USA Customs 25% Import Duty Exclusion for Vibration Motor / Linear Resonant ActuatorsOctober 18, 2022
On July 6, 2018 the U.S. trade representative (USTR) imposed a 25% surcharge on many classes of products that are made in China. This was done under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, and are known as 301 Tariffs. One of the motivations for imposing such tariffs was to encourage purchases of equivalent goods from non-China sources. Impositions of many of these tariffs were very short sighted. Unfortunately, many equivalent haptic feedback devices are not available from non-China sources, and this fact unfairly penalized US based companies. China is one of the few countries that have the supply chain infrastructure to support production of micro vibration motors / linear resonant actuators. Although we have vibration motor production lines in Vietnam, in terms of production capacity, it is a distant second. The USTR has a protest process, which has yielded several “Notice of Product Exclusion”. These notices list the HTS tariff codes, corresponding exclusion code 9903.xx.xxx and expiration date.
These 9903 codes are valid for a certain time window, and to take advantage of the 25% tariff exclusion, the customs entry must be done within the validity date of the code.
The 9903 code must be listed along with the HTS code of the product. The commercial invoices must clearly state BOTH the HTS code and the corresponding 9903 exclusion code. Prior to expiration you will need to check to see if an extension was issued, and if so, a new 9903 code will be issued with a new expiration date. For your convenience we have listed both the HTS code, 9903 code and expiration date on all of our product pages. For example for this item VG2230001H data is as follows:
All too often DHL / FEDEX will ignore the 9903 code on your documents and charge the importer of record the 25% import duty tariff. If this happens, you will need to file a PSC (Post Summary Correction). This can be done for about $100 and handled by FEDEX / DHL. It will not help if you blame them for incompetence. This will entail filing a detailed protest to support the claims that the goods imported actually fit the HTS code that was claimed. It is not important that the goods were already entered under that HTS code, and that the duty was paid. You will need to submit a data sheet and explain why it meets the definition of the HTS code you have claimed. Once submitted, you will be issued a reference number that typically starts with AEK. A customs entry is finalized (liquidated) 300 days after the customs clearance date, so it is important to clear these issues before then. To check on the PSC status of commodities, such as vibration motors or LRAs you can send an e-mail to CEE-ELECTRONICS@cbp.dhs.gov .