In an update following the announcement that all imports from Hong Kong must be marked with China as the country of origin, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection has indicated that despite this change, such goods will not be affected by the section 301 tariffs on imports from China.
Since 1992, under the United States – Hong Kong policy act and despite reverting to Chinese control in 1997, the U.S. treats Hong Kong as a separate territory in all economic and trade matters.
The United States requires imported goods to be marked indicating the country of origin. As a result, goods from Hong Kong will have to be marked with China as the country of origin rather than Hong Kong, something that raised concern throughout importers regarding the tariffs the U.S. is currently imposing over Chinese products.
Recently the CBP stated that this change “does not affect country of origin determinations for purposes of assessing ordinary duties under chapter 99 of the HTSUS,” including section 301 tariffs on imports from China. CBP stated “goods that are products of Hong Kong should continue to report country code “HK” as the country of origin when required.”
It is important to mention that goods that fail to comply with the new law after the 45-day grace period starting on September 25, will be subject to a punitive 10 percent duty at U.S. ports.