August 2019 $300 Billion Tariff Action (List 4A) China Tariffs—FAQ

Which Goods are Covered by List 4A?

The August 2019 action covers the products classified within the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings set out in Annex A and Annex C of the notice published at 84 FR 43304 (August 20, 2019) as modified by 84 FR 45821 (August 30, 2019).

Link to 4A:  https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/enforcement/301Investigations/Notice_of_Modification_%28List_4A_and_List_4B%29.pdf

Which parties are entitled to file an exclusion request?

Requestors must provide their relationship to the product (Importer, U.S. Producer, Purchaser, Industry Association, Other)

How does a party file an exclusion request?

Only claims submitted on the USTR Web portal will be accepted. Here is a link to the Portal:

https://exclusions.ustr.gov/portal/s/

When is the deadline to file?

The process for the filing of exclusion requests was announced with an application open season of October 31, 2019-January 31, 2020. 

How long is USTR taking to adjudicate the requests?

There is no set time frame but decisions are usually delivered a few months after submission.

If granted how long will the exemption be in effect?

If granted, the exclusion will have retroactive effect to the date of first imposition (September 1, 2019) and will have a life of 1-year from the date of publication in the Federal Register.

What happens to product entered into the US before a grant is issues?

Care should be taken to preserve the right to a refund while the application is pending by requesting that the liquidation of the entry be suspended or that protective protests are filed after liquidation.

What percentage of requests are granted?

A review of the applications previously filed for exclusions of the tariffs imposed by Lists 1 and 2 reveals that the exclusions are granted on an exceptional basis—approximately 1/3 of the requests were granted. 

What is a single product?

Each request must cover a “single product” as defined by the USTR for purposes of the request process.

The starting point is the 10-digit subheading of the HTSUS applicable to the particular product requested for exclusion.

How should I further describe my product?

Each request demands a product name and a detailed product description which includes, but is not limited to, its physical characteristics (e.g., dimensions, weight, material composition, etc.). 

It is also necessary to discuss the product’s function, application (whether the product is designed to function in or with a particular machine or other device), the unit value of the product (please provide range if necessary), principal use, and any unique physical features that distinguish it from other products within the covered 8-digit HTSUS subheading.

Can I upload documents in support of my request?

Yes you will be given the opportunity to upload sales brochures and literature ss well as pictures.

What kind of corporate financial data will I be expected to produce?

Requestors must provide their specific 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 half of 2019 (January – June). 

Requestors must provide information regarding their company’s gross revenues for 2018 and the first half of 2019 (January – June). 

For imports sold as final products, Requestors must provide the percentage of their total gross sales in 2018 that accounted for sales of the Chinese-origin product.

For imports used in the production of final products, Requestors must provide the percentage of the total cost of producing the final product(s) the Chinese-origin input accounts for and the percentage of their total gross sales in 2018 that sales of the final product(s) accounted for. 

Will my exclusion request be open to public inspection?

Most of the request will be viewable by the public. However, required information regarding the Requestor’s purchases and gross sales and revenue is business confidential and the information entered will not be publicly viewable. 

What if the product is subject to the China 2025 Program?

The final question in the Portal asks if the particular product of concern is “strategically important or related to “Made in China 2025” or other Chinese industrial programs.”

The “Made in China 2025” policy highlighted ten industries critical to advancing China’s economic development plan, including aviation, artificial intelligence, robotics, and advanced medical devices. China’s plan focuses on promoting high-tech innovation and intellectual property acquisition to drive Chinese manufacturing up the value chain.

If the requestor answers “yes” there is a significant chance that the USTR will deny the claim.

Will other parties be given an opportunity to comment upon my exclusion request?

Yes – for a period up to 14 days after a party files a claim a respondent will be able to make public comments in support of or opposed to your request. These comments will be viewable by the public and a Requestor will have 7 days to file a rebuttal.

Can ITC assist with the filing of an exclusion request?

ITC has filed List 3 requests for exclusion and is drafting requests for List 4A. Parties contemplating filing an exclusion request can contact us for more information and assistance.

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