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China Announces Pilot Tariff Relief Program for Importers of US Goods

July 03, 2019

The Tax Policy Department of China's Ministry of Finance (MoF) has announced the launch of a trial program that will let Chinese importers of certain American products apply for temporary relief of additional tariffs added to those products by China during the trade conflict that has been ongoing between the US and China since March of last year—as well as to apply for refund of added tariffs the importer has already paid during that period.

Included on the list of 734 products eligible to apply for tariff relief are a wide range of US fruits and nuts, such as apples, cherries, strawberries, table grapes, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, almonds, walnuts and raisins. Many other agricultural products like US meat, grains, soy, tobacco, dairy and seafood products are also on the list of products for which Chinese importers may apply for tariff relief and refund.

The application period for the first round of tariff relief runs only until July 5 and importers must list on their application the specific product(s) for which they are seeking tariff relief. Importers applying for relief on products imported from the US are expected to demonstrate one of the following three situations in order to be approved: 1) hardship caused by inability of the applicant to find alternate supply of the product being applied for. 2)  the tariff increase imposed on the product since the beginning of the US-China trade conflict have inflicted severe financial hardship on the applicant. 3) the added tariff poses a major structural risk to a specific industry (such as through hampering industry development, technological progress, employment, or environmental protection) or society at large.

The MoF announcement stated that each application would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Successful applicants will receive relief from the added tariffs for a period of one year (they will still have to pay tariff on the products at the pre-trade conflict levels) and some may be also be eligible for a refund of added tariffs already paid. The announcement stated that a second round of applications is expected to be accepted from September 2 to October 18 of this year.

More information is posted in Chinese at https://gszx.mof.gov.cn/.

Image source: Pixabay

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