Refunds could be coming for importers on Section 301 tariffs

By | 2022-08-08T01:10:04+00:00 August 8th, 2022|Imports, Legislation|

Relief could soon be coming from the Section 301 tariffs thanks to the forward progress of a case filed with the Court of International Trade in 2020. The tariffs are affecting hundreds of billions of dollars worth of certain US products imported from China.

If the case is successful, importers could receive refunds on all Section 301 tariffs paid on List 3 and List 4A goods.

Background – What are the Section 301 tariffs?

The Section 301 tariffs were introduced by the US government in 2017 in response to China’s trade policies, and the belief that the number of Chinese goods being imported into the US was too high compared to the number of American goods being exported to China.

As a result, corporations and manufacturers have faced tariffs of up to 25% on many of the goods they import from China. This has forced importers to decide whether to eat the cost, find new supply chains, or pass the cost on to customers.

Get more information about the Chinese import tariffs here.

Details of the case

According to an update from the international trade law firm Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg (ST&R), in 2020 a case was filed with the CIT arguing that, “the tariffs on List  and List 4A goods were imposed (1) in violation of the authority provided under the Trade Act of 1974 because there was no specific finding from the Office of the US Trade Representative on the impact of China’s actions on US trade, and (2) in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act because USTR failed to allow sufficient time and process for notice and comment and failed to adequately respond to the thousands of comments received.”

In April of this year, the CIT request an explanation from the US Trade Representative (USTR) of why it imposed the List 3 and 4A tariffs and how it addressed the comments. The USTR filed its 90-page response on Aug. 1. The CIT is expected to conclude its review and issue a decision sometime in fall, 2022.

Are you affected by the Section 301 tariffs? Here’s how to file a claim to receive your potential refund

If you’re an importer affected by Section 301 tariffs, there is still time to join the case and file your claim to receive the possible refunds. For more information or for assistance filing your claim, you can contact ST&R attorneys Larry Ordet, Lenny Feldman, Rob DeCamp, or David Cohen at [email protected].

In the meantime, you can also read our article with tips on how to manage the impact of the tariffs on your bottom line.

No announcement on when the Section 301 tariffs will be sunset

ST&R also provided an update on the USTR’s sunset review of the Section 301 tariffs. Although an announcement on whether Section 301 tariffs would be continued or lifted was expected around July 5, there has still not been any formal announcement from the USTR.

To stay informed on news relating to tariffs, importing, and other important updates, stay connected with a customs broker.