The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has issued a Federal Register notice exempting from List 4 (imported Chinese products with an annual trade value of $300 billion) of the Section 301 tariffs targeting China eight entire 10-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) subheadings that cover 59 separate exclusion requests. While there is no reference in the notice, the scope of these exclusions covers medical supplies and items to help curb the spread of the coronavirus that may be in short supply. Products covered by these exclusions include soaps, sanitary wipes, medical gloves, disposable hospital linens, gowns and surgical masks. The eight excluded HTS subheadings are:
- 3401.19.0000 – Soap; organic surface-active products and preparations for use as soap, in the form of bars, cakes, molded pieces or shapes, whether or not containing soap; organic surface-active products and preparations for washing the skin, in the form of liquid or cream and put up for retail sale, whether or not containing soap; paper, wadding, felt and nonwovens, impregnated, coated or covered with soap or detergent: Soap and organic surface-active products and preparations, in the form of bars, cakes, molded pieces or shapes, and paper, wadding, felt and nonwovens, impregnated, coated or covered with soap or detergent: Other.
- 3926.90.9910 – Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914: Other: Other: Laboratory Ware.
- 4015.19.0510 – Articles of apparel and clothing accessories (including gloves, mittens and mitts), for all purposes, of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber: Other: Medical, of natural rubber.
- 4015.19.0550 – Articles of apparel and clothing accessories (including gloves, mittens and mitts), for all purposes, of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber: Other: Medical: Other.
- 4818.90.0000 – Toilet paper and similar paper, cellulose wadding or webs of cellulose fibers, of a kind used for household or sanitary purposes, in rolls of a width not exceeding 36 cm, or cut to size or shape; handkerchiefs, cleansing tissues, towels, tablecloths, table napkins, bed sheets and similar household, sanitary or hospital articles, articles of apparel and clothing accessories, of paper pulp, paper, cellulose wadding or webs of cellulose fibers: Other.
- 6210.10.5000 – Garments, made up of fabrics of heading 5602, 5603, 5903, 5906 or 5907: Of fabrics of heading 5602 or 5603: Nonwoven disposable apparel designed for use in hospitals, clinics, laboratories or contaminated areas.
- 6307.90.6090 – Other made up articles, including dress patterns: Other: Surgical drapes: Other.
- 6307.90.6800 – Other made up articles, including dress patterns: Other: Spunlaced or bonded fiber fabric disposable surgical drapes of man-made fibers.
These product exclusions apply retroactively to September 1, 2019 and will remain in effect until September 1, 2020. These exclusions apply to any product that satisfies the description in the annex of the Federal Register notice, regardless of whether the company using the exclusion filed the request. Each exclusion is governed by the scope of the HTS heading and the product description appearing in the annex of the exclusion notice; it is not governed by the product description set out in any particular exclusion request. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will soon issue instructions on entry guidance and implementation. The USTR will continue to issue determinations on pending requests on a periodic basis.