Category Archives: Trade Alerts

Is Your Section 301 Documentation In Order?

Friday, October 9, 2018

Is Your Section 301 Documentation In Order?

When the United States Trade Representative (USTR) issued their three lists of products that fall under Section 301 additional tariffs, many importers scrutinized their classifications to reconfirm that the correct HTS was being applied. In some cases, their review indicated that changes were necessary to ensure proper reporting of their goods. It is important to remember that if the analysis renders a revised classification, then it may be necessary to file a prior disclosure.

As CBP begins auditing goods subject to Section 301 duties, importers may notice an increase in Requests for Information (CF 28’s).  

Having been mostly duty-free in addition to intellectual property rights, goods falling in chapters 84 and 85 will likely be the focus in the early phase.

As always, it is imperative that importers exercise reasonable care by retaining all documentation necessary to substantiate any changes made, or claims they declare.

If you have any questions or concerns be sure to contact us at 316.721.8980.


Monday, December 3, 2018


Yesterday the US announced that the planned increase of the “List 3” goods from China beginning the first of the year would be placed on hold for ninety days. This delay will provide an opportunity to continue pending negotiations with China.

On September 24, 2018 “List 3” tariff codes, covering roughly $200 billion of Chinese origin products, became subject to additional “Section 301” duties in the amount of 10% with a provision that on January 1, 2019, the 10% duty rate would be increased to 25%, to match Lists 1 and 2, implemented earlier this year.

If you have questions regarding this new development please feel free to contact us at 316.721.8980 or at


Thursday, November 29, 2018

ATTENTION IMPORTERS: Please be advised that CBP has notified the trade that the date for the server migration that was scheduled for this Saturday, December 2 has been postponed until January.   FHK will notify you once the date and time are rescheduled.

CSMS# 18-000705 – UPDATE: TRADE/PGA ACTION REQD: MQ Trade Gateway Migration -ACE PROD-Jan. 2019

11/29/2018 02:50 PM EST

This is an UPDATE that the MQ Trade External Gateway Migration in the PRODUCTION environment is scheduled for January 2019. During this time, CBP will migrate the MQ Gateway off of the mainframe. The following applications will be impacted: ACE, AES and ACS. 


Friday, November 27, 2018

ATTENTION IMPORTERS: No Customs processing will occur beginning  Saturday evening, Dec. 1 at 9:00 p.m.  due to a Customs and Border Protection ACE server migration.

Per CSMS# 18-000683

Please be advised of an MQ Trade External Gateway Migration in the PRODUCTION environment scheduled for Saturday evening, December 1, 2018 from 2200 EST to 0200 EST. During this time, CBP will migrate the MQ Gateway off of the mainframe. The following applications will be impacted: ACE, AES and ACS.

During the migration activities, CBP will NOT be able to receive any transactions and consequently they will NOT be held in any CBP queues. Trade messages transmitted to CBP will receive MQ connection errors. As a result, TRADING PARTNERS AND PGA’s WILL NEED TO HOLD ALL MESSAGES IN THEIR SYSTEMS UNTIL AFTER THE DOWNTIME. For transactions received prior to the downtime, any outgoing messages from CBP will be held in queues and sent after the downtime.

Processing is expected to resume after 1:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, December 2.

Say Good-bye to NAFTA, and Hello to USMCA!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Say Good-bye to NAFTA, and Hello to USMCA!

Canada and the United States have officially reached an 11th-hour deal with Mexico to modernize the North American free trade agreement.

The new trilateral pact, now known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement – or USMCA won’t go into effect right away. Most of the key provisions don’t start until 2020 because leaders from the three countries have to sign it and then Congress and the legislatures in Canada and Mexico have to approve it, a process that could take several months.

What are some of the differences?

There is some substance, although nothing dramatic, as it turns out. New “Rules of Origin” will force automobile manufacturers to use more parts from the region – up 75% from 62.5%

A new wages condition states that a minimum input must be added in factories that pay workers at least $16 per hour, which may move some work from Mexico back to the U.S. Starting in 2020, cars and trucks should have at least 30% of the work on the vehicle done by workers earning $16 per hour in wages.

A new “sunset clause” states that USMCA will expire in 16 years, whereas NAFTA ran indefinitely.

Steel tariffs will remain in place for now. The U.S. and Canada continue to discuss lifting these tariffs but a senior White House official said on Sunday that this process is on a completely different track.

Other provisions include:

Canada opens up its dairy market to U.S. farmers.

Canada has complex set of milk and dairy rules to ensure that Canadian dairy farmers don’t go bankrupt, and the Canadian government restricts how much dairy can be produced and how much foreign dairy can enter to keep milk prices high. Canada will maintain most of its system but is giving greater market share to U.S. dairy farmers.

Chapter 19

Stays intact, which allows for a special dispute process. This allows the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to challenge one another’s anti-dumping and countervailing duties in front of a panel of representatives from each country.

Improved labor and environmental rights.

The USMCA makes some significant upgrades to environmental and labor regulations, especially regarding Mexico. Trucks from Mexico that cross the border into the U.S. must meet higher safety regulations and Mexican workers must have more ability to organize and form unions.

Increased intellectual property protections.

The New IP chapter contains more stringent protections for patents and trademarks for biotech, financial services and even domain names.

Chapter 11:

Giving investors a special way to fight government decisions is, for the most part, gone. The idea was that if investors put tons of money into a project the then the government changed the rules, a dispute process, outside the court system, was where investors could get their problem resolved.

For more information on USMCA click here:

Section 301 Update: List 3 Takes Effect

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Section 301 Update: List 3 Takes Effect

Beginning September 24, an additional 10 percent tariff on goods from China will be imposed on 5,745 tariff lines, view list here with an import value of approximately $200 billion. As of January 1, 2019, this tariff is scheduled to increase to 25 percent.

According to the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) this list reflects the elimination of 297 subheadings that were originally announced. Goods such as consumer electronics, e.g., smart watches and Bluetooth devices, chemical inputs for manufactured goods, agricultural, and various health and safety products were removed from the proposed list.

Previously, the administration had announced List 1, imposing an additional 25 percent tariff on over 800 tariff lines valued at approximately $34 billion of goods from China, effective July 6, 2018. List 2 followed soon after with 25 percent tariffs levied upon 279 additional lines on $16 billion of goods from China that went into effect upon August 23.

With $267 billion more threatened, the reality of list 4 hovers.

Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Act Signed Into Law

Monday, September 17, 2018

Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Act Signed Into Law

Signed into law on September 13, 2018, the H.R. 4318 Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) becomes effective upon October 13, 2018 following a 30-day grace period. The MTB reduces tariffs on nearly 1700 products deemed by the International Trade Commission (ITC) as unattainable or inaccessible from domestic productions or sourcing through December 31, 2020.

Designed to provide relief to some manufacturers, the MTB will temporarily amend the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) to modify certain rates of duty recommended by the ITC pursuant to the new process established in the American Manufacturing and Competitiveness Act of 2016. 

A majority of the products covered by the MTB are chemicals, and includes some textiles, apparel, footwear, machinery and equipment, as well as other goods.

If your goods are from China, be aware that the MTB tariff reductions do not override Section 301 tariffs, per CSMS #18-000493, dated August 21, 2018 as follows:


Products of China that are covered by the Section 301 remedy and that are eligible for special tariff treatment under general note 3(c)(i) to the tariff schedule, or that are eligible for temporary duty exemptions or reductions under subchapter II to chapter 99, shall be subject to the additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty imposed by headings 9903.88.01 and 9903.88.02.

Click on the link provided below for the list of goods. We recommend you review this list carefully to determine if any of the products may have an effect upon your imports and contact us with any questions.

Click Here

US-Mexico Preliminary Agreement in Principle on a New Trade Agreement

Thursday, August 30, 2018

US-Mexico Preliminary Agreement in Principle on a New Trade Agreement

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced on Monday August 27, 2018 that the United States and Mexico have reached a preliminary agreement in principle, subject to finalization and implementation.

Three fact sheets are available announcing the provisions.  The first sheet,  Modernizing NAFTA to be a 21st Century Trade Agreement, addresses the following:

  • Intellectual Property
  • Digital Trade
  • De Minimis
  • Financial Services
  • Labor
  • Environment

The second fact sheet, Rebalancing NAFTA to Support Manufacturing addresses:

  • Rules of Origin and Market Access
  • Textiles

The third fact sheet, Strengthening NAFTA for Agriculture maintains among other measures, a duty-free treatment on agricultural products.

Canada was not part of these negotiations although the Canadian Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland arrived in Washington, D.C. to begin discussions with US trade representatives.  It is believed that if NAFTA does terminate, economic relations between the US and Canada would revert to the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA) implemented on January 1, 1989.  It is to be noted however that a debate exists whether this trade agreement would automatically be in effect if NAFTA is terminated without an act of Congress to re-implement CUSFTA.


Monday, August 12, 02018


Another Presidential Proclamation has been signed stating that steel articles covered by Section 232  from the Republic of Turkey (Turkey) will be subject to an increased ad valorem duty rate of 50%.

The increased rates of duty on steel articles that are the product of Turkey are effective with respect to goods entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after after 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on August 13, 2018. 

For more information, please see CSMS 18-000477 


Wednesday, August 8, 2018



The  Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released a list of approximately $16 billion worth of imports from China that will be subject to a 25 percent additional tariff beginning August 23.  This second list of additional tariffs under Section 301 follows the first list of tariffs on approximately $34 billion of imports from China, which went into effect on July 6.

The list contains 279 of the original 284 tariff lines that were on a proposed list announced on June 15.  Changes to the proposed list were made after USTR and the interagency Section 301 Committee sought and received written comments and testimony during a two-day public hearing last month. 

The five tariff lines removed from the original List 2 are as follows:

Tariff Line Product Description
3913.10.00 Alginic acid, and its salts and esters, in primary forms
8465.96.00 Splitting, slicing or paring machines for working wood, cork, bone, hard rubber, hard plastics or similar hard materials
8609.00.00 Containers (including containers for transport of fluids) specially designed and equipped for carriage by one or more modes of transport
8905.90.10 Floating docks
9027.90.20 Microtomes


The USTR published a notice in the Federal Register  that officially extended the public comment period for the third list of Chinese products from August 17 to September 6.   The third list of Chinese products covers 6,031 HTSUS provisions valued at $200 billion.  The notice provides the following dates and deadlines:






August 13, 2018:

The due date for filing requests to appear and a summary of expected testimony at the public hearing and for filing pre-hearing submissions is extended from July 27 to August 13, 2018.

September 6, 2018:

The due date for submission of written comments is extended from August 17 to September 6, 2018.

August 20-23, 2018:

The scheduled start date of the Section 301 hearing (August 20) has not changed. The Section 301 Committee may extend the length of the hearing depending on the number of additional interested persons who request to appear. The Section 301 Committee will convene the public hearing in the main hearing room of the U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436 beginning at 9:30 a.m. on August 20, 2018.

September 6, 2018:

The due date for submission of post-hearing rebuttal comments is extended from August 30 to September 6, 2018.

The President has asked the USTR to consider raising the rate of the additional duties for this third round of products from 10% to 25%.  The USTR notice states:

The possible increase in the proposed rates of the additional duty is intended to provide the Administration with additional options to obtain the elimination of the [Chinese] acts, policies, and practices covered in the investigation.

This notice indicates that the change from 10% to 25% is still a proposal, and has not been formally adopted at this time.