COVID-19 tariff exclusion deadling

If you import a product related to the medical response to COVID-19 that is subject to Section 301 China tariffs, you still have time to request an exclusion from the US tariffs, irrespective of whether you previously applied for one.

As we explained back in March in Coronavirus Legal Issues Around the World, Part 9: Removing U.S. Tariffs on COVID-19-Related Products, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is requesting public comments regarding tariff relief for products “relevant to the medical response to the coronavirus.”

The comments process offers a second bite of the apple to importers of such products who did not file an exclusion request during the original request period. It also gives a second chance to importers who did file an exclusion request but had it denied. For importers who successfully applied for an exclusion, it provides a second avenue to request an extension of the granted exclusion.

In addition to obvious coronavirus-related products such as personal protective equipment (PPE), importers of products used in the production of PPE and other medical products are good candidates for exclusion requests. This would include products such as machinery used to manufacture face masks.

The deadline for submitting comments is June 25, 2020.

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Photo of Fred Rocafort Fred Rocafort

Fred is a former diplomat who joined Harris Bricken after more than a decade of international legal experience, primarily in China, Vietnam, and Thailand. His wide range of experience includes starting and operating his own business in Asia, working as an in-house counsel…

Fred is a former diplomat who joined Harris Bricken after more than a decade of international legal experience, primarily in China, Vietnam, and Thailand. His wide range of experience includes starting and operating his own business in Asia, working as an in-house counsel for a Hong Kong-based multinational, as well as many years as a State Department official, providing a client-centric perspective to his legal work. Fred co-hosts Harris Bricken’s weekly Global Law and Business podcast, which covers legal and economic developments in locales around the world to decipher global trends in law and business with the help from international guests.

Fred began his career overseas as a U.S. vice-consul in Guangzhou, China, adjudicating thousands of visa applications and advocating for fairer treatment of American companies and citizens in China and for stronger anti-counterfeiting enforcement. After entering the private sector, Fred worked at a Shanghai law firm as a foreign legal advisor and later joined one of the oldest American law firms in China. He also led the legal team at a Hong Kong-based brand protection consultancy, spending most of his time out in the field, protecting clients against counterfeiters and fraudsters from Binh Duong to Buenos Aires.

Fred is an ardent supporter of FC Barcelona—and would be even in the absence of Catalan forebears who immigrated to Puerto Rico in the mid-1800s. An avid explorer of Hong Kong’s countryside, he now spends much of his free time discovering the Pacific Northwest’s natural charms.