Chinese-Origin Optical Products Are on Updated 10 Percent Tariff Lists Starting Sept. 1 and Dec. 15

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ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Yesterday, the Trump administration set forth two sub-lists of tariff numbers included in the fourth tranche of China 301 tariffs scheduled to go into effect on Sept. 1, 2019 and Dec. 15, 2019. This means that Chinese-origin spectacle lenses, spectacle frames, sunglasses, reading glasses, eyeglasses, safety glasses, goggles and many low vision devices will be subject to an additional 10 percent tariff on those dates, according to an alert The Vision Council sent to its members late yesterday.

The two sub-lists—4A and 4B—include optical products and are scheduled to be subject to an additional 10 percent tariff, according to an announcement from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). These are the two divisions of list four.

List 4A (Effective Sept. 1)

• 9001.40.00 - Spectacle lenses of glass, unmounted
• 9001.50.00 - Spectacle lenses of materials other than glass, unmounted
• 9003.11.00 - Frames and mountings, of plastics, for spectacles, goggles or the like
• 9003.19.00 - Frames and mountings, other than of plastics, for spectacles, goggles or the like
• 9003.90.00 - Parts of frames and mountings for spectacles, goggles or the like
• 9004.10.00 - Sunglasses, corrective, protective or other
• 9004.90.00 - Spectacles, goggles and the like, corrective, protective or other, other than sunglasses
• 9005.10.00 - Binoculars

List 4B (Effective Dec. 15)

• 9005.80.40 - Optical telescopes, including monoculars
Earlier this summer, The Vision Council advocated for the removal of optical products from this fourth list of tariff numbers, as VMAIL reported. That process included:

• Submitting comments with the USTR opposing the inclusion of optical products on the fourth list because they are medical devices.
• Testifying before the USTR by The Vision Council chairman Ken Bradley in support of our comments and concerns.
• Creating an ad hoc coalition of optical and eyecare related trade associations and other groups, which in turn submitted its own comments opposing the proposed inclusion of optical products.
• Circulating The Vision Council’s comments on Capitol Hill as well as within the White House.

The Sept. 1 and Dec. 15 dates do nothing to alter the China 301 tariffs currently in effect,The Vision Council pointed out. Any products impacted by those tariffs corresponding with the first, second and third China 301 lists will continue to be assessed an additional 25 percent tariff on Chinese-origin goods.

The Vision Council said it will continue to monitor the situation and notify members of any changes. Any questions about this issue can be directed to Rick Van Arnam, The Vision Council regulatory affairs counsel, at rvanarnam@barnesrichardson.com.