Member Search

Savings Strategies: Duty Refunds

Published: Friday, April 30, 2021

There  are  a  number  of  duty  savings strategies  companies  can  use  to  conserve  cash,  lower  customs duties  and  tariffs, and  seek  refunds. These  strategies  are  always  a  high  priority for  businesses  involved in  international  trade, but  particularly  so  during  this  difficult  period.

Section  301  Tariff Refunds

Companies  importing  goods  from  China  may  be  eligible  and  can  apply  for  retroactive refunds  of  Section 301  duties,  but  time  is  running  short, and  the  process is  proving  to  be  complicated and  burdensome.

Exclusions  from  these  tariffs  provide companies  with  an  opportunity  to  claim  refunds on  specified  products. The  catch  is  that  your  imported  product must  be  covered  by  both  the  approved  tariff classification  number  and  the  specific product  description  of  the  exclusion. In  essence,  companies must  classify  products twice  to  identify refund  opportunities.

Once  an  opportunity is  identified,  companies must  file  and  track  refund requests  from  U.S.  Customs  and  Border  Protection. The  refund  process imposes  strict  requirements, and  deadlines  are  confusing.  Should a  request  be  denied,  further administrative  or  court  action  may  be  required.

To  help  importers who  may  not  have  the  bandwidth  or  know-how  to  engage  in  this  process, ST&R  has  established an  efficient  program to  review  product and  import  data,  identify  all  existing  or  potential  exclusions that  may  be  applied  to  the  company’s products,  and,  when  warranted,  file  and  track  refund  requests. This  program  is  specially  designed to  alleviate  significant time  intrusions  on  already-burdened  import  staff  while  maximizing potential  duty  recovery. Because  the  additional duty  rates  range  from  10  to  25  percent,  the  refunds  can  be  significant.

Companies  requiring  expert assistance  in  identifying and  securing  these  refunds  should contact  The  Lawyer Network  member  Charles “Chuck”  Crowley  at  +1  (212)  549-0134  or

Other  Duty  and  Tariff  Refunds

ST&R  also  offers a  duty  refund program  that  can  help  you  lower  your  tariff  burden and  obtain  refunds of  past  overpayments.

Utilizing  its  decades of  domain  expertise in  tariff  classification,  ST&R conducts  a  strategic review  of  your  import  data  (using  sources such  as  a  SKU-level  entry  report  or  classification  database) to  identify  products that  may  be  legitimately  reclassified at  lower  duty  rates.

With  your  approval, we  then  file  claims  with  CBP  to  reclassify  the  goods  and  recover  refunds of  higher  duties  paid  on  past  entries. We  actively  track  and  advocate for  these  claims as  necessary,  and  our  success rate  in  recovering refunds  is  very  high  because our  claims  always have  a  sound  basis  in  the  tariff schedule,  CBP  rulings, or  court  cases.

If  the  claims are  approved,  we  share  in  the  refunds. We  then  work  with  your  staff  to  ensure  that  the  reclassifications  are  applied  to  your  future entries,  and  you  keep  100  percent  of  future  savings.

Those  interested  in  taking  advantage of  this  duty  refund  program should  contact  The  Lawyer  Network member  Charles  “Chuck” Crowley  at  +1  (212)  549-0134 or

Charles L. Crowley
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.
New York, USA
Practice Area:
International Trade
Phone Number:
CHARLES CROWLEY is a member of Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., resident in the New York office. As a nationally-recognized authority on international trade and business law, Mr. Crowley has substantial experience leading and directing global trade and customs practices. He concentrates his practice on assisting multinational corporations with a wide variety of customs and international trade activities, including international supply chain security and management, intellectual property rights, import/export process management, antidumping and countervailing duty matters, unfair trade actions and anti-corruption compliance. In addition, Mr. Crowley provides counsel to clients on customs issues such as first sale and other valuation matters, duty refunds and tax/tariff reductions, foreign-trade zones and customs audits. He also advises clients on penalty matters and brings considerable insight to these issues as a former attorney with U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Regulations and Rulings and as a licensed U.S. Customs Broker in good standing since 1999.

Member Introduction

The Lawyer Network in numbers


Members Firms




Practice Areas


Member Firms
Total Staff