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Tariff Relief Not Included in 'Fiscal Cliff' Bill But SFIA Remains Optimistic

Date: 1/3/13

SILVER SPRING, MD – January 3, 2013 – The SFIA and the business community had pushed for inclusion of a Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) in the recently passed American Taxpayer Relief Act (H.R. 8), which prevented the country from going over the ‘fiscal cliff’. SFIA had 11 duty relief bills covering basketballs, volleyballs, golf bags and golf club heads in the MTB. 

In the end all tariff relief was dropped into a second bill “The U.S. Job Creation and Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2013” (H.R. 6727).  The bill contains over 1,500 duty relief bills and will be reintroduced and considered by the new Congress. 

“It is disappointing that Congress opted not to include tariff/duty relief in the last minute deal to avoid the ‘Fiscal Cliff’,” said Bill Sells, SFIA Vice President – Government and Public Affairs.  Sells, who has been leading the effort added, “Despite this setback, SFIA is encouraged that all of our duty relief bills were included in the MTB bill Congressional leaders introduced at the end of the session to facilitate passage of duty relief legislation in 2013.”

The bill provides for covered duty suspensions/reductions to take effect 15 days after enactment and remain in effect through December 31, 2015. All SFIA duty relief bills were included in H.R. 6727 with duty rates as follows:

  • Golf club driver heads (Sec. 1518) at 4.6% (0.3% reduction)
  • Fairway wood heads (Sec. 1519) at Free (4.9% reduction)
  • Golf club iron heads (Sec. 1520) at 3% (1.9% reduction)
  • Golf club putter heads (Sec. 1521) at 3% (1.9% reduction)
  • Golf club wedge heads (Sec. 1522) at 3% (1.9% reduction)
  • Hybrid golf club heads (Sec. 1523) at Free (4.9% reduction)
  • Leather basketballs (Sec. 2001(a)(243)) still at Free
  • Volleyballs (Sec. 2001(b)(97)) at 0.1% (Free previously)
  • Rubber basketballs (Sec. 2001(b)(98)) at 2.2% (0.7% previously)
  • Other basketballs (Sec. 2001(b)(99)) at 2.9% (1.1% previously)
  • Golf bag bodies (Sec. 2001(a)(349)) still at 1.5%

For the immediate future, duty rates will revert back to the full amount. SFIA will continue to actively pursue legislation to implement the requested duty relief on behalf of its members. 

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