As we previously reported, President Biden and Congress took steps in March 2022 to revoke Russia’s most-favored-nation (or “MFN”) trade status, known as Permanent Normal Trade Relations (“PNTR”) status under U.S. law. As a result of these actions, the Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act (“Suspending NTR Act”) entered into force on April 8, 2022, formally revoking PNTR status for Russia and Belarus. Under the terms of the Act, imports into the United States of products from Russia and Belarus became subject to tariff rates set out in column 2 of the U.S. tariff schedule, rather than the column 1 rates that had previously applied. Column 2 tariff rates are often higher—sometimes much higher—than MFN tariff rates in column 1, and as a result of this change, tariffs on U.S. imports from Russia increased from an average of approximately three percent to 32 percent. In addition to implementing this immediate change in applicable tariff rates, the Suspending NTR Act also temporarily authorized the President, through the end of 2023, to increase even further tariffs applicable to imports from Russia and Belarus.
On June 27, pursuant to the authority granted under the Suspending NTR Act, President Biden issued Presidential Proclamation 10420, announcing that the United States would further increase tariffs applicable to certain categories of imports from Russia, worth approximately $2.3 billion annually. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) recently issued guidance on these tariff increases, which will apply effective July 27, 2022. This alert provides additional information on the forthcoming tariff increases, and discusses potential implications for importers of Russian goods.
Overview of July 27 Tariff Rate Increase on Certain U.S. Imports from Russia
Since revocation of PNTR status in April, products imported into the United States from Russia and Belarus have been subject to tariff rates set forth in column 2 of the U.S. tariff schedule. Under the terms of Presidential Proclamation 10420, however, duty rates of 35 percent ad valorem will apply to 570 categories of Russian products in lieu of column 2 rates, beginning July 27, 2022. These product categories have an estimated value of approximately $2.3 billion annually. The Proclamation does not impact imports from Belarus, which will remain subject to column 2 tariff rates.