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C.H. Robinson: Millions at Stake for Shippers Awaiting Decision on China Tariff Refunds

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C.H. Robinson: Millions at Stake for Shippers Awaiting Decision on China Tariff Refunds

Businesses importing from China may get a second chance to take advantage of Section 301 tariff exclusions, which were designed to provide financial relief, adding up to thousands or even millions of dollars in savings for companies, on some products being imported to the U.S. from China. At the start of 2021, a majority of these tariff product exclusions expired, increasing duty fees for shippers, and adding strain in an elevated supply chain cost environment. Now, these tariff savings are back on the table for consideration.

USTR Comment Period is Open Until December 1

About one week remains to petition the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to reinstate 549 of these expired product exclusions, which would introduce retroactive refund potential for shippers. If the USTR rules to reinstate the refunds next month, shippers would be able to file for refunds as far back as October 15. In that two-month period alone, there is potential for millions of dollars in retroactive duty refunds, and that doesn’t include the future savings these exclusions could provide shippers who are likely not going to see supply chain congestion and shipping cost relief even as 2022 begins.

When considering whether to reinstate the exclusions, the USTR will focus primarily on factors such as changes in the global supply chain, domestic product availability and effort spent on domestic sourcing by importers, and whether there is adequate domestic capacity for producing the product in question in the U.S.

What This Means for Shippers

Not only does this targeted tariff exclusion process provide a financial opportunity for shippers now, but it also introduces the potential for additional exclusions to come to light in the future, according to recent statements by the USTR. However, many current trade measures are not expected to change soon. The office has acknowledged that trade reform between the U.S. and China is ongoing as the relationship evolves with the new administration.

Still, the potential for reinstated refunds next month presents an opportunity for shippers to better understand their financial position, discover what they may be able to reclaim, and determine what impact that may have on their shipping operations.

To help provide shippers with an information advantage, C.H. Robinson has developed an automated U.S. Tariff Search Tool. The tool streamlines what can otherwise be hours of tedious tariff data analysis. Shippers can input their organization’s HTS codes and receive information about their eligibility under the tariff exclusions as well as better understand their total landed cost analysis – including their costs to import, recovering duties previously paid, and reducing their duty exposure via trade agreements.

Shippers can submit comments to the USTR at this webpage: Home ( and get more information on the impact this could have on the trade community here: Recent Trade & Tariff Perspectives | C.H. Robinson (


QAD Precision Launches Complimentary Foreign-Trade Zone Cost/Benefit Analysis

QAD Precision, an industry-leading provider of global trade and transportation execution solutions, today announced a complimentary Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) Cost/Benefit Analysis. This analysis calculates the cost savings manufacturers and distributors could realize by leveraging the Foreign-Trade Zones program. QAD Precision is a division of QAD Inc.

Under the US Foreign-Trade Zones program, goods imported into an FTZ are considered to be outside the US commerce and customs territory. As a result, no duties are paid on imports until such time as the goods enter US commerce. Should goods be exported from the FTZ, no import duties are paid. 

“Companies that establish and operate an FTZ must adhere to significant compliance requirements around inventory controls. With our free FTZ Cost/Benefit Analysis, organizations can discover the value FTZ can bring to their bottom line,” said Corey Rhodes, President of QAD Precision.

QAD Precision Foreign-Trade Zone was developed in collaboration with senior consultants and FTZ practitioners to create a user-friendly and configurable  FTZ Inventory Control and Recordkeeping System (ICRS). QAD Precision FTZ ensures compliance with FTZ regulations while lowering FTZ administration costs.

“Most companies considering an FTZ do so in order to defer import duties or eliminate the need for duty drawback. However, the Cost/Benefit Analysis will help uncover other opportunities for cost savings, such as relief from inverted tariffs and reduced Merchandise Processing fees and brokerage fees,” added Mr. Rhodes. “With QAD Precision FTZ, companies can slash import costs while accelerating supply chain velocity.”

To book a complimentary FTZ Cost/Benefit Analysis, please schedule a consultation online or contact an FTZ expert at +1 251-445-1363 or +1 251-445-1385.


About QAD Precision – Trusted Global Trade and Transportation Execution

QAD Precision, a division of QAD Inc., provides industry-leading global trade compliance, and multi carrier transportation execution solutions from a single, integrated platform. An ISO-certified company, QAD Precision assists companies to streamline their import, export and transportation operations, optimize deliveries, and increase logistics ROI. QAD Precision’s scalable and extensible solution easily integrates with existing ERP and WMS solutions. Industry leaders in every region of the world rely on QAD Precision’s global support centers to leverage thousands of carrier services and manage millions of global trade and shipping transactions every day. For more information about QAD Precision, visit

About QAD – Enabling the Adaptive Manufacturing Enterprise

QAD Inc. is a leading provider of next-generation manufacturing and supply chain solutions in the cloud. Global manufacturers face ever-increasing disruption caused by technology-driven innovation and changing consumer preferences. In order to survive and thrive, manufacturers must be able to innovate and change business models at unprecedented rates of speed. QAD calls these companies Adaptive Manufacturing Enterprises. QAD solutions help customers in the automotive, life sciences, consumer products, food and beverage, high tech and industrial manufacturing industries rapidly adapt to change and innovate for competitive advantage.

Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Santa Barbara, California, QAD has 30 offices globally. Over 2,000 manufacturing companies have deployed QAD solutions including enterprise resource planning (ERP), demand and supply chain planning (DSCP), global trade and transportation execution (GTTE) and quality management system (QMS) to become an Adaptive Manufacturing Enterprise. To learn more, visit or call +1 805-566-6100. Find us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

“QAD” is a registered trademark of QAD Inc. All other products or company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.


How Your Business can Take Advantage of Section 301 Tariff Refunds

If you’re a U.S. company importing from China, you may have tens of thousands or even millions in tariff refunds waiting for you. With two-thirds of Chinese origin goods subject to Section 301 tariffs, companies large and small have been impacted since they were implemented in 2018 amid a U.S.-China trade war. Currently, 301 tariffs are extremely broad, covering industries from food and beverage, industrial supplies, transport equipment, consumption goods, and fuels and lubricants, to name a few. And now is your chance to get a refund on some of those extra duty payments via 301 exclusions before a vast majority of them expire on Dec. 31. These exclusions offer just the kind of cost-savings so many companies are looking for as we face a volatile economy and pandemic.

Taking advantage of duty recovery

If you’re not familiar, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) implemented the exclusion process for 301 tariffs when they were first enacted in 2018. This opportunity provided businesses the chance to request an exclusion and/or submit for duty recovery on exclusions that were already available.

Looking across our own customers, we identified a potential duty recovery refund of roughly $980 million. However, we found the timeliness and complexities of navigating the amount of exclusions can be overwhelming for small and large companies alike. And we get it, without the right data, technology, and expertise the process to compare your HTS codes against hundreds of exclusions can take hours, and that’s without considering that over 96% are product-specific which requires an even deeper level of analysis. With C.H. Robinson’s technology built by and for supply chains and a global suite of services, we’re able to decrease the amount of time needed in the complex and lengthy refund recovery process. Through our global trade experts and single, multimodal, global technology platform Navisphere®, we utilize data comparison and analysis tools to quickly reveal your refund potential.

We have already helped hundreds of companies take advantage of the refunds for which they qualify. One of the companies we assisted was Wheel Pros, a large wheel design, and distribution company, in submitting for a substantial refund. Keep in mind, large refunds are not only for large companies, our global trade experts have helped multiple small and mid-sized businesses uncover and submit for large refunds.

Keeping up with global trade changes

While the majority of current exclusions are set to expire on Dec. 31, we’ve been around long enough to know the only constant in global trade is change. So, we also created a Trade & Tariffs Insights webpage to help you keep up with it. It’s like having your very own global trade concierge service with weekly updates on the changing global trade marketplace along with custom insights and commentary from our leading global trade experts to help you make sense of it all. Trade and Tariff Insights cover topics like tariffs, exclusions and any other trade or compliance issues you need to know about. That way, you can focus on operating your business.

To learn more, visit Trade & Tariffs Insights. You can also reach out to one of our trade experts to explore your refund potential for 301 tariffs before time runs out.