TEU Global has its knowledge resource available to assist its customers and others to apply for Section 301 Tariff refund for excluded items, track their applications status, and get all updates in a timely manner. There may be some confusion and perceived lack of information out there, but one can rest assured that our teams are quite aware of the latest developments and trends regarding additional duties imposed on Chinese products.


The Backdrop

Since July 2018, the US Government announced extra tariffs (Invoking Section 301 of Trade Act) on some 550 billion dollar worth of Chinese imports in 4 lists, so far the last of which was announced on September 1, 2019. From December 2018; the United States Trade Representative department started announcing Section 301 tariffs’ exemptions retrospectively from the date these tariffs were imposed on specific Chinese products to protect stakeholders facing extreme hardships due to the higher tariffs and so far a total of 24 exclusion lists have been issued, with the last one coming on March 6, 2020.  More exemptions might be coming.  Each exclusion list is valid up to one year from the issuance date and may get extended.

US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) issued guidelines in February 2019 for the importers to obtain the refunds in line with the USTR exclusion lists. TEU GLOBAL with experience and knowledge is following up on each update to facilitate customers and determine how much they stand to lose if they do not apply for tariff refunds.


The Challenges Faced by US Importers

Those who are calling TEU Global have raised the following major queries, with our short reply under each:


  • Section 301 Tariffs exemptions relate with tariffs payments in which years?

The exclusions relate with Section 301 Tariffs paid by importers in the years 2018 and 2019.


  • Are these USTR exclusion lists clear to understand?

Yes, these are clear to understand for TEU Global and we can explain.


  • Are my products included in the exclusion list, and is there a timeframe to apply for tariffs refunds?

Give us the descriptions of your products that you have imported from China in 2018 and 2019 and we will tell you if these have been granted exemptions along with the initiation dates and timeframe to apply.  Your product entries made before the initiation dates are not eligible for refund.  Please note, many exemption requests are still pending review by USTR and you must remain in touch with us for new exemption lists.


  • How can we apply for tariff refunds, if we still have time to apply, and we will need which documents to apply?

You will need to gather and submit entry documentations, which will include entry summaries, packing lists, pictures of the products you imported, etc.  Call us and we will assist you with all the documents that you are going to need to submit your refund application.


  • Same product was imported from different ports of entry into United States. Do we need to file just one refund claim for the product?

You will have to submit a refund claim for each port.


  • What happens if we have missed the opportunity to apply for refunds?

Call us and we will suggest the options available to you.


  • What happens when the exemption period is over?

The Section 301 Tariffs that were granted exemptions by USTR may or may not get extended by USTR.  We cannot say for sure.


  • Are more exclusion lists coming?

Yes but it is not certain what exemption requests are closer to being granted.


The Final Words

It is interesting to note that while USTR is being approached by large size (hence more affected in Dollar terms) companies importing from China, the exclusion lists being issued by USTR will benefit many smaller importers as well.

But ultimately the most important thing to remember is that when the granted exemptions’ time limit is over and no extensions are granted by USTR, the Section 301 Tariffs will be back.  Importers must not wait for the extensions of exemptions granted by USTR, and actively look for supply sources away from China.