Alerts and Updates

USTR Offers New Section 301 Exclusions for COVID-19 Medical Products

March 31, 2020

Since the docket is now open, interested parties should submit comments as soon as possible.

Since our previous two Alerts, on March 13 and 20, describing actions taken in recent weeks by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to exclude numerous medical products imported from China from Section 301 tariffs, the USTR has announced it will accept new Section 301 exclusion requests relating to other products that can be used in the battle against the coronavirus (COVID-19). Such exclusion requests can be submitted for any product that can be used to address the COVID-19 pandemic that has not yet been granted by the USTR, including products with previously denied or currently pending exclusion requests, as well as for products for which requests have not been filed.

On March 25, 2020, the USTR announced it was immediately opening a docket to receive public comments on possible additional medical-care products for which Section 301 exclusions could be granted. The docket will remain open at least until June 25, 2020, and may be extended. Since the docket is now open, interested parties should submit comments as soon as possible, given that the USTR is likely to grant exclusions on a rolling basis as it has done in the past.

Exclusion requests should identify the particular product of concern and its applicable HTSUS number and should explain how the product can be used to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Products may be end-use products or items used in the production of certain medical-care products. Additional guidance on submitting exclusions requests can be found in the Federal Register notice.

About Duane Morris

Attorneys in the firm’s International Group have considerable experience in assisting clients in developing duty-saving strategies. Toward this end, Duane Morris attorneys have prepared numerous Section 301 product exclusion requests that have been granted by the USTR, and they have experience in assisting clients in filing submissions, including protests, with Customs and Border Protection to obtain refunds on Section 301 duties that had previously been paid prior to the product exclusions being granted by the USTR.

Furthermore, the Duane Morris COVID-19 Strategy Team is advising clients on all aspects of the legal issues and implications of COVID-19 including contractual, employment, insurance, healthcare, government contract, and international trade and supply chain issues. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For More Information

If you would like further information about this Alert or the procedures for seeking refunds from CBP relating to Section 301 product exclusions or seeking to have Section 301 product exclusions be extended, please contact Michael E. Barnicle, Geoffrey M. Goodale, Brian S. Goldstein, J. Manly Parks, Patrick C. Gallagher, Ph.D., Nathan B. Reeder, any of the attorneys in our International Group, any member of the COVID-19 Strategy Team or the attorney in the firm with whom you are in regular contact.

Disclaimer: This Alert has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice. For more information, please see the firm's full disclaimer.