.

Section 301 China duty exclusions: A background

On October 8, 2021, it was published within the Federal Register notice the USTR would evaluate 549 specific product exclusions—on a case-by-case basis—with the possibility of granting extensions. Most of these product exclusions expired as of December 31, 2020.

Following a public comment period, which concluded on December 1, 2021, the USTR completed an in-depth review of submitted comments with the advice of advisory committees, the interagency Section 301 committee, and the White House COVID-19 Response Team.

USTR Reinstates 352 expired China duty exclusions

As stated in the press release published on March 23, 2022, the USTR reinstated 352 previously expired Section 301 China duty exclusions. The exclusions will be retroactively applied to October 12, 2021, and made valid through December 31, 2022.

The products contained in this list cover all four Section 301 lists, where list 1 and list 3 comprise the large majority of the reinstated exclusions. Notably, though some exclusions are at the 10-digit tariff classification level, a large majority of the exclusions are product specific.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issues entry guidance and implementation

In a March 31, 2021 Customs Systems Messaging Service (CSMS) message, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published guidance to the trade community—including importers, brokers, and filers—on submitting entries to CBP containing the recently granted exclusions.

To request a refund of Section 301 duties paid on previous imports of products granted duty exclusions by the USTR, importers may file a Post Summary Correction (PSC) if within the PSC filing timeframe—up to 15 days prior to the scheduled liquidation date, which is generally 300 days from date of entry summary filing. If the entry is beyond the PSC filing timeframe, importers may protest the liquidation if within the protest filing timeframe, which is 180 days following liquidation of the impacted entry.

Ensure you properly prepare your documentation when requesting administrative refunds

As reinstated exclusions are available only for products that meet the specific description in the product exclusion language, importers requesting an administrative refund for previously paid duties—whether through a PSC or protest—must provide supporting information to CBP (e.g., product literature, descriptive illustrations, product specifications, etc.) and correlate this information clearly to each applicable entry line(s) to ensure proper filing.

Expect a high level of scrutiny by CBP during the documentation review. Ensure your PSC or protest paperwork is organized and clearly conveyed when uploading this documentation to CBP or providing this documentation to your customs brokers for uploading.

How can C.H. Robinson help?

To better understand your duty recovery potential, for entries where C.H. Robinson acted as your customs broker, reach out to your account representative for a comprehensive duty recovery analysis today. This analysis will allow you to easily identify retroactive exclusion opportunities for your company using historical entry data—eligible 10-digit tariff classification codes and product-specific descriptions are queried directly from the recent duty exclusion notice from March 23, 2022.

We all know labor is very challenging to come by these days, and tools like this can save hours of research time, providing clarity in a very complex environment. Use this time to ensure you take advantage of these latest reinstated exclusions. We are here to collaborate with you and provide support every step of the way.

Are there any other duty recovery opportunities out there?

Under the Senate’s U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), there may be additional opportunities to collect refunds on Section 301 China duties you previously paid to CBP. According to the bill, all previously expired duty exclusions would be reinstated from the date of passage of the legislation through December 2022.

The USICA and the America COMPETES Act—the U.S. House of Representatives’ response to the Senate’s USICA—are both under deliberation, and lawmakers will need to go to conference and reach a compromise on the differences between the bills before a final bill can go to President Biden’s desk for signing. Notably, the America COMPETES Act does not contain any provisions to reinstate previous duty exclusions to the Section 301 China duties.

Stay informed on developments

C.H. Robinson continues to closely monitor all the latest developments. Subscribe to our Client Advisories and Trade and Tariff Insights to be notified when changes take place. Connect with one of our trade policy experts to learn even more.



Our information is compiled from a number of sources that to the best of our knowledge are accurate and correct. It is always the intent of our company to present accurate information. C.H. Robinson accepts no liability or responsibility for the information published herein.

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