New country of origin rules for Hong Kong exports to US

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It is mandatory now for goods produced in Hong Kong and exported to the United States to state their country of origin as China rather than Hong Kong, following US President Donald Trump’s executive order on Hong Kong Normalisation issued on 14 July. The change came into force on July 29 but a transition period has been granted to companies.

The order suspends the application of section 201(a) of the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 to the marking statute, section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, with respect to imported goods produced in Hong Kong.

Such goods, when entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption into the United States after 25 September, must be marked to indicate that their origin is China for purposes of 19 U.S.C. 1304., according to the Federal Register.

19 U.S.C. 1304 provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the United States shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the United States the English name of the country of origin of the article.

Failure to mark an article in accordance with the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 shall result in the levy of a duty of ten percent ad valorem. On June 5, 1997, the US Customs Service issued a Federal Register notice that goods produced in Hong Kong should continue to be marked to indicate their origin as Hong Kong after the latter’s reversion to the sovereignty of China on July 1 that year.