This morning, in the Federal Register, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) announced that it will begin accepting petitions for duty-relief in the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB). Petitions will be accepted until 5:15 p.m. Eastern time on December 12, 2016. The ITC will only accept petitions submitted electronically via its portal, the MTB Petition System (MTBPS).

As discussed in our May 25, 2016 client alert, petitions for duty suspensions may only be filed by members of the public, or their legal representative, who can demonstrate that they are a likely beneficiary of the duty suspension or reduction. The ITC will then manage a 45-day notice and comment period on whether individual requests threaten U.S. domestic producers. Following this review, the ITC will send Congress a report suggesting products for inclusion in a final MTB to amend Chapter 99 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. We anticipate the amendments to Chapter 99 will take effect beginning in 2018.

Users will need to register in order to file petitions on the portal. Persons seeking MTBs on more than one imported product must submit separate petitions for each product and must be prepared to complete their entire petition when they enter the portal, which will time-out within an hour. The portal will not allow MTB petitions to be edited or amended. If a filer wants to edit or amend the petition, they must withdraw the original petition and file a new petition that incorporates the changes. However, that new petition must be filed before the December 12 deadline.

The ITC will begin posting filed petitions on its website next week, after reviewing the first batch of submitted petitions. Persons submitting petitions will be allowed to identify certain fields as containing confidential business information or as information protected from disclosure under the Privacy Act. If confidential information is accidentally included in a public field, a filer should notify the ITC immediately.

For more information on the MTB process, or for assistance in analyzing product eligibility or preparing and submitting MTB petitions, please contact any member of Drinker Biddle’s Customs and International Trade team.

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