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Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) Petition Process

The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) affords importers an opportunity to apply for a temporary reduction or suspension of duties paid on specific products imported into the United States. The products can be manufactured in any country. Petitions are submitted to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), which then prepares a report to Congress with recommendations on which products should be included in an MTB. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 10, 2019, at 5:15 p.m. EST.

To be considered for inclusion in an MTB, the proposed duty suspension or reduction must be:

  • Noncontroversial;

  • Revenue-neutral (foregone tariff revenues of no more than $500,00 per product); and

  • Administrable by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The ITC compiles the petitions and posts them on the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Petition System (MTBPS). ITC then evaluates any public comments received on these petitions to determine whether the request for duty suspension or reduction is “noncontroversial.”

The MTB timeline is as follows:

  • Oct. 11, 2019 – Dec. 10, 2019: MTBPS open for petition submission.

  • Dec. 10, 2019 – Jan. 11, 2020: ITC compiles petitions.

  • No later than Jan. 11, 2020 – Mid-April 2020: ITC solicits public comments on petitions, conducts a review, and submits a preliminary report to Congress.

  • By August 2020: ITC submits a final report to Congress, considering information submitted from the Department of Commerce as well as comments from congressional committees.

The petition process is open to all products, including those that were not granted a tariff reduction or suspension during the last MTB cycle. Interested parties should note that there is an option to petition for renewal of a tariff suspension or reduction granted in the previous MTB. Importers of such products need not have submitted the previous petition to submit the petition for renewal. In fact, it is in an importer’s interest to submit a renewal petition because the previous petitioner may no longer have an interest in renewal, or may simply forget to submit a renewal.

Importers and other interested parties are encouraged to submit petitions early in the process. Though not required, the ITC may review petitions before the submission due date and inform petitioners if a problem exists with the submission. This allows petitioners to withdraw their submission and resubmit an error-free petition before the due date.

©2020 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved. National Law Review, Volume IX, Number 316


About this Author

Laura Siegel Rabinowitz Corporate Trade Attorney Greenberg Traurig Law Firm

Laura Siegel Rabinowitz counsels domestic and multinational businesses on complex supply chain issues and other complicated challenges associated with trade, advising on mitigation of duty exposure and compliance. Laura has deep experience handling international trade projects for clients, including multinational importers, exporters, manufacturers, retailers, customs brokers, and freight forwarders.

Laura advises clients on mitigating tariffs on Chinese-made products and steel and aluminum and helps clients navigate the maze of regulations,...

Donald Stein, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, International Trade and Healthcare Litigation Attorney

Donald S. Stein focuses his practice on federal regulatory issues, and in particular U.S. Customs law, trade remedies and trade policy issues. From dealing with imports and the myriad of laws enforced by the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection ("CBP"), he has also developed experience in practicing before other federal regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He is also experienced in working with the U.S. International Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in connection with trade law and trade policy issues.

In the Customs area, Don has wide-ranging experience representing clients in the apparel and agriculture sectors, as well as in many other industries, in tariff classification, valuation, country of origin and country of origin marking matters, as well as defending clients against Customs detentions and seizures, and claims for penalties, liquidated damages, and/or the redelivery of goods. He has also worked closely with U.S. intellectual property owners to help protect their intellectual property against unauthorized and infringing imports. Under the CBP’s regime of "informed compliance," Don has worked with his clients to advise and ensure that they structure their import operations in a manner that is fully compliant with all CBP rules and regulations. He has also worked with clients to design and implement Customs compliance programs. Additionally, Don assists clients who are subject to CBP audits.

In the trade policy area, Don has represented the interests of clients in trade preference matters (free trade agreements and special trade programs), as well as in matters pending before Congress which may affect their interests. He also provides advice to clients on World Trade Organization related issues.

Axel Urie international Trade and Customs Attorney Greenberg Traurig Law Firm

Axel Urie is a member of the International Trade and Customs Practice in Greenberg Traurig's Washington, D.C. office. He is experienced in trade remedy and customs matters, including litigation for domestic importers, producers, and foreign exporters.