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U.S. customs duties on medical-care products from China, related to coronavirus (COVID-19)

U.S. customs duties on medical-care products from China

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative today released for publication in the Federal Register a notice and request for comments on possible changes to the Section 301 investigation of China and possible removal of medical-care products needed to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic from customs duties.


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As noted in the USTR release [PDF 275 KB], comments are being requested on possible further modifications to remove customs duties from additional medical-care products. The comment period will remain open until June 25, 2020.

In an effort to address the COVID-19 situation, the USTR is requesting that companies submit comments seeking removal of Section 301 tariffs from medical-care products. The comments are to specifically address how the product is used in responding to COVID-19, and this may include: (1) whether it is used directly to treat COVID-19 or to limit the outbreak; and/or (2) whether it is used in the production of medical products.

The USTR would also like for these comments to provide physical descriptions, such as functionality and physical characteristics, and the 10-digit Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) number.

The USTR release notes that information regarding the producer, importer, ultimate consumer or trademarks/names is permissible but not necessary.

KPMG observation

The comment period will remain open until June 25 and the USTR stated it will review comments on a rolling basis; however, trade and customs professionals expect that the USTR will not wait for the comment period to close before making determinations. The USTR’s action may provide an opportunity for companies in the life-science sector to obtain tariff relief from Section 301 customs duties. The notice indicates that relief is not dependent on imports of finished goods—components will also be considered for an exclusion.

For more information on this topic or to learn more about KPMG’s Trade & Customs Services, contact:

Doug Zuvich
Partner and Global Practice Leader
T: 312-665-1022

John L. McLoughlin
Principal and East Coast Leader
T: 267-256-2614

Andy Siciliano
Partner and National Practice Leader
T: 631-425-6057

Steve Brotherton
Principal and Global Export and Sanctions Leader
T: 415-963-7861

Luis (Lou) Abad
Principal, Washington National Tax
T: 212-954-3094

Irina Vaysfeld
T: 212-872-2973

Amie Ahanchian
T: 202-533-3247

Christopher Young
T: 312-665-3229

Gisele Belotto
Managing Director
T: 305-913-2779

George Zaharatos
T: 404-222-3292

Andy Doornaert
Managing Director
T: 313-230-3080

Jessica Libby
Managing Director
T: 612-305-5533

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