Deadline Nearing for Exclusion Request from Chinese Tariffs

December 5, 2018

December 18 is the deadline for ILMA members affected by the imposition last August of 25% additional duties on the importation of Chinese lubricants and lubricant additives to request an exclusion from these tariffs from the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

In an effort to mitigate the impact of the additional tariffs, the USTR announced an exclusion process, and any exclusion granted by the USTR will be retroactive to imports since August 23, 2018, and it will extend for one year after the publication of the exclusion determination in the Federal Register. The government will refund any of the additional tariffs actually paid.

The USTR requires that any exclusion request must include:

  • Identification of the product in terms of the physical characteristics (e.g., dimensions, material composition, or other characteristics) that distinguish it from five other products within the covered eight-digit subheading;
  • The 10-digit tariff schedule (HTSUS) subheading most applicable to the particular product requested for exclusion;
  • Annual quantity and value of the Chinese-origin product purchased in each of the last three years;
  • Whether the product is available only from China and whether product and/or a comparable substitute is available from sources in the U.S. and/or in third countries;
  • Whether the imposition of the additional duties on the product will cause severe economic harm to the requestor or other U.S. interests; and,
  • Whether the particular product is strategically important or related to “Made in China 2025” or other Chinese industrial programs.

Importantly, the USTR’s exclusion process is date driven. After the December 18 deadline, USTR will post the filed requests on, and the public will have 14 days to file responses to the requested product exclusion, followed by a seven-day response period. USTR then makes a final decision.

A copy of the Federal Register notice setting forth the exclusion process is available, as well as an FAQ sheet and sample online form.​​