China tariff cuts coming soon?

boat on body of water

Photo by Nextvoyage on Pexels.com

Last Thursday, the US Trade Representative’s office said they were seeking public comments on lifting additional Section 301 duties (tariffs) on Chinese imports for goods that could help the US fight the current coronavirus pandemic.

The public comments will allow anyone to submit comments if they believe modifications to the Section 301 tariffs may be necessary. Since the corona virus crisis started, the USTR granted exclusions for medical products from China that included medical masks, examination gloves and antiseptic wipes.

Even with the exclusions, the 20-month long duration of the Section 301 China duties still covers over $370 billion in Chinese imports.

A trade deal came into effect on February 15th known as “Phase 1”, but no new trade deals will be announced until after the corona virus crisis ends.

If you have would like to submit comments on what other goods should be excluded – contact experienced customs and trade law attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Suspected counterfeit corona virus test kits seized.

That didn’t take long – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at LAX seized a package containing what they suspect are counterfeit COVID-19 (corona virus) test kids from the UK.

Earlier this week, the CBP officers inspected a package labeled as “Purified Water Vials” with a declared value of $196.81, upon further inspection, CBP officers found six bags of vials filled with a white liquid and labeled “Corona Virus 2019nconv (COVID-19)” and “Virus1 Test Kit”.

CBP turned over the suspected fake test kids to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for analysis.

In general, there is something you can do if your shipment has been detained or seized for being suspected as counterfeit – however, in this situation, and given the current concerns over corona virus, the importer of record will likely not get this shipment returned and may receive a civil penalty notice from CBP in the upcoming weeks.