**This is an update to our December 23, 2020 post**

On December 29, 2020, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) posted a notice granting new Section 301 product exclusions and extending existing exclusions for COVID-19 medical care products.  This action is in response to USTR’s March 25, 2020 proceeding soliciting public comments on whether to remove the duties in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The exclusions from Section 301 duties took effect on January 1, and will expire March 31, 2021.  The exclusions are available for any product that meets the description in the notice’s Annexes.  The scope of each exclusion and modification is governed by the scope of the ten-digit Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings andproduct descriptions contained in the annexes to the USTR notice.

If you import medical care products from China, you may wish to review the USTR notice and determine whether your products may qualify for these recent Section 301 exemptions.  Chinese medical care products eligible for these new exclusions include, among other things, certain face shields; medical masks; microscopes; and parts and components for X-ray and MRI equipment.

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Things are changing quickly and the aid measures and interpretations described here may change and are subject to wide interpretations. This analysis represents our best interpretation and recommendations based on where things currently stand.

Sheppard Mullin is committed to providing employers with updated information regarding COVID-19 and its impact on the workplace. Stay informed on legal implications with Sheppard Mullin’s Coronavirus Insights Portal which aggregates the firm’s various COVID-19 blog posts on a broad range of topics.