Category Archives: Post News

China Issues 3rd Round of Product Exclusions for U.S. Origin Goods

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On February 21, 2020, the China State Tariff Commission issued a 3rd round of product exclusions for U.S. origin goods subject to the retaliatory tariffs in response to the U.S. Section 301 investigations.

The exclusions consist of two lists of products covering 65 8-digit subheadings. The products on these two lists will be exempt from the additional tariffs from February 28, 2020 to February 27, 2021.

Product list 1 includes 55 subheadings. Importers may apply to Customs for a refund of previously collected duty within 6 months from the date of product list release. Product list 2 includes 10 subheadings; however, no duty refunds will be granted.

The original announcement in Chinese may be found from here:

http://gss.mof.gov.cn/gzdt/zhengcefabu/202002/t20200221_3472600.htm

The product list 1 in Chinese may be found here:

http://gss.mof.gov.cn/gzdt/zhengcefabu/202002/P020200221548080947968.pdf

The product list 2 in Chinese may be found here:

http://gss.mof.gov.cn/gzdt/zhengcefabu/202002/P020200221548081402304.pdf


USTR Announces Additional Exclusion on List 2 of the Section 301 Tariffs

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On February 20, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) issued a notice announcing an additional exclusion on products of Chinese origin subject to the second round of Section 301 tariffs.

The exclusion covers one product description: “Skateboards with electric power for propulsion, of a power not exceeding 250 W (described in statistical reporting number 8711.60.0050).”

The announcement also converts an exclusion that was description based to the ten-digit subheading.  The exclusion description was “silicone presented in 210 liter (55 gallon) drums or 1,040 liter (275 gallon) intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) (described in statistical reporting number 3910.00.0000)” and is changed to cover 3910.00.0000.

These exclusions are retroactive to August 23, 2018 and will be valid through October 1, 2020.  They can be claimed under 9903.88.20.

USTR’s notice can be found here:

https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/enforcement/301Investigations/%2416_Billion_Exclusions_Granted_February.pdf

USTR Announces 9th Round of Exclusions on List 3 of the Section 301 Tariffs

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On February 19, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) issued a notice announcing additional exclusions on products of Chinese origin subject to the third list of Section 301 tariffs.

The exclusions cover 1 ten-digit tariff subheading and 46 product descriptions, addressing 67 separate exclusion requests.

Product descriptions listed include, but are not limited to:

  • Various fabrics;
  • Certain wood flooring; and
  • Certain desk accessories.

The exclusions are retroactive to September 24, 2018 and will be valid through August 7, 2020.  They can be claimed under 9903.88.40.

The product exclusion announcement can be found here:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2020-03377.pdf

Federal Register Notice 85 FR 9921 can be found here:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/20/2020-03377/notice-of-product-exclusions-chinas-acts-policies-and-practices-related-to-technology-transfer

WCO Provides E-Commerce Update

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On February 17, 2020, the World Customs Organization (WCO) provided an update from the Working Group on E-Commerce (WGEC).  WGEC met February 12-14th to discuss progress made so far in e-commerce.  The WCO Framework of Standards on Cross-border E-Commerce (FoS) was endorsed in June 2018, and the WCO E-Commerce Package, with the exception of three annexes, was endorsed in June 2019.

The goal of the February 2020 meeting was to enable the completion of the three annexes to the E-Commerce FoS Technical Specifications:

  • Reference Data Set for E-Commerce;
  • Revenue Collection Approaches; and
  • E-Commerce Stakeholders: Roles and Responsibilities.

The Permanent Technical Committee (PTC) drafted a decision on the update/maintenance mechanism of the FoS, and the WGEC endorsed it for submission in April.  The implementation process was also examined, and the outcomes will be presented in June 2020 at the conclusion of the WGEC.

The WCO update can be found here:

http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2020/february/the-working-group-on-e-commerce-meets-to-finalise-outstanding-work-items.aspx

The Cross-Border E-Commerce Framework of Standards can be found here:

http://www.wcoomd.org/-/media/wco/public/global/pdf/topics/facilitation/activities-and-programmes/ecommerce/wco-framework-of-standards-on-crossborder-ecommerce_en.pdf?db=web

UK Government Plans to Introduce Import Controls

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The Government of United Kingdom (UK) confirmed, in a press release issued on 10 February 2020, that it plans to introduce import controls on European Union (EU) goods at the border when the transition period ends on 31 December 2020.  After this date, traders in the EU and UK will have to submit customs declarations, and the goods may be subject to regulatory checks.  The press release further informed that policy easements introduced to facilitate trade under a “no deal” departure will be withdrawn in order to treat trade between the UK and all 3rd countries in a non-discriminatory manner

  • The withdrawal of the ability to defer import VAT to the VAT account of the importer, will result in import VAT being payable (at the time of import) on goods coming from the EU.  This decision places a new financial burden on UK traders who import goods from the EU.  UK traders will need to make provision for the cash payment or consider opening Deferment Account with customs.
  • The Transitional Simplified Procedure (TSP) which was intended to allow registered UK traders to bring goods into the UK without any customs declaration at the time of import has also been withdrawn.  Such traders will now have to ensure that arrangements are made to submit customs declarations prior to goods arriving in the UK.

The press release can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-confirms-plans-to-introduce-import-controls

USTR Modifies Section 301 Tariffs on EU Goods

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On February 14, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced changes to the Section 301 tariffs originally imposed on October 18, 2019 on goods from the European Union (EU).  The duty rates on aircraft imported from the EU will increase from 10% to 15%.  The duty rates on non-aircraft products will not increase from the 25% currently in place.

Other changes include:

  • Prune juice covered in 2009.89.40 will be removed from the affected product list.
  • Knives from France and Germany under 8214.90.60 will be added to the product list and will be subject to the additional 25% duties.

The duty rate increase on aircraft is effective March 18, 2020.

The affected product list changes are effective March 5, 2020.

USTR’s press release can be found here:

https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2020/february/ustr-revises-75-billion-award-implementation-against-eu-airbus-case

USTR’s notice outlining the changes can be found here:

https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/enforcement/301Investigations/Notice_of_Modification_of_Section_301_Action_Enforcement_of_U.S._WTO_Rights_in_Large_Civil_Aircraft_Dispute.pdf

China Announces the Reduction of Tariffs Imposed on U.S. Origin Goods

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On February 6, 2020, the China Tariff Commission announced the reduction of tariffs imposed on U.S. origin goods as part of the implementation of the Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement between the Government of the United States and the Government of the People’s Republic of China.

The affected products were under 1717 subheadings with either 5% or 10% additional duties originally effective on September 1, 2019. According to announcement No. 1, 2020 from the China Tariff Commission, the previous 5% additional duties will be adjusted to 2.5%, and the previous 10% additional duties will be adjusted to 5%.

The reductions will be effective February 14, 2020.

The original announcement in Chinese can be found here:

http://gss.mof.gov.cn/gzdt/zhengcefabu/202002/t20200206_3466540.htm

China Tariff Commission announcement No. 4, 2019 can be found here:

http://gss.mof.gov.cn/gzdt/zhengcefabu/201908/t20190823_3372928.htm

The affected product list in Annex 1 of No. 4, 2019 can be found here:

http://gss.mof.gov.cn/gzdt/zhengcefabu/201908/P020190823604938915640.pdf

UK Updates Rules of Origin Guidance for Brexit Transition Period

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On February 4, 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) updated its guidance regarding rules of origin for the Brexit transition period.  The Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union (EU) allows the UK to be covered by EU-third country trade agreements during the transition period.

UK and EU content will also continue to count towards the rules of origin for EU trade agreements.  The EU has issued Note Verbale on the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and European Atomic Energy Community which includes notification to the international community that the UK will be considered part of the EU for international agreements during the transition period.

At the end of the transition period, the EU trade agreements will no longer apply to the UK.

The updated guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-trade-agreements-with-non-eu-countries#history

Note Verbale on the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and European Atomic Energy Community can be found here:

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/template-note-verbale-international-partners-after-signature-withdrawal-agreement.pdf

APHIS Announces ACE Implementation Timeline

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On February 3, 2020, in Federal Register Notice (FRN) 85 FR 5928, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced the implementation of its core message set for the electronic submission of required data elements in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE).  The data elements will be required for tariff classifications flagged in ACE.  APHIS intends to use the collected data to make policy decisions and to improve risk analysis and response to changing pest and disease conditions.

The full ACE implementation of the core data set requirements is scheduled for August 3, 2020.  Comments on the implementation timeline until March 4, 2020.  After that date, another FRN will be published with the confirmed implementation date.

More information, including the comment submission process, can be found in FRN 85 FR 5928:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/03/2020-01984/international-trade-data-system-timeline-for-enforcing-aphis-core-message-set-flags-in-the-automated

China Extends Deadline for Duty & Tax Payments

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On February 3, 2020, the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) announced the extension of duty/tax payments due during the extended Chinese Lunar New Year holidays.

According to the official announcement, the payment date for duty and taxes due after February 3, 2020, has been postponed until 15 days after the enterprise returns to work.  Additionally, Customs fines incurred because of the delayed reporting of declarations submitted after February 3, 2020 will be waived until the date the enterprise resumes work.

The GACC announcement, No. 18, 2020, in Chinese, can be found here:

http://www.customs.gov.cn/customs/302249/2480148/2856273/index.html