Government shutdown delays Customs release of Section 301 tariff exclusion guidance

7 January 2019 4:05pm

31 December 2018. By Kat Lucero.

The US Customs and Border Protection said today it won’t be able to provide instructions for companies eligible to get a Section 301 tariff exclusion until the partial government shutdown ends.

On Dec. 28, the Office of the US Trade Representative granted its first set of product exemptions from the 25 percent tariff on Chinese imports that have an annual trade value of approximately $34 billion, imposed under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. USTR had imposed the duties in July on $34 billion worth of goods from China as part of its push to address longstanding concerns about China’s policies on intellectual property, innovation and technology transfer.

The government shutdown, however, closed operations Dec. 22 at the CBP, which administers all duties on imports, including the tariffs on Chinese goods.

The agency also announced that any updates to its automated customs environment, or ACE, will also be “implemented 10 days after the shutdown has concluded." Companies report imports and exports to ACE, a commercial trade system designed to automate border processing, and the government determines their admissibility.

The partial shutdown, which began Dec. 22, is largely due to Congress and President Donald Trump’s disagreement over funding for a US-Mexico border wall.