Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum come into effect this week. Here are the basic facts.

What tariffs are being imposed?

A 25% tariff on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum imports.

When do they take effect?

Customs and Border Protection will begin collecting the tariffs on March 23, 2018.

What products are covered?

All steel products under HTS Codes 7206.10 through 7216.50, 7216.99-7301.10, 7302.10, 7302.40-7306.90.

Unwrought aluminum under HTS Code 7601, wrought aluminum under 7604-7609, and castings and forgings under 7616.99.51.

Will there be exemptions for imports from certain countries?

Right now Canada and Mexico are exempt temporarily while NAFTA negotiations are underway.

The President has also brought up or hinted at potential exemptions for numerous allies, including Australia, Japan, the E.U., the U.K., and Korea. But it remains to be seen how specific country exemptions to the tariffs will be implemented.

Will there be exclusions for imports of specific products?

Yes.

Where can I apply for or object to an exclusion request?

The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security has made available the forms for exclusion requests and objections to exclusion requests on its website, located here and here.

Will my filing be public?

Yes.

How long will it take to find out if my product is exempt?

Exclusion requests will be publicly posted for a 30-day comment period and processing time is supposed to take no more than 90-days.

How will a decision be made about the exemptions?

The Department of Commerce will grant specific product exclusions if it determines the steel and aluminum articles you are seeking to import are not produced in the United States in a sufficient and reasonable quantity or of a satisfactory quality. It will also take into account the national security factors outlined in Section 232.

What does it cost to file?

There is no cost to file.

Do I have to pay the duties up front even if I apply for an exclusion?

Likely.  Nothing has changed the existing requirement that all imports are subject to the duties unless exempt.

If you are an exporter, you know that finding legitimate international buyers able to pay for your products can be one of the more challenging aspects of doing business.  One underutilized strategy for expanding your company’s global sales is to review the offerings of the U.S. Commercial Service, which is a service brought to you by the U.S. Department of Commerce and funded by the government. (more…)

Baker Donelson’s Trade and Compliance attorneys capped off their 2017 trade watch series with a year-end analysis of lessons learned during the first year of the Trump Administration, along with thoughtful projections of what we may expect in the coming months. With 2017 now behind us, we look ahead at what may be in store for trade after the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), sanctions involving Iran and Cuba, and NAFTA negotiations in 2018. Read our analysis here.

On December 21, the U.S. Treasury Department announced the implementation of a new global sanctions regime under the Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (the “Global Magnitsky Act”).  President Trump issued an Executive Order declaring a national emergency with respect to human rights abuses and global corruption, targeting individuals and entities spanning nations across the world, including Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Nicaragua, and elsewhere. (more…)

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On November 9, 2017, changes to the United States’ Cuba Sanctions program went into effect, as the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR), respectively. The CACR updates and EAR updates implement the changes announced by President Trump in his June 2017 speech and associated National Security Presidential Memorandum (NSPM). The State Department also published its Cuba Restricted List, which identifies additional restricted entities and subentities that U.S. persons are prohibited from transacting with. The following is an overview of the key changes businesses should be aware of with respect to activities involving Cuba. (more…)

On June 16, 2017, President Trump issued a National Security Presidential Memorandum on Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba.  The Memorandum outlined a framework for agencies such as the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to update and implement an expanded range of sanctions directed at Cuba and the Castro regime.  The most significant changes concern authorized individual travel and transactions with entities related to Cuban military or intelligence services. While the current administration seeks to roll back Obama-era Cuba policy that was geared towards reducing sanctions and normalizing relations, OFAC has yet to implement any regulatory amendments called for in the June Memorandum. For more information on the practical effect of the Presidential Memorandum and the future of Cuba sanctions, see our Cuba Sanctions 2017 update in Global Trade Magazine.

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