On December 17, 2019, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) will publish in the Federal Register three notices of additional product exclusions and amendments to certain notes in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

The first notice applies to the $34 billion action (List or tranche 1). The product exclusion will apply as of the July 6, 2018 effective date of the, and will extend to October 1, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. The amendments announced in the notice are retroactive to the date the original exclusions were published and do not extend the period for the original exclusions.

Based on the evaluation of the factors set out in 83 Fed. Reg. 32181 (the July 11 notice), and in accordance with the advice of the interagency Section 301 Committee, USTR has determined to grant the product exclusion set out in the Annex to this notice. USTR’s determination also takes into account advice from advisory committees and any public comments on the pertinent exclusion request.

Exclusions from the duties have been established in two different formats: (1) as an exclusion for an existing 10-digit subheading from within an 8-digit subheading covered by the $34 billion action, or (2) as an exclusion reflected in specially prepared product descriptions. The exclusion announced in this notice takes the form of a 10-digit HTSUS subheading.

In accordance with the July 11 notice, the exclusion is available for any product that meets the description in the Annex, regardless of whether the importer filed an exclusion request. Further, the scope of the exclusion is governed by the scope of the 10- digit HTSUS subheading in the Annex to this notice, and not by the product descriptions set out in any particular request for exclusion.

To correct technical and ministerial errors and in order to conform to the USTR’s intent to grant certain exclusions requested, the Annex to this notice includes amendments to certain notes in the HTSUS.

  • Subparagraphs B(1–5) correct errors in U.S. notes 20(q)(25), 20(q)(26), 20(q)(201), 20(q)(235) and 20(q)(252) to subchapter III of chapter 99 of the HTSUS, as set out in the Annex of the notice published at 84 Fed. Reg. 49564 (September 20, 2019).
  • In order to conform to USTR’s intent to grant certain exclusion requests, subparagraphs B(6–7) of the Annex make amendments to U.S. notes 20(n)(11) and 20(n)(85) to subchapter III of chapter 99 of the HTSUS, as set out in the Annex of the notice published at 84 Fed. Reg. 32821 (July 9, 2019).
  • Subparagraphs B(8–14) of the Annex make amendments to notes 20(q)(27), 20(q)(28), 20(q)(58), 20(q)(195), 20(q)(217), 20(q)(291) and 20(q)(293) to subchapter III of chapter 99 of the HTSUS, as set out in the Annex of the notice published at 84 FR 49564 (September 20, 2019), to conform to this intent.

The second notice consists of amendments to exclusions that apply to the $16 billion action. The amendments are retroactive to the date the original exclusions were published and do not extend the period for the original exclusions. The exclusion process for the $16 billion action was established in a Federal Register notice published on September 18, 2018 (the September 18 notice). The notice corrects technical and ministerial errors and in order to conform to USTR’s intent to grant certain exclusions.

The Annex to the notice includes amendments to certain notes in the HTSUS.

  • In order to clarify a periodic revision to the HTSUS, subparagraph A(1) of the Annex modifies the text to U.S. note 20(v)(86) to subchapter III of chapter 99 of the HTSUS, as set out in the Annex of the notice published at 84 Fed. Reg. 49600 (September 20, 2019).
  • Subparagraphs A(2–7) of the Annex correct errors in U.S. notes 20(v)(21), 20(v)(22), 20(v)(36), 20(v)(71), 20(v)(72), and 20(v)(87) to subchapter III of chapter 99 of the HTSUS, as set out in the Annex of the notice published at 84 Fed. Reg. 49600 (September 20, 2019).
  • In order to conform to the USTR’s intent to grant certain exclusion requests, Subparagraphs A(8–9) of the Annex make amendments to U.S. notes 20(v)(20) and 20(v)(37) to subchapter III of chapter 99 of the HTSUS, as set out in the annex of the notice published at 84 Fed. Reg. 49600 (September 20, 2019).

The third notice involves the $200 billion action. USTR established an exclusion process on June 24, 2019, for the $200 billion action. See 84 Fed. Reg. 29576 (the June 24 notice). The product exclusions announced in this notice will apply as of the September 24, 2018, effective date of the $200 billion action, to August 7, 2020. The amendment announced in this notice is retroactive to the date the original exclusion was published.

As set out in the Annex, the exclusions are reflected in 9 ten-digit HTSUS subheadings and 35 specially prepared product descriptions, which cover 75 separate exclusion requests.

In accordance with the June 24 notice, the exclusions are available for any product that meets the description in the Annex, regardless of whether the importer filed an exclusion request. Further, the scope of each exclusion is governed by the scope of the product descriptions in the Annex, and not by the product descriptions set out in any particular request for exclusion.

  • To correct a ministerial error and in order to conform to the USTR’s intent to grant an exclusion requested, the Annex to this notice also includes an amendment to a note in the HTSUS.
  • Paragraph A, subparagraphs (3)–(6) are conforming amendments to the HTSUS reflecting the modifications made by the Annex.
  • Paragraph B, subparagraph (1) is a ministerial correction of U.S. note 20(ll)(53) to subchapter III of chapter 99 of the HTSUS that modifies the product description value published in the annex to the notice published at 84 Fed. Reg. 57803 (October 28, 2019).
  • Paragraph B, subparagraphs (2)–(4), make conforming amendments to note 20(ll) published at 84 Fed. Reg. 57803 (October 28, 2019), note 20(mm) published at 84 Fed. Reg. 61674 (November 13, 2019), and note 20(nn) published at 84 Fed. Reg. 65882 (November 29, 2019).
  • As stated in the September 20, 2019 notice, the exclusions will apply from September 24, 2018, to August 7, 2020.

USTR will continue to issue determinations on a periodic basis as needed. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will issue instructions on entry guidance and implementation.