August 10, 2016

Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Petition: Oh, What a (Duty) Relief It Is

By Randy Rucker and James Sawyer

In just two months, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) will begin accepting petitions requesting preferential duty treatment in the next Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) (starting October 15, 2016). After this MTB, the ITC is not scheduled to take up a similar review until October 2019. In other words, now is the time to act!

This will be the first MTB in more than four years and is a rare opportunity to request duty relief for certain imported products. Generally, importers can request duty-free or reduced duty treatment for imported products, so long as they are not domestically produced and the total revenue impact does not exceed $500,000 per year.

As detailed in our previous client alert, the MTB presents an opportunity for U.S. importers to increase their competitiveness in the global marketplace. Typically, importers request duty relief for raw materials (usually chemicals) or sub-components necessary for manufacturing finished products in the United States. However, in many cases, importers have received MTB duty relief for finished goods and machinery, for example:

  • Basketballs
  • Boots and shoes
  • Camcorders
  • Ceiling fans
  • Coffeemakers
  • Decorative plates and sculptures
  • Electric can openers
  • Ink-jet textile printing machinery
  • Image projectors
  • Power weaving machines (looms)
  • Toasters
In order to receive preferential duty treatment under the MTB, an importer must carefully establish eligibility and narrowly tailor the description of the product. Drinker Biddle has extensive experience in these matters and would be pleased to assist your company with an MTB petition in order to receive the maximum duty relief benefit.
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