Breaking News: China to Remove Tariffs on U.S. Hardwoods

Based on reports from the Agricultural Specialist at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing as well as the Chinese Ministry of Finance, the Chinese government will remove U.S. hardwood lumber import tariffs starting on February 28, 2020, for one year.

 

The list of products that could potentially have tariffs removed starting next Friday can be viewed HERE. The product list comes from the statement by China’s State Council Tariff Commission.

 

You may view the announcement (in Chinese) HERE

 

The attached form is “1.第二批对美加征关税商品第一次排除清单一” from the State Council Tariff Commission statement, which appears to be goods where tariffs will no longer be levied, and importers are eligible for refunds. You’ll notice several US hardwood product HS codes on this list, such as oak lumber and logs, cherry and ash lumber, and “other” hardwood lumber and logs. You’ll also see that oak lumber and logs are marked with “ex” for “excluded”.

 

Work is underway to define exactly what that will mean for these products and what the definite tariff rate will be moving forward.

 

It also appears that Chinese companies will be able to “apply for refunds of collected duties within six months from Feb 21.” View the English statement from the Ministry of Finance here.

 

There is still confusion about this program and the implementation, and with the drastic changes over the past weeks, including the tariff reduction application announcement, the situation should still be considered fluid and subject to further change.

 

NHLA would like to thank our friends and colleagues at AHEC and the Hardwood Federation for their work on providing information and clarity to the particulars of this situation, to the best of their ability. As with previous announcements, the Chinese government has released this statement out of the blue on Friday afternoon their time. It’s currently past midnight leading into the weekend in China, so we will likely not have official clarification until next week.

 

NHLA will continue to update you as we receive more information.