New website is the best source for Section 232 and Section 301 tariff exclusions

We created saveontariffs.com to provide importers the most complete and easiest way to understand and navigate around the Section 232 and Section 301 tariffs. All the information is free and no registration to use the website is required. You will find: 

  • A side-by-side comparison of Section 232 and Section 301 tariffs.  Everything you want to know about Section 232 and Section 301 tariffs and tariff exclusions is found here.
  • A comprehensive list of duty savings programs and techniques beyond tariff exclusions. 
  • A countdown calendar for the most relevant tariff exclusion deadlines. 

December 18, 2018 is the deadline to file exclusion requests for List 2, Section 301 items.


Consider filing a prior disclosure if you change classification, value, or country of origin

So you are trying to figure out how to get beyond the reach of Section 232 or 301 tariffs. You tinker with country of origin, value, classification, among other things, related to your imported products. You do this because you know that you are well within your rights to seek out and take full advantage of any and all duty savings opportunities as long as you are upfront and as long as you don't break the law.  

If successful, your tinkering results in better and more accurate declaration of country of origin, value, or classification. Suddenly the duties that you owe under Section 232 or Section 301 are greatly reduced or completely eliminated. Congratulations. However, your work is not over. Thanks to your change in course, you probably now have a record of entry errors to contend with. If CBP discovers those errors, even if there is no loss of duties, it most certainly will penalize you in amounts that far exceed the Section 232 or Section 301 tariffs. 

The danger of being caught and penalized is probably greater with Section 232 and Section 301 tariffs. CBP knows that countless importers are desperately trying to find a way to avoid the Section 232 and Section 301 tariffs. The agency is on high alert for violators, of which there will be plenty. It will make an example of many importers to dissuade the rest.   

Consider filing a prior disclosure with CBP. A prior disclosure allows you to fess up about your mistakes before CBP finds out about them. A prior disclosure only works if you file (this can be done in two steps) before CBP launches an investigation, if the prior disclosure is complete and honest in detail, and only if you tender all duties owed. The law and regulations require that the penalties be greatly reduced, and CBP usually accepts the prior disclosure, plus any tender, as a final settlement of the matter.


What You Should Do Now About Trump’s Threatened Section 301 Tariffs

President Trump is threatening to impose a 25% tariff on the $270 billion in Chinese imports that have thus far escaped his Section 301 powers.  The new tariffs would mean that there would be a 25% tariff on all Chinese imports, with the only probably exceptions being the exemptions (not to be confused with tariff exclusions) that were heard and allowed during the public comment periods for List 1 and List 2.  

So, what should you do? 

First, take the President’s threat seriously. He’s followed through on each of his tariff threats in the past.   

Second, consider importing before the effective date of any new tariffs.

Third, investigate your tariff-saving options as spelled out in saveontariffs.com.

Fourth, file a public comment on any proposed tariffs. The public was previously allowed to comment and to request exemption from Section 301 tariffs. The public was even allowed to present testimony at hearings in Washington, D.C. Far too few importers took advantage of this opportunity. Many importers who did take advantage offered arguments that were cookie-cutter, boring, and irrelevant and, thus, destined to be rejected. Each and every one of our clients who hired our law firm to file a public comment was granted an exemption. While success is never guaranteed, there are proven methods to increase your chances of attaining both an exemption and a tariff exclusion. One of the most common, lamentable mistakes comes from just failing to follow instructions. When and if a public comment period is allowed, take advantage of it. Plus hire an experienced law firm that knows how to advocate on your behalf.  

So, what’s the deal with Tariff Exclusions for List 3, Section 301?

The US Trade Representative allowed tariff exclusion requests for List 1 and List 2, but hasn’t done so for List 3. There is no official word on whether it will allow tariff exclusions for List 3. There is a great deal of speculation as to why List 3 still doesn’t have tariff exclusions. The Trump Administration may be playing hardball negotiations with the Chinese. It may be that the US Trade Representative is overwhelmed with the exclusions request filed for List 1 and List 2 and needs to first go through that backlog before entertaining List 3 exclusions requests.

Regardless of the reasons, it is wise to assume and plan as if List 3 exclusions will eventually be allowed. This should be relatively easy. List 1 and List 2 had identical exclusion procedures; List 3 will probably follow suit.  Also, if the USTR is consistent, there will be a narrow window for filing exclusion requests and no chance of appeal denials. You want to be ready to file immediately and to have the best arguments and supporting evidence when the opportunity presents itself.