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Aluminum and Steel Import Duties to Increase March 23

Thursday, March 08, 2018

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The White House on March 8 formally issued two presidential proclamations that will raise the duties on steel and aluminum. A copy of the presidential proclamations may on steel may be found here and aluminum here.

In the case of steel, "steel articles" from all countries other than Canada and Mexico are subject to the additional 25 percent duty effective March 23, 2018 (i.e., with respect to goods entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on March 23, 2018). The proclamation defines "steel articles" using 6 digit Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) subheadings, specifically: 7206.10 through 7216.50, 7216.99 through 7301.10, 7302.10, 7302.40 through 7302.90, and 7304.10 through 7306.90. The additional duties are set forth in a revised Subchapter III to Chapter 99 of the HTS. Thus, it is imperative for importers to review their classifications (and origin determinations) to confirm whether a given steel article they import will be subject to the additional 25% percent duties.

In the case of aluminum, aluminum articles" from all countries other than Canada and Mexico are subject to the additional 10 percent duty effective March 23, 2018 (i.e., with respect to goods entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m., eastern daylight time on March 23, 2018). The proclamation defines "aluminum articles" using 6 digit Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) subheadings, specifically:  (a) unwrought aluminum (HTS 7601); (b) aluminum bars, rods, and profiles (HTS 7604); (c) aluminum wire (HTS 7605); (d) aluminum plate, sheet, strip, and foil (flat rolled products) (HTS 7606 and 7607); (e) aluminum tubes and pipes and tube and pipe fitting (HTS 7608 and 7609); and (f) aluminum castings and forgings (HTS 7616.99.51.60 and 7616.99.51.70). The additional duties are set forth in a revised Subchapter III to Chapter 99 of the HTS. Thus, it is imperative for importers to review their classifications (and origin determinations) to confirm whether a given aluminum article they import will be subject to the additional 10percent duties.

With regard to imports from Canada and Mexico, the proclamations state that discussions with Canada and Mexico will continue regarding the necessary and appropriate means to address the threat to U.S. national security posed by imports of aluminum and steel articles from Canada and Mexico. Thus, the exemption for Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum articles is not permanent but rather, by the White House's own public statements today, is dependent on successful renegotiation of the NAFTA. 

To mitigate the effects of the new duties, importers should consider whether tariff engineering and restructured import transactions can help protect against these new increased costs.  

Additionally, both proclamations allow for "directly affected parties in the United States" to petition the Commerce Department for relief from the duties on the basis that certain steel or aluminum articles are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available amounts or of a satisfactory quality. The Commerce Department is also authorized to provide relief based upon national security considerations. The procedures for requesting such relief from the Commerce Department will be published in the next 10 days.


Pisani & Roll LLP can help with importers and affected parties with all of these options and is continuing to monitor developments in this area. If you have any questions about the impact of the new duties, contact Pisani & Roll LLP at info@worldtradelawyers.com.

Category: Economic Development

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