Benefits of the 301 Tariff Exclusion Extension

The list of questions you may have about the 301 tariff exclusion extension is lengthy, however we can help. This guide outlines the benefits to importers and the overall process.


Laura Isaacs

March 26, 2021

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The global supply chain is buzzing with talk of recent 301 tariff exclusion extensions. But what does this mean to importers? While trade talks with China meet stonewalls and tensions grow, the imposition of additional duties might cause economic harm. Regardless, section 301 tariff exclusions have been extended as of Spring 2020.

The Former President Trump and the USTR ( United State Trade Representative) have put China Section 301 tariffs in place to protect the U.S. against unfair trade policies. While a majority of imported Chinese products are affected by the extra tariffs, a few are excluded. These exclusions were set to expire in 2020, but as of May 14, 2020, have been extended for an additional 12 months. These changes are outlined in USTR document 9903.88.08 5-14-19 List 1 Fourth Round SEC 301 Tariff Exclusions.

What Are Section 301 Tariffs?

What Are Section 301 Tariffs

The U.S.-China trade war has been raging for decades. Section 301 of the Trade Act was passed in 1974. This legislation gives the president the authority to retaliate against countries restricting U.S. commerce by imposing tariffs and other actions.

In 2018, then-President Donald Trump started importing a series of extra tariffs on Chinese-made goods. These tariffs were in response to the president’s “America First” policies put in place to help reduce the trade deficit. Tariffs on products like washing machines and solar panels were dramatically increased. Tariffs on steel and aluminum were also increased.

You can learn more about Section 301 Tariffs here: Section 301 Tariffs: A Comprehensive Guide (Updated January 2020).

Some products, however, are excluded from additional tariffs. These 301 tariff exclusions apply to a variety of products and can help keep supply chains strong. Exclusions are granted on a case by case basis. Companies and individual importers can complete requests seeking that their products are left off the list of products with additional tariffs. The USTR might grant the exclusion if there is evidence to support the request. Specifically, exclusions are granted when:

  • The product is only available from China and you cannot source the product from the U.S. or a third country
  • Additional duties and fees would result in severe economic burden on the importer
  • The product is part of a strategic industrial program like “Made in China 2025.”

As a result, there is a lengthy list of products included in the exclusion list.

What Products Are Included in the Exclusion Extension?

A wide range of products and commodities are excluded from 301 tariffs. Information from USTR document 9903.88.08 5-14-19 List 1 Fourth Round SEC 301 Tariff Exclusions indicates that nearly a dozen products are included in the exclusion extension. You can find the official USTR Federal Register Notice document outlining the 301 Tariff exclusion extension online. Many of the excluded products are related to hydraulic solenoid valves.

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You’ll find that two entire HTS (Harmonized Tariff Schedule) categories have been extended by the USTR as of May 14, 2020. These include:

  • Other pressure-reducing valves (Code 8481.10.0090)
  • Other flywheels and pulleys (Code 8483.50.9040)

Specific products from China also that are also a part of the May 14, 2020, exclusion extension include:

  • Purifying or filtering machinery or apparatus used for wastewater treatment (Code 8421.21.0000)
  • Electrically-powered air purification equipment (Code 8421.39.8015)
  • Armatures for use in hydraulic solenoid valves (Code 8481.90.9040)
  • Steel C-poles used in hydraulic solenoid control valves (Code 8481.90.9040)
  • Aluminum metering spools used in hydraulic solenoid control valves (Code 8481.90.9040)
  • Steel metering control spools used in hydraulic solenoid control valves (Code 8481.90.9040)
  • Steel poles used in hydraulic solenoid control valves (Code 8481.90.9040)
  • Steel push pins used in hydraulic solenoid control valves (Code 8481.90.9040)
  • Steel retainers used in hydraulic solenoid valves (Code 8481.90.9040)
  • Stereoscopic microscopes without cameras and valued at less than $500 (Code 9011.10.8000)
  • Optical microscope components including adapter rings, tubes and extension sleeves, stands and arm assemblies, stages and gliding tables, eye guards and focusing racks (Code 9011.90.0000)

All other tariffs included in the first round document 9903.88.08 5-14-19 List 1 Fourth Round SEC 301 Tariff Exclusions increased to 25% as of May 14, 2020.

On May 21, 2020 the USTR published the Notice of Product Exclusions from China Section 301 List 3. This notice added additional items to the list of products excluded from tariffs.There are 17 additional items on the new list. These items include Codes:

  • 0713.33.1040 
  • 0713.50.1000
  • 1207.70.0020
  • 1207.70.0040
  • 1209.30.0090
  • 1209.91.6010
  • 1209.91.8010
  • 1209.91.8020
  • 1209.91.8040
  • 1209.91.8050
  • 1209.91.8060
  • 1209.91.8070
  • 2916.19.1000
  • 5603.14.9090
  • 5603.92.0090,
  • 5603.93.0090
  • 9403.70.4002

The above list includes all kinds of goods, ranging from kidney bean seeds for sowing to toddler beds and bassinets.

When Does the Extension End?

When Does the Extension End

The 301 tariff exclusion extension has been extended to December 30, 2020. This gives importers 12 months from when the exclusions were scheduled to end. 

Make Sense of 301 Tariff Exclusions with Customs Consulting

Section 301 tariff exclusions and extensions can be complicated and hard to understand. With rules and regulations constantly changing, it’s important to have a strategic partner on your side. The right logistics partner can make sense of all the products, codes and rules and let you get down to business.

USA Customs Clearance, powered by AFC International, offers customs consulting services to help you with importing goods from China and other countries. You can consult directly with our Licensed Customs Brokers to get answers to all of your importing questions.

You might opt to consult with an Import Customs Expert when you are new to importing. An expert can help you answer basic questions and get the information you need to get your products through customs and into the supply chain. An expert can help you avoid additional charges and fees at the border.

You might opt to consult with a Licensed Customs Broker when you have a little more experience importing or you have very specific import questions. Your Licensed Customs Broker will provide hands-on support and scale solutions to meet your individual import needs.

Your Import Customs Expert or Licensed Customs Broker can also help you get your import documents in order. They can even issue you the right customs bond and help you insure your shipment.

Regardless of the service you choose, you can count on USA Customs Clearance, powered by AFC International, to help you make sense of the import process. With our help, you can explore the benefits of the 301 tariff exclusion extensions and make doing international business simple. Give USA Customs Clearance a call at (855) 912-0406 today.

Go ahead and buy a customs bond today
and get your freight on the way around the globe.
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