C.H. Robinson Uncovers More Than $1B in Tariff Refunds Going Untapped

With two-thirds of Chinese imported goods subject to 301 tariffs, businesses both large and small may be leaving millions on the table if they don’t take action.

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C.H. Robinson revealed that U.S. companies importing from China could be missing out on more than a billion dollars in refunds via Section 301 tariff exclusions. The vast majority of these refund opportunities, which have continued to be updated since 301 tariffs were implemented as a result of the U.S.- China trade war, are set to expire Dec. 31. With two-thirds of Chinese imported goods subject to 301 tariffs, businesses both large and small may be leaving millions on the table if they don’t take action.

Since 301 tariffs were implemented in 2018, C.H. Robinson has identified potential savings for its customers of roughly $980 million related to exclusion refunds, with 96% of them being product-specific which require a more complex, time-consuming analysis for qualification. The company has already assisted hundreds of U.S. importers in navigating the complexity of these tariffs and exclusions along with providing duty recovery and compliance consulting.

“The U.S.-China trade war has added another layer of complexity to what has been a challenging global transportation market over the past year,” said Mike Short, President of Global Forwarding at C.H. Robinson. “As we have consulted with businesses of all sizes, it’s clear that the biggest barriers to duty recovery for these companies are a lack of time, data, and expertise to navigate the complex and lengthy application process.  With our global suite of services and technology built by and for supply chain experts, we help customers cut through the clutter, save time by automating processes, and maximize refund potential.  This is especially important now as the pandemic has so many businesses seeking cost savings.”

C.H. Robinson is providing expertise companies can rely on and shaving off critical time in a complex and lengthy refund recovery process so that companies can focus on maximizing operations while still accessing savings for which they qualify. On their own, a U.S. importer would first need to see if their Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes qualify for any one of the specific 301 exclusions and then go through the time-consuming act of comparing their specific products against the product-specific exclusions. With its global trade experts and single, multimodal, global technology platform Navisphere®, C.H. Robinson reduces this time-intensive process by running data comparisons and analysis that delivers strategic recommendations to maximize refund potential for its customers.

Throughout the trade war and the onset of the pandemic – which accelerated the rate of exclusion updates – C.H. Robinson has helped companies of all sizes submit for hundreds of millions in savings. To give one example, C.H. Robinson assisted Wheel Pros, a large wheel design and distribution company, in submitting for a significant refund. 

“It was great to work alongside C.H. Robinson’s team as we navigate a challenging global trade climate,” said Holly Smith, Director of Logistics at Wheel Pros. “Not only have they saved us many hours of work via their technology and global trade expertise and been a trusted partner in navigating compliance issues, but they helped us successfully uncover and submit for a substantial refund.”

To help even more customers navigate the latest tariff challenges and opportunities, C.H. Robinson announced today the launch of Trade & Tariff Insights, which is a digital one-stop-shop for ongoing updates and insights on the latest in trade issues.

“The Trade & Tariff Insights hub is 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,” said Short. “As one of the world’s largest global logistics platforms, we are dedicated to using our information advantage to help our customers solve complex global logistics challenges, including ever-changing trade issues, so they can focus on operating their business.”

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