On March 8, 2018, the President of the United States issued two Presidential Proclamations announcing the imposition of tariffs on imported steel and aluminum products under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. This law allows the President to impose additional tariffs on imports when national security is impacted.
The proclamations impose worldwide tariffs on all countries (with a few exceptions as noted below) of 10% on aluminum imports and 25% on steel imports. These tariffs apply in addition to any antidumping or countervailing duties collected on affected imports. The tariffs are imposed on imports of steel mill products, which are defined at the 6-digit level of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (“HTS”) as: 7206.10 through 7216.50, 7216.99 through 7301.10, 7302.10, 7302.40 through 7302.90, and 7304.10 through 7306.90, including any subsequent revisions to these HTS codes. The tariffs are imposed on imports of the following aluminum articles: (a) unwrought aluminum (HTS 7601); (b) aluminum bars, rods, and profiles (HTS 7604); (c) aluminum wire (HTS 7605); (d) aluminum plate, sheet, strip, and foil (flat rolled products) (HTS 7606 and 7607); (e) aluminum tubes and pipes and tube and pipe fitting (HTS 7608 and 7609); and (f) aluminum castings and forgings (HTS 7622.214.171.124 and 76126.96.36.199), including any subsequent revisions to these HTS classifications.
The Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) will begin to collect tariffs on goods entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on March 23, 2018, and the tariffs will continue unless actions are expressly reduced, modified, or terminated. There is no set duration for tariffs; however, the Department of Commerce will monitor and review the status of imports with respect to national security on an ongoing basis. Importers of record are liable for the payment of tariffs to CBP. CBP has instructed importers to report the following HTS classifications for imported merchandise subject to the additional duty (in addition to the regular HTS classifications): HTS 9903.80.01 (25 percent ad valorem additional duty for steel mill products) and 9903.85.01 (10 percent ad valorem additional duty for aluminum products).
Certain countries have been granted exemptions from the tariffs at the President’s discretion, which apply to imports based on the country of origin, not the country of export. As of the date of this post, imports from the following countries have been exempted until April 30, 2018: Canada, Mexico, Australia, Argentina, South Korea, Brazil and member countries of the European Union (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom). As of May 1, 2018, imports from all countries will be subject to the tariffs. Additional countries may be exempted, and the status of the currently exempted countries may change after May 1, 2018.