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Trade and Industry Department The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Brand Hong Kong - Asia world city

Commercial Information Circulars

24-hour hotline : 23 922 922

e-mail address :

Ref. : EIC 111/2/18
EIC 111/3
EIC 111/3/13

24 January 2018

Dear Sirs,

Commercial Information Circular No. 120/2018

US : Product-Specific Safeguard Measures against Imported Solar Cells and Modules; Large Residential Washers

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced on 22 January 2018 that the US President has approved recommendations to impose safeguard tariffs on imported solar cells and modules and imported large residential washing machines. The safeguard measures will take effect on 7 February 2018.


2.Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974 authorizes the US President to take action, in the form of tariffs, tariff rate quotas, quantitative restrictions or other actions, in response to an US International Trade Commission (ITC)'s determination that increased imports are a substantial cause of serious injury to domestic producers. Following its investigations initiated in May and June 2017 respectively, the ITC determined that increased imports of solar cells and modules, and washers are a substantial cause of serious injury to the domestic industries. The US President approved to impose safeguard tariffs on solar cells and modules for four years and safeguard tariff-rate quotas on large residential washing machines for three years to provide relief to the domestic industries. The details are set out below:

A. Solar Cells and Modules:

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Safeguard Tariff on Modules and Cells 30% 25% 20% 15%
Cells Exempted from Tariff 2.5 gigawatts 2.5 gigawatts 2.5 gigawatts 2.5 gigawatts

The products are classified in HTSUS subheadings 8501.31.80; 8501.61.00; 8507.20.80; 8541.40.60.

B. Large Residential Washers:

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
First 1.2 million units of imported finished washers 20% 18% 16%
All subsequent imports of finished washers 50% 45% 40%
Tariff on covered parts 50% 45% 40%
Covered parts excluded from tariff 50,000 units 70,000 units 90,000 units

The products are classified in HTSUS subheadings: 8450.20.00; 8450.11.00; 8450.90.20; 8450.90.60.

3.For details, please refer to the related press release by Office of the USTR and Presidential Proclamations -

Press Release by Office of the USTR

US Presidential Proclamation on Large Residential Washers

US Presidential Proclamation on Solar Cells and Modules


4.For enquiries concerning the content of this circular, please contact the undersigned at 3403 6099.

Yours faithfully,

(Jasper LAM)
for Director-General of Trade and Industry

Note: While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the above information, the Department cannot guarantee this to be so and will not be held liable for any reliance placed on the same.