On Friday, October 11, 2019, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) opened the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) “duty suspension” process. That process allows companies to petition for suspensions and reductions to the normal duty on qualifying U.S. imports. A successful MTB petition can be very valuable: if the suspension is granted, the importer can save up to $500 thousand per year on import taxes. The deadline to submit a petition is December 10, 2019.

For more information, see our FAQs below:

1. Who can petition?
Any company that can demonstrate it is a likely beneficiary of an eligible duty suspension or reduction can apply for a MTB. Under the relevant law, virtually interested party may petition to have the normal import duty on a product suspended or reduced. If you import an article, or if you are a U.S. manufacturer that uses an imported article in as an input, you likely can demonstrate that you are a likely beneficiary eligible to submit a petition.

2. What products can be petitioned?
Any products imported into the United States can be petitioned under the MTB process, but MTB petitions most often succeed where the company can show no objection from the domestic manufacturing industry.

3. Who reviews the petitions?
ITC reviews the petitions with input from other agencies, including the Department of Commerce and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. After the inter-agency reviews, ITC submits preliminary and final reports to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance. Those reports will detail the ITC’s analysis and recommendations regarding the petitions. Congress may then consider a Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) based on those recommendations. If the MTB is passed by Congress, it is presented to the President for signature. The 2019 MTB timeline is available online.

4. Should I petition for a duty suspension or a duty reduction?
That depends on the amount of anticipated duty savings. Where the total duties paid by all importers annually are under $500,000 for a single product, the product may qualify for a duty suspension. If duties are greater than $500,000, the product may qualify for a duty reduction.

5. How to petition?
File the petition on the MTB petition system website. See a sample petition here.

6. When are petitions due?
Submit petitions by December 10, 2019 (5:15PM EDT to be exact).

7. How long does the petition process take?
The full petition process takes 300 days. The petitions granted will likely take effect January 2021.

8. Additional questions?
See the ITC guidelines on petitions here or consult counsel.