China Tariff Update: List 3 Goods Exported from China before May 10 Not Subject to Tariff Increase

May 10, 2019


To our valued clients:

Once again this has been a crazy week regarding tariffs on goods from China.  The week began with tweets from the President on Sunday telling us that the List 3 rates were going to increase from 10% to 25% effective Friday May 10, 2019.  Discussions within the industry on Monday and Tuesday were all over the map because the information was going in all directions.  We needed to await the Federal Register Notice for official notification.  That was leaked on Wednesday and officially published Thursday morning May 9.  Click here to read the Federal Register Notice.

Today is May 10, 2019, and earlier today at 12:01 a.m. the increases have taken place.  The plan here is to relay the information so that is easily understood, as there are several moving parts and there have been changes made overnight which are making it easier for entry filers (Customs Brokers and Self Filers) to get it right.

So here goes…..

  1. This increase covers only the List 3 goods which have been assessed an additional 10% duty since September 24, 2018
  2. Any shipments currently en route to the U.S. from China which were exported on or before May 9, 2019 will still be covered under the additional 10% duty rate
  3. Any shipment exported on or after May 10, 2019 will be covered under the additional 25% duty rate.

CBP lawyers and lawyers representing the various PGA agencies have had ongoing meetings this week to make this happen.  The trade community had and has concerns over entries that will fall through the cracks due to the short window of time in which this has all occurred.  CBP has set up a procedure to allow a PSC (Post Summary Correction) to be filed for any entry(s) which has been assessed the 25% duty when, in fact, it should have qualified for the 10% rate based on the date of export.  OCEANAIR is doing everything possible to check previously filed entries and are closely monitoring new entries to make sure they are filed with the correct applicable rate.

Comments from the Vice President of Compliance

Note the following are my thoughts and opinions after having some discussions and correspondence with colleagues throughout the industry.

Discussions between China and the U.S. are supposed to continue.  We all need to know that changes to reduce or cancel the tariffs could be possible, but I do not view this as very probable.

A subtle note to the new special chapter 99 tariff code to be used has the 10% exclusion only valid until May 31, 2019, which presumes anything exported on May 9 or before will have arrived in the US.  I see this as a potential issue for East Coast ocean arrivals from China as we get closer to the end of the month.

Who will be impacted most quickly on this increase?

If you import via air freight and your shipment leaves from China today and the entry is made today, your duties must be paid within 10 business days from release, which would be May 24.  My suggestion:  If you have the availability [should this be ability?] to ship via ocean instead of air without disrupting your supply line, you may want to consider doing so.  Obviously, there are many considerations to take into account to do this, but it 1) leaves the window open if the two governments can come to a better understanding, 2) will not tie up monies being paid, and 3) save you time and hassle by not having to go through the process of filing for and awaiting refunds.

One last thing for now.  I’m sure you have also heard about more items to be added via a list 4.  As it stands, this is just talk right now. There is a procedure that needs to be followed for this to happen.  Just keep your ears open, and as we learn more this information will be shared.

If you have any specific or further questions, please feel free to email me directly at or relay your questions to your OCEANAIR contact, who will then forward your questions to me.

On behalf of the entire team at OCEANAIR, Inc., we appreciate your business support, and we are here to help you in any way we can.



Bill Connolly