China to start accepting applications for tariff exemptions on U.S. hardwoods

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China’s Ministry of Finance announced on 18February that China's tax authority will begin accepting applications from Chinese domestic firms for the exemption of additional tariffs imposed on some U.S. products, including U.S. hardwoods from 2March this year.  Applications for the one-year waivers must be submitted by Chinese firms; U.S. companies are not eligible to submit requests directly to the reviewing body. The Ministry indicates that applications will be reviewed within 3 business days. Chinese buyers will have to get waiver approvals before their cargo can clear customs.

National Hardwood Lumber Association, in its newsletter to members, said that it is important that U.S. hardwood exporters communicate with their Chinese customers in order to encourage as many Chinese entities as possible to push for tariff exclusions on U.S. hardwood. A previous USDA report (here) contains step by step instructions on how customers can apply, who is eligible, and what information is required as well as links to the Chinese State Council Customs Tariff Commission who will be reviewing the applications. 

As stated in the original Chinese document, applicants need to show the tariffs on U.S. goods impact their business in one or more of the following ways:

1) The Chinese importer faces challenges seeking alternative sources of supply;

2) The tariffs cause serious economic damage to the applicant;

3) The tariffs cause major negative structural impacts on the relevant industries or lead to serious social consequences.

The English translation of the announcement can be read here:  Waiver Announcement Translation


Source: NHLA

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