USTR Announces China Section 301 Tariff Exclusion Request Process

July 10, 2018

On July 6, 2018 Section 301 tariffs went into effect on Chinese imports made under the Annex A (formerly “List 1”) products. In a July 6 press release the USTR announced its process for companies to request exclusions for a particular product from the additional tariffs. While the Federal Register notice has yet to be published, a draft of the Federal Register notice containing more detailed information can be viewed here.

Information to be provided to support a request includes:

  • Identification of the particular product in terms of the physical characteristics (e.g., dimensions, material composition, or other characteristics) that distinguish it from other products within the covered 8-digit subheading. (The USTR will not consider requests that identify the product at issue in terms of the identity of the producer, importer, ultimate consumer, actual use or chief use, or trademarks or tradenames, or requests that identify the product using criteria that cannot be made available to the public.)
  • The 10-digit subheading of the HTSUS applicable to the particular product requested for exclusion.
  • requesters must provide the annual quantity and value of the Chinese-origin product that the requester purchased in each of the last three years. (For trade association requesters, please provide such information based on your members’ data.) If precise annual quantity and value information are not available, please provide an estimate and explain the basis for the estimation.
  • Whether the particular product is available only from China. In addressing this factor, requesters should address specifically whether the particular product and/or a comparable product is available from sources in the United States and/or in third countries.
  • Whether the imposition of additional duties on the particular product would cause severe economic harm to the requester or other U.S. interests.
  • Whether the particular product is strategically important or related to “Made in China 2025” or other Chinese industrial programs.
  • requesters may also provide any other information or data that they consider relevant to an evaluation of the request.
  • Any request that contains business confidential information must be accompanied by a public version. The public version will be posted on

All requests, responses, replies will be filed on under document ID USTR-2018-0025-001. Once the Federal Register notice is published the forms will be accessible through the portal. 

In making its determination, the USTR may consider:

  • Whether the product is available from a source outside of China,
  • Whether additional duties would cause severe economic harm to requester or other U.S. sources, and
  • Whether the particular product is important or related to Chinese industrial programs, including “Made in China 2025.”

Exclusions will be made on a product and will apply to all imports of the product, regardless of whether the importer filed the request.

Important dates:

  • The public will have 90 days to file a request for a product exclusion; the request period will end on October 9, 2018.
  • Following public posting of the filed request on, the public will have 14 days to file responses to the request for product exclusion.  After the close of the 14-day response period, interested persons will have an additional 7 days to reply to any responses received in support of or opposition to the request.
  • Exclusions will be effective for one year upon the publication of the exclusion determination in the Federal Register, and will apply retroactively to July 6, 2018.

Once the Federal Register notice is published the forms will be accessible through the portal.

List 2 Products

List 2 products continue through the notice and comment process, with the following time line:

  • 06/29/2018 - was the due date to request to appear and submit a summary of testimony and filing pre-hearing submissions.
  • 07/20/2018 - due date for written comments.
  • 07/24/2018 - public hearing
  • 07/31/2018 - due date for submission of post-hearing rebuttal comments.

A similar exclusion process is expected for List 2 products, once it is finalized.

For further information or questions about this and other customs issues, contact George R. Tuttle, III at or at (415) 986-8780.


George R. Tuttle, III is an attorney with the Law Offices of George R. Tuttle in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The information in this article is general in nature, and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship with respect to any event or occurrence, and may not be considered as such.

Copyright © 2018 by Tuttle Law Offices.  

All rights reserved.  Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable.  However, because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by our offices or by others, we do not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any information and are not responsible for any errors, omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of such information.


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