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Retaliation Alert: Is Your Product on a Retaliation List?

How to Locate an Exported or Imported Product on a Retaliation List

U.S. Retaliatory Actions: Imported products considered for inclusion on U.S. retaliation lists will be published for public comment in a Federal Register Notice (FRN) by the United States Trade Representative (USTR). The final list of U.S. imports to be subject to retaliatory duties will be published in a subsequent FRN and on the Retaliation Alert Web site (maintained by the U.S. Department of Commerce).

Foreign Retaliatory Actions: U.S. exported products to be considered for inclusion on foreign retaliation lists will be more difficult to locate and determine how to provide public comment (if requested). However, as made available, foreign preliminary (and then final) retaliation lists will be published on the Retaliation Alert Web site (maintained by the U.S. Department of Commerce).


Tips for Reviewing a Retaliation List

Once you have located a preliminary or final retaliation list, review the list to determine if your company's product is included. The most basic and authoritative way to do this is to know your imported/exported product's tariff code classification. (See the two sections below on identifying U.S. and foreign tariff codes.) If you do not know your product's tariff code classification, then you should at least examine the accompanying product descriptions on published preliminary and final retaliation lists. If the product descriptions do not match or are not at least similar to your product, you may not be affected by the retaliatory action in question. Note that the most authoritative way to identify and confirm whether or not your product is on a retaliation list is to know its tariff code classification.


Products Included on U.S. Retaliation Lists

The United States will categorize products using the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule (USHTS) number. The USHTS number is the U.S. government's way of categorizing imports by numerical code. The first two digits represent chapter headings of broadly defined product categories. There are 99 chapters. For instance, chapter 01 is live animals, while chapter 30 is pharmaceutical products. As digits are added to the chapter headings, the product definition grows more specific: HTS 0102 is live bovine animals, while HTS 0102.10.00.10 is male dairy purebred breeding animals. The same is true of all product categories in the various chapter headings. Please note that the product descriptions used in published retaliation lists are edited for brevity and do not convey all of the distinctions made in the official Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States . The current USHTS and any supplements, as well as any applicable Customs regulations and decisions provide the complete legal product descriptions and tariff rates.


Products Included on Foreign Retaliation Lists Involving the United States

Most countries have harmonized their tariff classification systems so that their 6-digit tariff codes match the USHTS 6-digit codes. Therefore, you can use the USHTS to evaluate foreign retaliation lists that categorize products at the 6-digit level to determine if your exported product will be impacted by the retaliation. If products included on the retaliation list are categorized using a more disaggregated coding system (8 digit, 9 digit or 10 digit), then the codes and descriptions associated with those products may not be equivalent to codes and descriptions in the USHTS. At this point it would be useful to contact the foreign mission or embassy of the country retaliating against the United States in order to gather more information on the U.S. exports which could be affected by retaliation.

Links to Web sites outside the U.S. federal government or the use of trade, firm, or corporation names within the International Trade Administration Web sites are for the convenience of the user. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the U.S. Commerce Department of any private sector Web site, product, or service.

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