The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Announces Delayed September Tariffs for Some Chinese Imports

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced this morning that it will exclude some Chinese imports from 10 percent tariffs and delay duties on others until mid-December 2019.

Most of the Section 301 tariffs will go into effect on Sept. 1, as announced by President Trump earlier this month, however “Certain products are being removed from the tariff list based on health, safety, national security and other factors and will not face additional tariffs of 10 percent,” USTR said in a statement.

“Further, as part of USTR’s public comment and hearing process, it was determined that the tariff should be delayed to December 15 for certain articles,” the statement added. “Products in this group include, for example, cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing.”

The USTR is conducting an exclusion process for products and will provide details today on the USTR’s website as well as in the Federal Register.

The full USTR press release can be found here.

China Holiday Preparation

Hong Kong and China National Holidays

As a friendly reminder, China’s National Holidays and Mid-Autumn Festivals are just around the corner.  Most of the factories in Hong Kong and China will be closed in observation of the holidays September 13-15 and from October 1, 2019 to October 7, 2019.

An overall increase of export bookings in Asia is anticipated considering the September 1 tariff increases, as well as in preparation for the 2019 holiday shopping season.   South East World Wide, Ltd., as always, will do its best to maintain capacity, but we encourage you to book shipments as early as possible to avoid shipping delays.   Please remain in close contact with your local SEWW representatives to keep them informed of any urgent shipments.

Also note:  Chinese New Year ‘YEAR OF THE RAT’ begins January 25, 2020 and will last for 15 days.

If you have not done so already, please plan and prepare for space/shutdown related issues.  Customers should advise their Production Schedule and pre-book their freight to ensure space is secured.

South East World Wide is committed to keeping our customers informed and updated with any breaking news relevant to logistics.  We will continue to keep you posted on any future updates as it relates to international logistics.

If you have any questions concerning how the upcoming holidays may impact you and/or your business please give your local South East World Wide, Ltd. Sales Representative a call.

ITC Online HTS Reference Tool-A Valuable Resource

Reminder or News to You?

Maybe you have forgotten or perhaps you didn’t know, on November 20, 2008, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs, CBP) published Cargo Systems Messaging Service (CSMS) message #08-000315 announcing that a new tool is available for referencing the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) online. The tool is published and maintained by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).

In today’s volatile international trade market, you can never have enough tools in your tool box!

One of the key features of the HTS reference tool is the ability for users “to jump from an item to the related chapter 99 item showing temporary and seasonal rates when needed.” Hyperlinks on certain tariff numbers also allow users to immediately access the Customs Rulings Online Search System (CROSS) for help in locating any rulings related to the selected tariff number.

The tool also allows searches, including by CAS numbers and has a thesaurus feature which allows searches by modern terms for products. Other buttons on the interface allow ready access to chapter notes, and a print-friendly version of the HTS.

The HTS Online Reference Tool can be accessed online here

Please contact your local South East World Wide, Ltd. Sales Representative to learn more about this article and/or to discuss any other ongoing challenge you may be facing in managing your inbound freight.

CBP Increases Custom User Fees for FY2020

CBP reviews annually and determines if certain user fees and limitations established by the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) shall be adjusted for inflation. For the FY2020, CBP has determined that the factor by which the base fees and limitations will be adjusted is 7.167% and are required as of October 1, 2019.

The MPF minimum/maximum will be increased to $26.79/$519.76 (up from $26.22/$508.70).

For information on MPF, click here.

The full UPDATED list of fees and changes can be found here.

After reviewing the Federal Register Action Notice, if you have any questions regarding these fees and limitations, please contact you South East World Wide, Ltd. Sales Representative.

Section 301 Tariffs Exclusions for List 3 Goods from China

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has announced the first exclusions for List 3 goods. It is important to note that these exclusions cover 10 specially prepared product descriptions that reflect 15 exclusion requests.

The USTR will continue to accept exclusion requests for List 3 goods until Sept. 30, 2019.

Exclusions for the products are said to be retroactive to Sept. 24, 2018, and will remain in place for one year after publication in the Federal Register. They must be claimed using new HTSUS subheading 9903.88.13.

We encourage all importers to review the list carefully to determine the scope of each exclusion.

Please find the list here. List 3 Exclusions

If you have any questions regarding the Section 301 Tariffs or the Exclusions, please contact your South East World Wide, Ltd. Sales Representative.

Section 301 Tariffs Exclusions for List 2 Goods from China

The first list of products excluded from the Section 301 additional 25 percent tariff on goods from China have been announced by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

The exclusions are said to be retroactive to Aug. 23, 2018 until approximately July 31, 2020. They must be claimed using new HTSUS subheading 9903.88.12.

We encourage all importers to review the list carefully to determine the scope of each exclusion.

Please find the list here. List 2 Exclusions

If you have any questions regarding the Section 301 Tariffs or the Exclusions, please contact your South East World Wide, Ltd. Sales Representative.

Section 301 Tariffs on Goods from China; List 4

Effective September 1, 2019, President Trump announced he will impose an additional 10 percent tariff on virtually all of the remaining $300 billion worth of goods imported from China that are not already subject to Section 301 tariffs (List 4 goods).

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has advised that the list covers all apparel, footwear, and manufactured textile products, among others, but excludes pharmaceuticals, certain pharmaceutical inputs, select medical goods, rare earth materials, and critical minerals.

Additional information will be posted here as it is released but you can stay up to date by watching the Federal Register and the USTR websites.

A Federal Register notice providing additional clarifying details is expected shortly.

Tropical Cyclone Barry Affecting New Orleans Area Operations

Tropical Cyclone Barry Update

 Terminal Operations:
Container Terminal operations closed early Thursday July 11, 2019.

The Container Terminals will be closed today Friday July 12, due to floodgate closures.

The Container Terminals are not accepting any live reefer/hazardous cargo currently.

Rail Update:
Union Pacific Railroad: Effective immediately, the Union Pacific is issuing an embargo for the Avondale and New Orleans, Louisiana regions. The embargo is the result of tropical storm Barry and the impending hurricane along the Louisiana Gulf Coast. As such and effective immediately, the Union Pacific's Avondale, Louisiana intermodal terminal will be closed until further notice.

Norfolk Southern: - The New Orleans Intermodal Facility is experiencing flooding and employees have been evacuated. The facility will remain closed until the flooding dissipates and the terminal and local roads are deemed safe. All shipments billed for movement from New Orleans will experience departure delays and free time will be extended on shipments that are at destination.

As Tropical Storm 2 nears land it may become necessary to restrict shipments ingating at origin points destined to New Orleans. Norfolk Southern will continue to closely monitor the storm and will provide updates as it progresses.

As affected Customer, you are strongly advised to review local forecasts and Department of Transportation information for updates regarding local road conditions in the impacted areas.

CN - Canadian National Railway Terminal closed, CN service in/out of terminals has ceased.

Please review with your South East World Wide, Ltd. Sales Representative how these operational changes will affect your cargoes.

USTR Announces Process for Section 301 Exclusion Request for Third Round of Tariffs on China

On June 24, 2019, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced the process for seeking exclusions from additional 25% tariffs imposed under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 on the third list of products from China (List 3) targeted by the Trump Administration. The goods included on List 3 have an import value of approximately $200 billion. The 25% tariffs apply to List 3 goods exported from China on or after May 10, 2019.

USTR will open a web portal for the submission of List 3 exclusion requests on June 30, 2019, at 12 p.m. EST at This differs from the exclusion process for Lists 1 and 2, which were conducted through the website. As with Lists 1 and 2, List 3 exclusion requests must be submitted using the form provided by USTR. The form, detailing the required information, is attached to the June 24, 2019 Federal Register notice.

Please visit the USTR announcement for further details.

Note: The deadline for submitting List 3 exclusion requests is Sept. 30, 2019. Those wishing to respond to an individual request will have 14 days after the request is posted to the USTR online portal.

If you have any questions pertaining to this announcement, please contact your South East World Wide, Ltd. Sales Representative.

MSC loses ‘low-risk’ carrier status after US drugs raid

As reported by Lloyd’s List, June 29, 2019 by Cichen Shen, ‘MEDITERRANEAN Shipping Co has had a key US customs designation suspended after drugs valued at $1bn were seized on one of its vessels at the Port of Philadelphia.

The US Attorney’s Office has described the 16.5 tonnes of cocaine found in seven containers on the 3,398 teu MSC Gayane asthe largest drug seizure in the history of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

US customs authorities have now suspended MSC’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism certificate, which is granted to shipping lines deemed low risk. “CTPAT members are considered to be low risk and less likely to have cargo examined at a US port of entry,” said the Danish line, which is itself a CTPAT member.’

MSC has acknowledged the situation in a posting on their website on June 18, 2019. They have declared they are taking the matter ‘very seriously’ and are cooperating with authorities. Although it has not been confirmed by CBP, MSC advised customers to expect only minor disruptions in service such as possible additional inspections on traffic lanes from Central and South America to the United States.

If you have any questions how this may effect your cargo on this carrier, please contact your SEWW Sales Representative.

Notice Regarding Application of Section 301 Action

The Office of the United States Trade Representative intends to publish a notice in the Federal Register next week that extends the amount of time certain goods exported from China have to enter the United States before they will be subject to an additional tariff increase from 10 percent to 25 percent.


Covered products that were exported from China to the United States prior to May 10, 2019 will remain subject to an additional 10 percent tariff if they enter into the U.S. before June 15, 2019. Originally, the deadline to enter the U.S. before the goods would be subject to an additional 25 percent tariff was June 1, 2019.


This limited extension will further account for customs enforcement factors and the transit time between China and the United States by sea.


You may contact your South East World Wide, Ltd. Sales Representative for more information.


Additionally, you may wish to bookmark this link for future updates from the USTR.

U.S. CBP releases information on the effective date of Section 301 Tariffs on goods of Chinese Origin

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued guidance on the effective date of duty increase for Section 301 tariffs on goods of Chinese Origin.

The increase in duty from 10% to 25% will go into effect on May 10, 2019 for goods entered for consumption, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption and exported to the U.S. after 12:01 a.m. eastern standard time on May 10, 2019. According to CBP, any goods exported prior to May 10 and entered for consumption on or after May 10, will still be subject to the 10% rate of duty.

Currently CBP’s system is programmed to calculate duty at 25% on goods arriving on or after May 10, 2019. CBP is suggesting two options for importers with shipments that may be eligible for the 10% duty rate:

  1. Importers may pay the 25% duty rate and file a Post Summary Correction when filing instructions become available for 10% duty rate;

  2. Importers may delay filing the entry summary during the standard ten-day entry summary filing period until the additional instructions become available.

Further information can be found at the USTR’s website by clicking here.

Further information can be found at the Federal Register Notice by clicking here

Trump threatens increased tariff on Chinese goods (Sect 301), as soon as May 10, 2019

Although no official statement has been released, various media outlets and The President has tweeted the threat of the Section 301 tariffs to be implemented, and can be as soon as May 10, 2019. Goods on this list, currently at 10% duty, will increase to 25% if the news becomes official.


Please speak with your Sales Representative to obtain further information regarding the tariffs and their possible implementation.

NOTE: All entries subject to List 3 assessment after the increase will require prepayment of duty. Importers enrolled in the ACH direct program with CBP will not face this additional challenge.

The complete Federal Register notice can be found here.

Third round of 301 tariff exclusions announced

As reported by Chris Gillis | Apr 17, 2019 of American Shipper, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative will allow Section 301 tariff exclusions for 21 additional product types covering 348 exclusion requests.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has released its third round of imported products from China that are now exempt from the so-called Section 301 tariffs.
   On July 6, the Trump administration imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports as part of its Section 301 investigation of China’s trade policies. At the same time, however, it allowed U.S. companies to seek exclusions for their Chinese imports — if they could show that the products are only available from China, the tariffs cause “severe economic harm” and the products are not strategic to the “Made in China 2025” or other Chinese industrial programs.

Full story can be found here.

GSP Designation for India and Turkey is Coming to an End

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced today that the United States intends to terminate India’s and Turkey’s designations as beneficiary developing countries under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program because they no longer comply with the statutory eligibility criteria. 

The termination of India from GSP stems from its failure to provide the United States with assurances that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets in numerous sectors.  Turkey’s termination from GSP follows a finding that it is sufficiently economically developed and should no longer benefit from preferential market access to the United States market.

By statute, these changes may not take effect until at least 60 days after the notifications to Congress and the governments of India and Turkey, and will be enacted by a Presidential Proclamation.

The full press release may be found here.

CBP Extend 10% Duty Rate for Third Round of Section 301

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) made changes to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) to extend the 10% duty rate on HTS 9903.88.03, as noted in Cargo System Messaging Service #19-000088. The duty rate was set to increase on March 2, 2019 to 25% for goods that were subject to the third round of Section 301 tariffs.

Further updates are possible after the forthcoming Federal Register notice is published.

The update can be found here.