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Surcharges on steel and aluminum

As you have probably read recently in the media, on March 8, pursuant to the 1962 Trade Expansion Act and for national security purposes, President Trump imposed surcharges on steel and aluminum imports to the United States. These surcharges of 25% on certain steel items and 10% on certain aluminum items will be applied in surplus to the current rates and will be effective as of March 23, 2018.

It should be noted that it is not all steel and aluminum items that will be affected by these surcharges. These amend the Sub-chapter III of Chapter 99 of the ‘’Harmonized tariffs Schedule of the United States’(HTSUS) and affect, according to the ‘’Harmonized tariffs Schedule’’ (HTS), the following tariff items for steel:

  • 7206.10 through 7216.50;
  • 7216.99 through 7301.10;
  • 7302.10, 7302.40 through 7302.90;
  • 7304.10 through 7306.90.

And the following tariff items for aluminum:

  • 7601 -Unwrought aluminum;
  • 7604 -Aluminum bars, rods, and profiles;
  • 7605 -Aluminum wire;
  • 7606 and 7607 -Aluminum plate, sheet, strip, and foil (flat rolled products);
  • 7608 and 7609 -Aluminum tubes and pipes and tube and pipe fitting;
  • 7616.99.51.60 and 7616.99.51.70 -Aluminum castings and forgings.

For the time being, Canada and Mexico are exempted from the surcharges, however, this exemption only applies to items that are of Canadian or Mexican origin.   Special attention should therefore focus on rules of origin and items HS classifications. In addition, the duration of this exemption is conditional upon the progress achieved within the framework of the NAFTA renegotiations between the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The United States continues to study the situation and the impacts on its industries. It is conceivable that items could be added to or evaded from these surcharges.

These surcharges mainly apply to raw and unfinished items such as steel or aluminum bars, steel or aluminum rods and steel or aluminum plates, but certain semi-finished steel and aluminum items remaining, such as forged or molded items, are affected by these surcharges. We must remain alert.

Even if these surcharges do not directly affect certain exporters, they could eventually have a financial impact on certain items that contain steel or aluminum components that have been manufactured in the United States and come from foreign countries.

For further information and to seek advice, our Consultation Service remains at your disposal at or by phone at 514-368-2637 option 2.

Please note that all information on this blog is subject to change. All blog articles are for information purposes only. We are always available to answer in detail any questions our clients may have regarding the information in this blog.

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