In an April 26, 2021 Federal Register notice, the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) announced a technical amendment to the exclusions issued under China 301 List 3.

By way of background, the China 301 List 3 tariff assessment increased from 10% to 25%, effective May 10, 2019.  The USTR had created an “on the water” grace period such that the 10% rate would apply to goods exported from China before May 10, 2019, that entered the U.S. after May 10, 2019 and before June 15, 2019.

In establishing China 301 List 3 exclusions, the USTR did not make explicit reference to the Chapter 99 provision covering goods covered by the above “on the water” grace period.  Its new notice corrects this error.  In theory, importers of goods that were shipped during this period that did not receive the benefit of an applicable exclusion due to this error may seek a refund.

However, the notice provides that the technical correction only applies to entries of goods that are either not liquidated or whose liquidation is not final (i.e., 180 days from liquidation).  As a practical matter, barring unusual circumstances (extension of liquidation, pending protest, etc.), the liquidation of an entry made in June 2019 may already be final.

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