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Department of Commerce publishes tariff exclusion rules

Published March 20, 2018

WASHINGTON (BRAIN ) — Companies looking to get exclusions from new steel and aluminum tariffs must apply according to rules set out by the Department of Commerce on Monday.

"These procedures will allow the Administration to further hone these tariffs to ensure they protect our national security while also minimizing undue impact on downstream American industries," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement on Monday. "Domestic industry will be able to apply for exclusions through a fair and transparent process run through Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security."

Separate exclusion requests must be submitted for each unique steel or aluminum product import. The exclusion requester must provide factual information on 1) the single type of steel product they require using a 10-digit HTSUS code, including its specific dimension; 2) the quantity of product required (stated in kilograms) under a one-year exclusion; 3) a full description of the properties of the steel product it seeks to import, including chemical composition, dimensions, strength, toughness, ductility, magnetic permeability, surface finish, coatings, and other relevant data.

The requests will be evaluated on whether there is a domestic source of the metal products in sufficient quantity and quality, as well as whether the imports could affect national security, according to a notice in the Federal Register.

Exclusion requests will be open for public review after being posted to the federal rulemaking portal. During the initial 30 days, U.S. parties may file objections to the exclusion request. After this initial 30 day period, approximately 60 days will be necessary for complete review and vetting of the request and any related objection filings. The total processing time for exclusion requests is estimated at 90 days.

It is unclear if tariffs paid during this evaluation period will be refunded.

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