U.S. Customs Now Requires Items Originating in Hong Kong To Be Marked with China as Country-of-Origin

On August 11th, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published a Federal Register notice outlining changes to how the agency considers country-of-origin for goods originating in Hong Kong. 
 
All goods produced in Hong Kong may no longer be marked to indicate “Hong Kong” as their origin, but instead must be marked to indicate “China” as the country-of-origin.  This change was made effective as of July 29, 2020, but CBP will not be strictly enforcing this change until September 25, 2020.  The change is the result of an Executive Order directive from the President.  The Federal Register notice is available here
 
Please note that this change only applies to goods that originate in Hong Kong, not goods that are merely passing through without substantial transformation.  The country code of “HK” will no longer be available, and all goods originating in Hong Kong should be marked “CN”.
 
The new marking requirement does not subject goods currently made in Hong Kong to the increased China 301 tariffs.  The current duty rates for jewelry products range from zero to over 13% depending upon the particular merchandise. This change should have little practical effect on jewelry importers in the United States, as the duty rates on products from Hong Kong and China were the same.
 
For further information, please read CBP’s FAQ section here or contact JVC Senior Counsel, Sara Yood, at sara@jvclegal.org