On October 11, 2019, the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) formally launched the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) Portal for the 2019 cycle. On the same day, the Commission published a notice in the Federal Register requesting members of the public to submit petitions for a temporary suspension or reduction on import duties of specified raw materials and intermediate products used in manufacturing that are not produced or available domestically.
The process was established by the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016 and is intended to provide an economic boost to American companies. Petitioners have until December 10, 2019, at 5:15 p.m., EST to apply for duty suspensions and reductions.
In the 2016 cycle, the ITC received a total of 3,162 petitions during the 60-day petition submission period and a total of 1,655 provisions were included in the MTB Act of 2018 approved by Congress.
All approved provisions will expire on December 31, 2020 and importers currently using a Chapter 99 duty suspension or reduction will need to file a renewal. The 2019 MTB cycle lacks firm dates beyond the December 10th closing of the portal, however the ITC has announced a general timeline. There will be a 45-day public commenting window that will stretch over January and February of 2020. Next, the Department of Commerce will deliver a report to Congress with an expected date sometime in April 2020. Finally, the ITC will take into account Commerce’s input to produce a preliminary report in June 2020 and a final report in August 2020. If signed into law, approved MTB petitions become effective January 1, 2021, with an expiration date of December 31, 2024.
The ITC has published the rules and process for filing petitions, which are available at 19 C.F.R. part 220 and in a handbook found on the MTB website. Below is a list of the required contents of a petition:
(a) The name, telephone number, and postal and email address of the petitioner, and if appropriate, its representative in the matter;
(b) A statement as to whether the petitioner is requesting an extension of an existing duty suspension or reduction or a new duty suspension or reduction; and if a duty reduction, the amount of the reduction;
(c) A certification that the petitioner is a likely beneficiary of the proposed duty suspension or reduction;
(d) An article description that meets the requirements of §220.6 for the proposed duty suspension or reduction and identifies the permanent classification of the article in chapters 1-97 of the HTS and the Chemical Abstracts Service registry number (if applicable);
(e) To the extent available—
(1) A classification ruling of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that indicates CBP’s classification of the article; and
(2) A copy of other CBP documentation indicating where the article is classified in the HTS.
(f) A brief and general description of the article and its uses, and the names of the principal countries from which it is imported.
(g) A brief description of the industry in the United States that uses the article.
(h) For each HTS number included in the article description:
(1) An estimate of the total and dutiable value (in United States dollars) of imports of the article covered by the petition for the calendar year preceding the year in which the petition is filed, for the calendar year in which the petition is filed, and for each of the 5 calendar years after the calendar year in which the petition is filed, including an estimate of the value of such imports by the person who submits the petition and by any other importers, if available.
(2) An estimate of the share of total imports represented by the petitioner’s imports of the article that is the subject of the petition.
(i) The name of each person that imports the article, if available.
(j) The names of any domestic producers of the article, if available.
(k) A Commission disclosure form as defined in §220.2(d).
(l) The names of any likely beneficiaries, and their contact information.
(m) A certification that the petitioner has not separately filed, and has not withdrawn, a petition for duty suspension or reduction during the current filing cycle:
(1) For an article that is identical to that in the current petition;
(2) For an article whose article description includes the article covered by the current petition; or
(3) For an article that is included in the scope of the current petition.
(n) A certification from the petitioner that the information supplied is complete and correct to the best of the petitioner’s knowledge and belief, and an acknowledgement from the petitioner that the information submitted is subject to audit and verification by the Commission.
(o) Such other information as the Commission may require.