© [2019], Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A. Originally published in the [01/29/2020] issue of the Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report. Reprinted by permission.

Companies may be eligible and can apply for retroactive refunds of Section 301 duties, but time is running short and the process is proving to be complicated and burdensome.

Specific exclusions from the Trump tariffs provide companies with an opportunity to claim refunds on specified products. The catch is that your imported product must be covered by both the approved tariff classification number and the specific product description of the exclusion. In essence, companies must classify products twice to identify refund opportunities.

Once an opportunity is identified, companies must then file and track refund requests from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The refund process imposes strict requirements and deadlines are confusing. Should a request be denied, further administrative or court action may be required.

To assist importers in maximizing their duty refund potential, STR has established an efficient and strategic program to evaluate importers’ exclusion potential and, when warranted, file and track refund requests with CBP. This program is specially designed to alleviate significant time intrusions on already-burdened import staff while maximizing potential duty recovery. Because the additional duty rates range from 10 to 25 percent, the refunds can be significant.

Companies requiring expert assistance in identifying and securing these refunds should contact customs attorneys Marilyn-Joy Cerny at 212.549.0161 or Robert Grasing at 212.549.0163. Click here for more details on managing retroactive refunds of Section 301 duties.