New Round of Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Process for Potential Tariff Suspensions and Reductions to Open on October 11

The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) process allows companies to request temporary suspensions or reductions of Normal Trade Relations (NTR) tariffs on certain imported products for which no or insufficient “domestic” production and supply exist. Note that the MTB does not suspend or reduce “additional tariffs” such as antidumping/countervailing duties or Section 301 tariffs on Chinese-origin goods.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) will start accepting new MTB petitions for temporary tariff suspensions or reductions on October 11, 2019, through December 10, 2019. Petitions may include a request for a continuation of previously-granted petitions under the most recent MTB process, which will expire December 31, 2020.

Information required in an MTB petition includes but is not limited to:

  • A description and a Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) classification of the merchandise at issue.
  • An election of either a temporary duty suspension or a temporary duty reduction (including the requested duty rate).
  • A brief description of the U.S. industry using the merchandise at issue.
  • Countries from which the subject merchandise is being imported.
  • The estimated imports of the subject merchandise from 2018 through 2024.
  • Whether any competitive domestic merchandise exists.

In addition, petitioners must be able to demonstrate that they will likely be the beneficiaries of the requested duty suspensions or reductions. All petitions and comments must be submitted through the ITC’s online portal, the MTB Petition System or MTBPS.

The ITC will evaluate each petition against several criteria, including whether it contains the correct HTSUS classification, as well as clear and narrow language describing the subject merchandise in a manner that allows U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, to administer the applicable duty suspensions or reductions. The ITC will publish all petitions containing the required information on its website by approximately January 10, 2020.  After holding a 45-day public comment period, the ITC will send a final list of approved petitions to Congress for potential inclusion in an MTB bill expected to pass by the fall of 2020. Congress can remove items in the ITC-approved petitions from the MTB but cannot add items. Each approved duty modification can result in savings of up to $500,000 per year.  Once the MTB passes Congress, such duty suspensions or reductions will be made available to any importers of the subject merchandise that fall within the description in the approved petition.

Companies wishing to take advantage of the MTB process and explore strategies to maximizing duty savings should contact the following BDO Customs and International Trade Services professionals.