USTR Creates Web Portal for Section 301 Tariff Product Exclusion Requests

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has announced its launch of a web portal for interested parties to submit product exclusion requests for Chinese-origin articles covered by tariff classifications found on “List 3” of the Section 301 tariff. USTR published its much-anticipated notice in the Federal Register.1 List 3 contains nearly 6,000 tariff classifications covering imported Chinese-origin goods valued at approximately USD 200 billion annually.

The new web portal process is a different approach for submitting Section 301 product exclusion requests than regulations.gov used for filing exclusion requests covered by List 1 and List 2 of the tariffs. The new portal will become effective on Sunday, June 30, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. EDT. Exclusion requests can be filed through September 30, 2019. Requesting parties must first register to use the portal at https://exclusions.ustr.gov.

Like the process used for List 1 and List 2 product exclusions, third parties will be able to file opposing and supporting comments within fourteen (14) days of the date an exclusion request is posted for public comment, with a reply period of seven (7) days to follow. Also similar to the past process (discussed in our August 2018 client alert), product exclusions that are granted will be effective for one (1) year from the date they are published in the Federal Register and will be retroactive to September 24, 2018, the date on which the List 3 tariff rate of 10 percent went into effect (since raised to 25 percent on May 10, 2019).

However, there are also notable differences in the permissible and required information to be submitted with a product exclusion request compared to that required for List 1 and List 2 filings, such as:

  • Reporting whether the requester’s business meets the U.S. Small Business Administration’s size standard for a small business;
  • Explaining why the product or a comparable product is unavailable from sources in the U.S. or third countries and why the requestor may be unsure of the product or comparable product’s availability in the U.S. or third countries;
  • Whether the requesting party attempted to source the product from the U.S. or in a third country;
  • Providing data on the annual quantity and value of the Chinese-origin product, domestic product and third-country product the requestor purchased in 2017, 2018 and the first quarter of 2019;
  • Providing the requesting company’s gross revenues for 2017, 2018 and the first quarter of 2019; and
  • Stating whether the requestor submitted exclusion requests on products covered by List 1 and List 2 of the Section 301 tariffs on Chinese-origin goods.

Additional Assistance

For assistance with Section 301 duties and product exclusion requests, or any other customs and importation matters, please contact Jon P. Yormick, Special Counsel, at jyormick@phillipslytle.com or (216) 928-3474, (716) 847-7006.

  1. Procedures for Requests To Exclude Particular Products From the September 2018 Action Pursuant to Section 301: China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation, 84 FR 29576 (June 24, 2019).