Key points:

  • The MTB process allows importers to request the suspension or reduction of normal duties paid on certain imported products for three years, as approved by Congress.
  • The petition process opened on October 11, 2019 and interested parties will have 60 days to submit a petition. The public will then have 45 days to comment on the petitions submitted.
  • The USITC has made changes to what should be included in a petition. As part of the new process, petitions must now include (1) an estimate of the total value and the assessed value for the next five calendar years; (2) an estimate of the applicant’s share in the total imports of the good; 3) where applicable, a CBP classification decision relating to the product in question; and (4) if available, the names of all domestic producers.

Parties interested in submitting a petition should review current imports to prepare to file an MTB petition.

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) initiated the process for filing the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) 2019 on October 11, 2019. As part of the MTB process, interested parties can request the suspension or reduction duties usually paid on certain imported products for three years.

As a reminder, the current MTB process is governed by the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016 (AMCA). The previous round of MTB duty suspensions or reductions are expected to expire in 2020. The USITC opened this round on October 11, 2019. Under the AMCA, the USITC is to begin accepting MTB petitions for the next round at later October 15, 2019.

Notably, there is no automatic renewal process for products that currently benefit from suspended or reduced duties as a result of the 2016 cycle. Instead, parties that have benefited from suspended or reduced duties must file an application. new request under the new cycle to ensure similar treatment for the next three years.

Interested parties have 60 days from the initiation of the process to submit a petition. Thirty days after the 60-day window closes, interested parties have 45 days to submit public comments on MTB petitions. Ultimately, the USITC must review all petitions and submit a final report containing the MTB’s recommendations to Congress 300 days after the initial opening of the petition process. If these recommendations are accepted, we expect that they will be promulgated in late 2020 or early 2021 and will be valid for the following three years.

While there is no restriction on the type of goods that an interested party can submit to this process, the accepted requests have generally been raw inputs that are not produced in the United States. In addition, the estimated loss of income from suspended or reduced rights associated with an accepted application cannot exceed $ 500,000 in a calendar year.

On August 27, 2019, the USITC issued a final rule updating the 2019 MTB petition filing process. These updates include changes to the information that must be included in an MTB petition. As part of the new process, applicants must now submit all of the following:

  • If available, a CBP classification decision that relates to the product in question
  • An estimate of the total value and the assessed value for the next five calendar years
  • An estimate of the share of the petitioner in the total imports of the good
  • If applicable, the names of all domestic producers.

Finally, petitioners must now submit an attestation stating that “the petition is complete and correct to the best of his knowledge and belief and that the petitioner understands that the information submitted is subject to audit and verification by the Commission”.

In order to file an MTB request, importers must take an inventory of their imported goods in order to determine if any are eligible or are likely to succeed in any request for suspension / reduction of duties. Likewise, importers who are currently importing goods duty-free under the MTB should review their import processes to ensure that these goods still qualify, and should review old petitions to determine if there are any. new or additional arguments that can be made to support a previously refused petition. . Regarding the actual preparations for the petition, importers should gather all necessary information including, but not limited to, contact details of the petitioner, import sources, industry information, value imports, the correct classification of the United States Harmonized Tariff List (HTSUS), etc., as insufficient information in a petition may lead to denial of benefits. In addition, importers should consider strategically how to develop their product description language to, among other things, ensure that they fall below the $ 500,000 threshold.