Breaking News: China Accepting Applications for Tariff Exemptions

China’s Ministry of Finance announced today that China’s tax authority will begin accepting applications from Chinese domestic firms for the exemption of additional tariffs imposed on some U.S. products, including U.S. hardwoods starting March 2, 2020. Applications for the one-year waivers must be submitted by Chinese firms; U.S. companies are not eligible to submit requests directly to the reviewing body. The Ministry indicates that applications will be reviewed within 3 business days. Chinese buyers will have to get waiver approvals before their cargo can clear customs.

You may read the English translation of the announcement here: Waiver Announcement Translation

It is important that U.S. hardwood exporters communicate with their Chinese customers in order to encourage as many Chinese entities as possible to push for tariff exclusions on U.S. hardwood. A previous USDA report (here) contains step by step instructions on how your customers can apply, who is eligible, and what information is required as well as links to the Chinese State Council Customs Tariff Commission who will be reviewing the applications.

As stated in the original Chinese document, applicants need to show the tariffs on U.S. goods impact their business in one or more of the following ways:

  1. The Chinese importer faces challenges seeking alternative sources of supply;
  2. The tariffs cause serious economic damage to the applicant;
  3. The tariffs cause major negative structural impacts on the relevant industries or lead to serious social consequences.

NHLA would like to recognize and thank the Hardwood Federation for sharing this information with us as we all continue tracking progress very carefully…particularly reports from the industry about hoped for increased orders from China.