June 22, 2012 Is The Deadline For Filing Comments
Both the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee on Trade have recently announced that June 22, 2012 is the deadline for the public to submit comments on the hundreds of miscellaneous tariff bills recently introduced into Congress. Approximately 1,300 bills were introduced into the House alone. Most of these bills seek to either continue existing duty suspensions/reductions currently in effect on particular products or establish new duty suspensions/reductions on specific products.
Under the criteria established by Congress these miscellaneous tariff bills must be 1) non-controversial and 2) the loss of revenue (Customs duties) per bill must not be greater than $500,000 per year.
As part of the review of these bills, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) an independent government agency, will vet each of the bills to ascertain the potential beneficiaries of the bill, the projected loss of revenue per year and whether it is controversial. Those bills which meet the two-fold criteria above will be amalgamated into a Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) in each the Senate and the House.
This year, Congress is taking steps to make the MTB process accessible online and more transparent to the public. The Senate bills can be viewed on the Senate Finance web site at http://www.finance.senate.gov/legislation/details/?id=beca4d9e-5056-a032-5262-f8409b84f63a [2012 MTB Matrix], and the House bills are available for viewing on the House Ways and Means web site at http://waysandmeans.hou se.gov/mtb/mtbbills.htm.
Comments on a particular bill are to be submitted online. Once the comment period has closed, we expect, based upon previous experience, that the public will be able to view all comments filed on a particular bill. Companies should, therefore, avoid including confidential information when submitting comments.
If you have any questions about this or other customs issues, please contact Steve Spraitzar at email@example.com or at (415) 288‑0427.
Stephen S. Spraitzar is an attorney with the Law Offices of George R. Tuttle in San Francisco.
The information in this article is general in nature, and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship with respect to any event or occurrence, and may not be considered as such.
Copyright © 2012 by Tuttle Law Offices.
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