Section 232 reimposed –  Hong Kong & China designation updates – MPF adjustment – EU Section 301 revised

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Hong Kong Products to be Marked Made in China, Exempt from Section 301 Tariffs

Guidance has been issued by Customs on the new country of origin marking rules for goods produced in Hong Kong based on the President’s Executive Order (EO) on Hong Kong Normalization (EO 13936, dated July 14, 2020). All goods of Hong Kong origin must now be marked to indicate China as the country of origin. This action is applicable on goods entered or withdrawn for consumption on July 29, 2020.  However, a transition period will be granted for importers to implement the new marking requirements as of September 25, 2020.

Currently, goods produced in Hong Kong do not fall under the Section 301 tariffs for China origin goods, but there is concern the marking rules will change that. However, current Customs’ guidance indicates that the Section 301 tariffs will not be assessed on goods of Hong Kong origin. The guidance further indicates that the HK designation should be used when entering goods of Hong Kong origin. The Federal Register notice of this action can be found here.

Changes in the Merchandise Processing Fee

The 2021 Customs fee schedule has been released and will be effective on October 1, 2020. Both the Harbor Maintenance Fee (HMF) and Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) will remain at 0.125 percent and 0.3464 percent, respectively. However, the minimum and maximum fees for the MPF have been adjusted upwards to $27.23 and $528.33. The HMF has no minimum or maximum fee schedule. The full fee adjustment schedule can be found here.

US to Reimpose Sec 232 Tariffs on Some Aluminum from Canada

President Trump announced that the US is reimposing an additional 10 percent tariff on non-alloyed, unwrought, aluminum articles imported from Canada, effective August 16. The Section 232 tariffs had been lifted in May of 2019 when an agreement was reached on a number of issues including measures that would allow imports of aluminum from Canada to remain stable. However, the Department of Commerce advised the President that imports of non-alloyed, unwrought aluminum from Canada had increased 87 percent in the twelve months since the tariff was lifted.

Imports from Canada under HTS code 7601.10 are impacted by this proclamation. Some US aluminum companies applauded the tariff action while other companies and industry groups including the US Chamber of Commerce have come out in opposition. Notably, imports of the same product from other countries have decreased during this time period.

The Canadian government has stated that it will respond with a 10 per cent surtax on a list of  aluminum and aluminum containing products from the US. Their action is scheduled to begin on Sept 16 and remain in effect until the additional US tariffs are lifted. The Canadian response can be found here.

Two 301 Exclusion Amendments Released

The USTR has announced two amendments to existing Section 301 exclusions, one each for Round 1 and Round 2. Tractor shovel loaders entered under 8429.51.1035 are the subject of the Round 1 amendment and it further limits the scope of the exclusion by tightening the weight requirement of the product. Click here to see this amendment.

The second notice covers digital clinical thermometers (9025.19.8010 & 9025.18.8020) and the amendment removes the value limitations originally written into the exclusion. This amendment can be found here.

EU Section 301 Tariff Revisions

A revision to the EU Section 301 tariffs has been issued by the USTR. The new list removes certain products from Greece and the UK while adding an equivalent amount of goods imported from France and Germany. The revised list which is effective Sept 1, 2020 can be found here.

 

Need an overview of all the exclusions and their updated expirations? 

We have all the exclusion information updated and ready for you! Go to CVI’s Exclusion Guide 2020 (view on desktop for optimal search). Don’t forget! You can also find Rachel Shames’ weekly market updates HERE.

Sam McClure, LCB
Director of Compliance & Customs Services

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