HTS Users - Confused by the New Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Provisions? Here’s Help.

Trying to figure out if an imported product qualifies for temporary duty-free entry or a reduced tariff under the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Act that took effect in October?

The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Act of 2018, Public Law 115-239 (the MTB Act), created over 1600 new temporary miscellaneous tariff bill provisions that will be available through the end of 2020.  These provisions (MTB 9902 provisions) provide a reduced tariff or duty-free treatment for a wide range of products coming into the U.S. market.

To help users find information about these new provisions in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS), USITC nomenclature specialists offer the following tips:

The new MTB provisions are provided in subchapter II of chapter 99 of the HTS.  Be sure you are referencing the current version of the HTS -- all previous provisions and notes in subchapter II of chapter 99 of the HTS were repealed and replaced by the MTB Act in October.

·       Chapters 1 through 97 of the HTS contain the HTS numbers and article descriptions that (1) determine how each product imported into the United States is classified and (2) the normal trade relation (NTR) and special preference program rates of duty for the product.

If a product is covered by a MTB 9902 provision, a footnote has been added to its “general rate of duty” column in chapters 1 through 97.  (Note – the footnotes will be converted to end notes on January 1, 2019.)

·       To determine if a product can receive a MTB reduced tariff, find the product’s HTS classification in chapters 1 through 97, then look for a footnote in the general rate column, which will direct you to the corresponding MTB 9902 provision.  (The MTB 9902 provisions in subchapter II of chapter 99 are listed from lowest to highest HTS numbers for ease of finding the specific tariff number.)

·       Be sure to carefully read the article descriptions of the MTB 9902 provisions.  Many of the MTB 9902 provisions cover specific items within a broader product category in the HTS line items in chapters 1 through 97.  Only the specific items in the MTB 9902 article description are eligible for the duty reduction.

·       For Customs entry purposes, the importer of record claiming a 9902 provision duty reduction will need to use both the product’s HTS classification number found in chapters 1 through 97 and the corresponding 9902 provision.  The MTB duty rate is not given automatically.

·       Important exceptions:  MTB 9902 duty rates can only modify the covered products’ general duty rates indicated in chapters 1 through 97; they cannot modify additional duties imposed on products from China as a result of Presidential actions under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 (related to unfair trade practices) or as a result of investigations under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (related to national security).  In 2018, the President imposed additional duties under section 301 on a range of products from China, and duties were imposed on imports of steel and aluminum as a result of section 232 investigations.  Information on these actions can be found at: https://usitc.gov/modifications_harmonized_tariff_schedule.htm.

·       For more information, see Revision 13 of the HTS at https://hts.usitc.gov/current or access the HTS Search Tool at https://www.usitc.gov/tariff_affairs.htm.

USITC staff has also developed a spreadsheet that may help users identify products, including the applicable HTS provisions that qualify for duty-free or reduced duty treatment under the new MTB.  The spreadsheet is provided for reference only; for the official compilation of products, rates of duty, and their HTS numbers, users should reference the HTS itself.  The spreadsheet can be found at https://www.usitc.gov/sites/default/files/tariff_affairs/hts_9902_reference_file.xlsx.

Questions?  Contact https://usitc.gov/tariff_affairs/hts_help