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Chinese Quartz Tariff Hits 300%

Department of Commerce Announces new Antidumping Tariffs on Quartz from China

“On November 14, 2018, the Department of Commerce announced its affirmative preliminary determination in the antidumping duty investigation of imports of quartz surface products from the People’s Republic of China.”  You can read the fact sheet here.   This means there will be NEW anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese quartz surfaces imported into the United States.  The tariffs will add 242.1% to 314.1% to the cost of bringing Chinese quartz surfaces into the United States. The new tariffs take effect once they are published in the Federal Register, which is likely within a few business days.

In September, the Commerce Department set an effective 34% tariff for most Chinese quartz surfaces on countervailing (subsidized value) practices. Unlike the countervailing tariffs, these new anti-dumping tariffs involve five different levels. Some companies rate as low as 242.1%, but one large firm, Foshan Yixin Stone Co. Ltd., gets an adjusted 314.1%.

The additional tariffs on Chinese quartz surfaces will quadruple the final costs to importers. For example, a slab with a customs value of $500 could have a punitive tariff (at a combined antidumping/countervailing rate of 348%) of $1,740, for a total off-the-dock cost of $2,240.

The Commerce Department filing notes that Chinese quartz surfaces that arrived in the United States up to 90 days prior to Register publication and are “unliquidated” are also subject to the high anti-dumping tariffs.  This means that quartz surfaces that arrived in the past 90 days (backdating to mid-August) could be assessed retroactively for the duties.  This would apply for surfaces that are still in a port-of-entry warehouse, a local slab yard or installed as fabricated countertops.

The antidumping/countervailing tariffs are separate from the blanket Trump administration (Section 301) tariffs on a wide variety of Chinese goods.  An initial 10% tariff went into effect earlier in the fall.  The additional 15% is set to take effect in January if there’s no trade deal between China and the United States.