On March 10, 2020, the US Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice announcing the USTR’s determination to grant the first set of exclusion requests from the $300 Bn action (Tranche 4A), which assessed initial additional duties of 15%, later reduced to 7.5%. On October 24, 2019, USTR established a process by which US stakeholders could request exclusion of particular products covered by List 1 of the $300 billion action (Tranche 4) from the additional duties. See 84 FR 57144 (the October 24 notice).

As set out in the Annex to the notice, the exclusions are reflected in eight 10-digit HTSUS subheadings, which cover 59 separate exclusion requests. In accordance with the October 24 notice, the exclusions are available for any ($300 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 10-digit HTSUS subheading as described in the Annex, and not by the product descriptions set out in any particular request for exclusion. The USTR docket shows that the exclusions were requested by several medical product distributors. Products covered by the exclusions include wipes, specimen container, medical gloves, disposable hospital linens, gowns and surgical masks.

As stated in the October 24 notice, the exclusions will apply from September 1, 2019, the effective date of the $300 billion action, and will extend for one year to September 1, 2020. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will issue instructions on entry guidance and implementation.

  • Annex Subparagraph A(1) inserts a new heading 9903.88.39 into the HTSUS
  • Subparagraph A(2) inserts a new U.S. note 20(rr) to subchapter III of chapter 99 in numerical sequence
  • Subparagraphs A(3) and A(4) make conforming amendments to US Note 20® and to 9903.88.15. Annex Subparagraph A(1) inserts a new heading 9903.88.39 into the HTSUS