The Customs Tariffs Commission of the Chinese State Council announced last week that, as of March 2, Chinese importing companies - which meet the requirements - may request tariff exemptions on imports from a list of 696 US products selected by the Commission.
The fruit and vegetable products included in the list include fresh and frozen carrots, pistachios, oranges, table grapes, cherries, and frozen potatoes, among other items. However, the tariff agency allows companies to request an exemption for products that are not listed.
It should be noted that citrus fruits, pistachio nuts, fresh grapes, and cherries, like many other imported fruits and nuts, were subject to three rounds of additional tariffs. The first was a 15% tariff that was imposed in March 2018 in retaliation against U.S. Section 232, while the last two were imposed in retaliation against US Section 301. In July 2018, the additional tariff was increased by 25% and in September 2019 by 10%, which raised the additional tariff rates to a total of 50%. Current exemptions apply only to additional 35% tariff rates against Section 301. After taking into account the basic rates, this raises the rate for pistachios to 20%, citrus to 26%, fresh grapes to 28%, and cherries to 25%.
The announcement comes immediately after the entry into force of the Phase 1 Agreement between China and the US, on February 14.