FINALLY – What We’ve All Been Waiting for – the Exclusion Process for the 3rd Tranche!!

February 19, 2019

February 15, 2019 was a busy day for the President. He instituted a national emergency to fund a wall, signed a bill to avoid another governmental shutdown AND more importantly signed a mini-Omnibus bill (H.J. Resolution 31), providing that the USTR establish an exclusion process for the over 6,000 tariff items on List/Tranche 3! 

When will the exclusion process start? When will instructions be published? The short answer to both questions is sometime between now and March 17, 2019. The USTR has 30 days from the signing of the bill to meet with various governmental committees to formulate the process. It is expected that the process will follow that of List 1 and 2. The wild card will be what additional information will need to be submitted to support the exclusion request. 

Time to start gathering data and preparing information – most importantly – why can the product only be produced in China? Be sure to research if there are U.S. or other country producers. The exclusion denials that have been issued are generic: “your request was denied because the request failed to show that this particular product is available only from China,” “your request was denied because the request did not contain a sufficient product identification or was determined to be non-administrable,” “your request was denied because the request failed to show that the imposition of additional duties on the particular product would cause severe economic harm to you or other U.S. interests.”

Approvals are equally as vague:

The scope of the exclusion is governed by the formal HTSUS language in the annex to the product exclusion notice, and not by the product descriptions set out in any particular request for exclusion. An exclusion responsive to your request has been granted by excluding from the additional tariffs the 10-digit HTSUS subheading under which your request was filed.

The exclusion process is expected to follow that of List 1 and 2. The information required for the exclusion request has yet to be determined.

The final list 3 was published in the Federal Register on September 21, 2018. Further information can be found on our website.


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 © 2019 by Tuttle Law Offices.  

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