The U.S. Government released a Federal Register Notice (“Notice”) on August 11th, 2020 clarifying the changes to origin marking requirements of Hong Kong manufactured goods.
The Notice comes in response to the U.S. President’s Executive Order 13936 on Hong Kong Normalization, issued on July 14th, 2020. The Executive Order suspended the application of certain aspects of the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, including the marking statute under section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, concerning imported goods produced in Hong Kong.
The Notice clarifies that action will be taken only on the origin marking of goods (i.e. the ‘Made In’ country indicated on the product or its packaging), which can no longer be marked to indicate ‘Hong Kong’ as the origin, but instead shall be marked with ‘China’ as the origin. It should be noted that ‘Hong Kong, China’ is also not acceptable.
On August 12th, CBP provided clarification in a published FAQ on their website regarding certain aspects of the Hong Kong marking requirements. CBP indicated that the action “pertains only to the markings of goods”, and that there would not be tariff implications. More plainly, Hong Kong-originating goods will not be subject to additional customs duty under the Section 301 tariffs currently faced by Chinese originating products and shall continue to report the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) country code 'HK' as the country of origin for purposes of an import declaration and tariff treatment.
The new marking requirements come into effect on September 25th, 2020.
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As of August 26, 2020, CBP has announced an extension of the transition period for compliance with the Executive Order on Hong Kong Normalization for 45 days. The effective date of the origin marking change discussed in this article is now November 9, 2020.
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