In response to the continuing conflict in Ukraine, President Biden signed legislation, “Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act” (the Act), into law on April 8, 2022. The Act suspends normal trade relations (NTR) with the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus.
By suspending NTR, Russia and Belarus will be subject to the discriminatory tariffs in column two of the HTSUS. Effective immediately, the potentially higher duty rates are to be applied to shipments entered or withdrawn for consumption on or after April 9, 2022.
The Act also allows the President to increase column two rates of duty for Russia and Belarus. While traditionally considered to be substantially higher, importers of products from Russia and Belarus should verify the duty rates currently shown in the HTSUS. Many products, particularly in the agricultural sector, now enjoy a 0% duty rate, even under the punitive column 2 tariffs.
Importers of products subject to the Act would be well advised to closely monitor the situation as duty rates are subject to change with little notice.