WASHINGTON – A move by the U.S. government to offer a 90-day postponement on duty deposits paid by importers of record was hailed by the National Retail Federation on Monday as a welcome step for retailers that are struggling amidst shutdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The White House announcement that the government is providing a limited duty deferral for importers is welcome news to retailers struggling to find any good news during this extremely difficult time,” the NRF said in a statement. “We encourage the administration to broaden these deferrals for additional relief. … This deferral provides some retailers with additional liquidity and better cash flow, giving hope for business continuity and a faster recovery once the pandemic has passed.”
The 90-day deferral relates to goods entered into or withdrawn from warehouses, including those facilities in foreign trade zones, in March and April. Typically deposits on those goods are paid once they arrive in the U.S.
But the 90-day deferral does not apply to goods subject to China tariffs or to goods facing antidumping or countervailing duties. While there have been a handful of product exclusions in household furniture, most furniture and bedding products still face 25% tariffs under the Section 301 China tariffs and thus will continue to pay deposits on those goods once they enter the U.S.
In addition, there are antidumping duties on categories such as wooden bedroom furniture and countervailing duties on Chinese-made mattresses. Categories such as wooden cabinets and vanities face both antidumping and countervailing duties. Importers of record typically pay cash deposit rates on these goods once they enter the U.S.
As with these categories, furniture importers also will continue to pay deposits on goods subject to Section 301 China tariffs. The same holds true for goods subject to Section 201 duties on solar cells and panels and washing machines and parts or Section 232 duties imposed on steel and aluminum.
Washington-based law firm Mowry & Grimson also issued a statement regarding the limited duty deferrals. “Although many import-reliant U.S. businesses have called for targeted assistance during the COVID-19 crisis, this rule offers very limited relief,” the firm said on Monday, adding, “The order only applies to the most favored nation tariffs.”
It added that that no merchandise subject to antidumping or countervailing duties, Section 201, 232 or 301 trade remedies will be considered for deferral.
The law firm noted that others qualifying for deferral must show a “significant financial hardship.” According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, this means that the importer’s operation was fully or partially suspended during March or April 2020 due to orders from a governmental authority that limited any form of commerce, travel or group meetings due to COVID-19.
https://www.furnituretoday.com/ April 20, 2020
News Author : Erbay ŞAHİN
363 viewed times. / 22-04-2020 added.
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