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Benefits of the 301 Tariff Exclusion Extension

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.
Jacob Lee
March 1, 2021
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Last Modified: February 9, 2023

Regulations regarding the 301 tariff exclusion extensions have changed remarkably in the past year. The previous presidential administration and the United States Trade Representative (USTR) originally extended exclusions on certain Chinese products from 2020 to May of 2021. However, under the current presidential administration, the USTR has made changes yet again. But what exactly do these changes entail? 

The USTR has reinstated 352 of the 549 exclusions that had previously expired. The reinstatement of these certain exclusions will remain in effect retroactively from October 12, 2021 until December 31, 2022. It is yet to be determined if these exclusions will be extended in the future.

In this article, we will discuss which exclusions have been reinstated and how you can obtain a 301 refund.

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, the Trump administration imposed a series of extra tariffs on Chinese-made goods. To avoid potential damage from these added tariffs, the USTR, under the direction of the Trump administration, announced that some product exclusions would be excluded. 

There were originally over 2,000 exclusions that would eventually expire. However, 549 of these exclusions were extended from 2020 into 2021. Since coming into office, the Biden administration has reviewed the trade relationship between the U.S. and China. 

After much consideration, the Biden administration and USTR announced that 352 of the previously extended 549 exclusions will be reinstated. You can learn more about Section 301 Tariffs here: Section 301 Tariffs: A Comprehensive Guide.

What Products Are Included in the Exclusion Extension?

On the same document where the USTR announced the reinstatement of 352 exclusions from the Section 301 tariffs are multiple lists of the exclusions. Each exclusion has its corresponding harmonized tariff schedule of the United States (HTSUS or HTS) code. The exclusions are spread throughout four different lists. 

Each list divides the 352 reinstated exclusions by their commodity. The first list provides the HTS codes that correspond with machinery or machinery parts. Some of the items and their relevant HTS codes included in this list are:

  • Housing for water pumps (8413.30.90)
  • Electrical motors (8501.10.4020)
  • X-ray tables (9022.90.2500)
  • Heat exchanger plates (8419.90.3000)

The second list of reinstated Section 301 tariff exclusions is shorter than the first. This list contains items that are mostly used for machinery and machinery parts. However, many of these machinery items are meant to be used on vehicles. In addition to machinery and machinery parts there are gasses, acids and plastics that are included on this list.

Some of these items include: 

  • Acrylic acid (3903.90.5000)
  • Dispensers of hand-cleaning or hand-sanitizing solutions (8424.89.9000)
  • AC motors of 18.65 W but no more than 37.5 W with attached actuators,crankshafts or gears (8501.10.6020)
  • Portable, wireless enabled, electrical gas monitors (9027.10.2000)

The third list is the most lengthy and contains a variety of items within it. The items on this list include:

  • Alaskan sole, frozen in blocks with a net weight of more than 4.5 kg (0304.83.5015)
  • Artificial graphite in powder form (3801.10.5000)
  • Duffel bags made predominantly of man-made fibers that are no more than 98cm by 52cm by 17cm and that do not weigh more than 7kg (4202.92.3131)
  • Lampshades of fabric over a metal frame (3405.99.4090)

The final list on the USTR reinstated exclusions contain mostly items that are used for household purposes. This includes:

  • Shower heads made of plastic, designed to be fixed, hand-held, height-adjustable or combinations of these and parts of shower heads (3924.90.5650)
  • Wallpaper not described by subheading 4814.20.00, with floral, landscape, figure, abstract designs or solid backgrounds that were painted by hand with or without applications of metal leaf (4814.90.0200)
  • Crib sheets of muslin cotton fitted with elastic (6302.31.9020)
  • Pillow shells of cotton that are filled with goose or duck down (9404.90.1000)

Navigating to the USTR’s reinstatement announcement and then searching through the corresponding HTS codes can be difficult to do on your own. Hiring a customs broker to do this for you is a much better option. 

How To Obtain A Section 301 Refund?

When Does the Extension End

If you imported a product that falls under one of the 352 excluded products from China on or after or October 12, 2021 then you will be eligible for a refund. You can obtain a section 301 refund on your own if you’re a self filer. If you’re not a self filer you will need the assistance of a customs broker to get your refund.

The first part of the refund process is to obtain a list of the items that you imported prior to the reinstatement of the Section 301 tariff exclusions. If a customs broker is handling the refund for you, then they can obtain a list from you or through the ACE (Automated Commercial Environment) system. Once a list of those items have been obtained, the HTS number will have to be paired to the correct HTS description. 

After this step, you or your customs broker will have to electronically submit a Post Summary Correction (PSC) for each individual entry that was made. Once the PSC has been sent Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will either respond with approval or request further information. 

Approved refunds are processed every week on Friday. Importers will receive their refund through their Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) profile. If an importer doesn’t have an ACH profile then the CBP will write a check and send it to the importer through the mail.

You can obtain all of the help you ned when you book a consulting session with one of our licensed customs brokers.

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How Can A Customs Broker Help Me Get A 301 Refund?

Customs brokers are specialists who are constantly involved with the importing process. Besides taking care of the overall refund process, there are other ways that having a customs broker in your corner will help you get a 301 refund. 

Confirm HTS Code and HTS Description

Making sure that the product HTS code meets the description assigned to it is much harder than it might seem. Customs brokers are constantly working with HTS codes which means that they can confirm that the right code is paired with the proper description. 

Avoid A Section 301 Investigation

CBP wants to ensure that no one wrongly takes advantage of the opportunity to get a 301 refund. Therefore, the higher a potential refund might be, the more aggressive CBP will be in investigating the refund request.

Customs brokers can conduct their own investigation into your refund request. By doing so they will be able to provide all relevant information that CBP requires to approve a refund. This will help you avoid a CBP investigation and potentially a rejected refund application.

Why You Should Hire USA Customs Clearance To Obtain Your 301 Refund 

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.

At USA Customs Clearance we can help you get a 301 refund in ways that other importers don’t. We monitor the status of your PSC and set up an ACH duty account free of charge so you won’t have to wait for your refund to come in the mail. 

If it turns out that you can’t get a 301 refund, there are other ways that we can help you save money in future importing endeavors. 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.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.

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