China to Remove Tariffs on U.S. Hardwoods

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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 28 February 2020 for one year, NHLA announced in its newsletter to its member.

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

You may view the announcement (in Chinese) at this link:

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. Several U.S. hardwood product HS codes are on this list, such as oak lumber and logs, cherry and ash lumber, and “other” hardwood lumber and logs. One will 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 programme 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.

Official clarification is expected to be released this week.

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