November 2018 Compliance Circular: MTB H.R. 4318 A Break For Importers!

November 2018 Compliance Circular: MTB H.R. 4318 A Break For Importers!

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While the trade world has been focusing on the S232 and S301 remedy tariffs, the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill of 2018 has been quietly implemented. This has allowed for a temporary reduction or suspension of import tariffs paid on particular imported items into the United States.

With the expiration of the last Miscellaneous Tariff Bill of 2010 on December 31, 2012, US manufacturers began to request that Congress pursue a new MTB to help reduce manufacturing costs, thus making their products more competitive in the global marketplace. Congress established the American Manufacturing and Competitiveness Act of 2016, which opened the door to a new MTB in 2017.

See Full MTB 2018 List

The criteria for consideration in the MTB stated that the duty suspension must be noncontroversial (no domestic producer or Member objections); revenue-neutral (duty relief would not amount to any more than $500,000 per product per calendar year) and that the duty suspension could be administered by US Customs and Border Protection.

Congress Establishes Three-Step Process

Congress created a three step process for U.S. Manufacturers to petition to be included in the MTB 2017:

  1.  Companies filed petitions with the International Trade Commission, stating that their commodity met the criteria for MTB consideration.  Those petitions were opened for public comment and then analysis by the ITC.
  2. The ITC then produced a public report to Congress with its findings and recommendations.
  3. The Ways and Means Committee examined the ITC report and drafted legislation based on the report.

The ITC provided Congress a final report in August 2017, which included 1800 petitions of the original 2500 petitions, covering 1600 products. The House of Representatives passed the legislation in January 2018 with a vote of 402 – 0 in favor.

In July of 2018, the Senate passed the Miscellaneous Tariff  bill Act of 2018. This cut or eliminated tariffs on a wide variety of articles from food stuff to chemicals to footwear and toasters from all countries of origin. The Administration then signed the MTB Act of 2018 into law on September 13, 2018, starting the 30 day clock for implementation.

On October 13, 2018, 1660 items began to receive the benefit of reduced or eliminated duty through the MTB 2018 and will receive that benefit through December 31, 2020. Approximately 25 percent of those items are subject to the S301 remedy tariffs of 10 percent (25 percent if they originate in China). If there is a List 4 for S301 tariffs in the future, at least 1000 more of the items could be subject to the potential List 4 S301 remedy tariffs if imported from China.

Where Can I Find More Information About MTB?

The following are resources you can use to learn more about different aspects of MTB:

For additional information about MTB 2018 and how it could affect you, please contact our Compliance department for further details.

*Disclaimer: the normal classification / MTB HTS cross comparison list is compiled from multiple sources and should not be viewed as validated by any government entity. The list is not legally binding. It is strictly advisory and to be used as a tool only, not binding in a court of law.


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