Tariffs - seeking knowledge

Thread Starter

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
2,027
Is anyone well versed with the current tariffs on PCBs? In particular, I'm getting dinged at 25% on the single sided 2-layer PCBs I'm buying. I'm into the many thousands of dollars in tariffs so this is significant for me. There are exemptions for specific board designs, and so I'm left with two questions:
  1. Am I being charged a tariff in error, for a single sided 2-layer PCB?
  2. What changes do I need to make to my board to make it tariff exempt right now? i.e. can I add one part to the back side, call it double sided and be exempt?
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
25,166
I would look in to the tariff commodity code assigned for the duty. The commodity code numbers should be available on the US Customs site.
I believe there is a border services site, just as there is in Canada where you can download all the forms, I clear my own customs so I can assign a 'Suitable' duty free code.
Often out of expediency, the broker does not check the actual or true commodity code that applies and it can happen where they have assigned a too high a code.
What is the assigned commodity No. used right now?
 
Last edited:

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
1,762
I thought China paid all tariffs? Or at least that's what we were told.
It depends on the INCO terms agreed to between buyer and seller - which also include when buyer takes ownership and starts to accept liability for damages to the freight in transit (or liability for damages caused by the freight). INCO terms can also include seller paying the duty and adding it to the invoice and many detailed events like "crossing the vessels gunwale" many other permutations.
 

Thread Starter

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
2,027
Thank you everyone. The code applied is 9903.88.03, this code was the 25%. They also included code 8534.00.0095 which had no charge. I'll copy/paste the entry from UPS below (UPS paid the tariff on my behalf and billed me).
Where you're at and where the boards are being manufactured are key pieces of info, along with whether you're getting bare or assembled boards.
They are fully populated single sided 2-layer boards, about $14/ea. My tariff was about $3800 on this batch. I'm in the USA and they were manufactured and populated in China. Some of the parts were sourced from the USA.

1650933541288.png
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
1,762
I suspect it’s UPS.
If it comes by another carrier there is no import duty.
It is up to the customs agent on duty. Typically they don't bother collecting duties under $250. That means a $1000 order.
I believe there is no duty in boards that are empty or boards that have only passive components. There might also be something weird about very complex boards (4+ layers) that isn't taking away business from US based board makers because most don't do much in multilayer boards.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
25,166
Thank you everyone. The code applied is 9903.88.03, this code was the 25%. They also included code 8534.00.0095 which had no charge. I'll copy/paste the entry from UPS below (UPS paid the tariff on my behalf and billed me).
I will look it up tomorrow, UPS are notorious at slapping a code on without delving too deep into the actual products function.
They just act as broker before submitting it to Can or US customs.
.I have been clearing my own for about 25 years now.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
26,060
When I ordered parts for my DIY CNC machine UPS slapped a charge for tariffs every time.
I go no such charge if it was delivered by another carrier.
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
1,762
When I ordered parts for my DIY CNC machine UPS slapped a charge for tariffs every time.
I go no such charge if it was delivered by another carrier.
It is possible to proactively pay the tariff and some companies do to speed things through. Also, if they are a certified self-reporting importer that allows fast clearance of all goods by US customs, they are obligated to report and prepay everything - regardless of value. Even it is shipped as no charge, the certified self-reporting importer is supposed to declare a fair market value and pay duty on that. FedEx and DHL are pushing the envelope on their status, or, UPS is interpreting the rules too literally (or, possibly, pocketing the cash themselves).
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
25,166
How do you get into a position where you can clear your own shipments?
I live in the capital city for this province and it has a Can customs office where anyone, public included, can go and carry out any customs related issues, including clearing a import and payment of any taxes or duties etc.
The CBSA (Canada Border Services) has a online site where all fillable forms, B3's etc are available for anyone to use, fill in, and attend the office for clearance.
If you have an office in your city and chose to clear your own, you advise the shipper that you have your freight account with, UPS etc, that you want to be registered as 'Clear Own Customs'.
Then before any delivery, they will advise you that there is a shipment that needs clearing, at this point, you pick up the commercial invoice from the freight Co. and submit it with the B3 etc to Customs.
You select the most suitable Commodity No. to the shipment.
After processing, CAN/US customs FWD the shipment info to UPS etc for delivery.
I would assume it is exactly the same in the US as Canada,
Fortunately here, the UPS bonded warehouse is a street over from CAN customs so it is very convenient when clearing..
I will check the commodity numbers and see why they show two numbers for the same item??
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
9,370
China pays for nothing, the US consumer ultimately pays for all the tariffs. Imports are held in customs until the tariffs are paid.
Don't try to destroy my hopes and dreams, please. Next you guys will try to tell me the southern border wall either doesn't work or Mexico didn't pay for it!
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
25,166
Well it does not seem that there is much leeway on finding a more favorable tariff.
The dual commodity codes seemed a little confusing so I went to the US customs site, the commodity No.s are the same that Canada uses, and it seems that like Canada, the US has modified the MFN, (Most Favoured Nation) tariffs.
The 8534 code for printed circuits is listed as duty free, BUT 2022 both Canada and US has taken China off the MFN list.
This is why on one line it shows free, then says refer to section 99, where the duty is payable..
 

Thread Starter

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
2,027
Well it does not seem that there is much leeway on finding a more favorable tariff.
The dual commodity codes seemed a little confusing so I went to the US customs site, the commodity No.s are the same that Canada uses, and it seems that like Canada, the US has modified the MFN, (Most Favoured Nation) tariffs.
The 8534 code for printed circuits is listed as duty free, BUT 2022 both Canada and US has taken China off the MFN list.
This is why on one line it shows free, then says refer to section 99, where the duty is payable..
Thank you very much for looking, I appreciate it. So does it sound then like I'm stuck with this tariff? There were some exclusions for specific types of boards (such as 10 layer motherboards), but it wasn't clear if my simple 2-layer boards were exempt, or if adding something to the other side could make it exempt. Or heck even changing it to be 3 or 4 layers and just leave those layers empty in the next batch might be worth it if it becomes exempt. :)
 

Thread Starter

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
2,027
Did you happen to make a note of any commodity No.s?
I could maybe check
Thank you for the offer. I don't see anything on the UPS invoice with the word commodity in it. But I do see the "Shipment Description" is "component parts". If I look that up at the link below, I get the following (287-66).

https://web.uri.edu/purchasing/files/CommodityCodes-for-website.pdf

1651064532818.png

Perhaps this was an error and they should have used "Circuit Boards" "287-24", but would this make a difference tariff wise?

1651064630664.png

I get the same code if I look up "circuit boards" here:

https://wp.sbcounty.gov/purchasing/commodity-codes/

Thank you again for your help!
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
25,166
You may find a more favorable code by looking at the end use of the boards, e.g. are these stand alone units and sold as such, or do they interface or operate with some other equipment?
 
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