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The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill – A Duty Reduction Opportunity for Chemical Importers

Beginning October 11, 2019, importers can submit a petition to the International Trade Commission (ITC) to reduce or suspend the duties of imported materials for three years. The 2019 Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) petition cycle is intended to reduce or remove duties on goods where no U.S.-made equivalent is available. The opportunity to submit a petition is open until December 10, 2019, after which it will close for three more years.

The ITC reviews the petitions and sends a report to Congress, which becomes the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill and must be passed into law in order to go into effect.

During the 2016 MTB cycle, NACD submitted comments in support of 103 MTB petitions, 78 of which were ultimately approved and passed in the final bill. For the 2019 cycle, we expect to be just as active in supporting petitions for NACD members.

There are currently over 1,600 duty suspensions and reductions in place, all of which expire December 31, 2020. For these duty suspensions and reductions to be renewed, a company must petition for renewal. Any likely beneficiary of duty relief may petition for a renewal or submit an entirely new petition.   

Submitting A Successful Petition

Interested parties can submit a petition on the ITC’s website. The main criteria for a successful MTB petition are:

  • The MTB should not result in more than $500,000 in lost revenue to the U.S. government in a calendar year, and
  • There is no domestic manufacturing of that product.

Another important part of the petition is the written article description. It’s important to focus on visible physical characteristics of the product and use only metric units of measurement. For chemicals, the CAS Number should also be included. The ITC recommends creating “a verbal snapshot that distinguishes your product at the dock from others in the same tariff provision.”

For example, if you want to create a petition for HTS Code 2825.60.00 - Germanium oxides and zirconium dioxide, it’s not enough to write “Germanium dioxide” for the article description. A good article description would read “Germanium dioxide, powder form (CAS No. 1310-53-8) (provided for in subheading 2825.60.00).”

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I take advantage of another company’s successful petition(s)?

Yes – but only if your imported article matches the article description in the successful petition.

2. Should I wait to see if another company has filed a petition matching my product description before I use the time and resources to file a petition myself?

Probably – The ITC plans to post received petitions one or two business days after receipt. The ITC states, “Before filing a petition, you should carefully review the list of filed petitions as they are made available on the Commission’s website for identity or overlap with the petition you plan to file.”

3. Does the MTB apply to products covered by China 301 tariffs?

Yes – There are several goods that are currently reduced in duty rate due to the MTB, but the China 301 duty rate is added back on top of the reduced rate.

For example, HTS code 2825.60.00 Germanium oxides and zirconium dioxide has a general duty rate of 3.7%. The 2016 MTB reduced the duty rate to 0%. Subsequently, HTS code 2825.60.00 was included on the China 301 List 3, increasing its duty rate by 25%. Therefore, the current duty rate is 25%.

Other Resources

The ITC website contains the following resources, which may be helpful to NACD members:

I highly encourage NACD members to take advantage of this triennial opportunity for duty reduction. For answers to your questions, please reach out to me at atuszynski@nacd.com.

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