Fujifilm First in Printer Industry to Receive U.S. Tariff Exclusion

Fujifilm North America, Graphic Systems Division, of Hanover Park, Illinois, announced on January 23rd that it’s received tariff tax exclusions on its aluminum offset-printing plates, currently making it the only major printing-plate manufacturer in the United States to earn exclusion from tariffs imposed on $200 billion worth of goods imported from China into the United States. The United States placed 25-percent tariffs on Chinese goods worth some $34 billion in July 2018, and on other Chinese goods worth some $16 billion in August 2018.

Fujifilm says it worked with industry associations and the U.S. government to address the unintended consequences of the tariffs applied to the sales of aluminum offset printing plates as an “unfair burden on the graphic arts industry.”

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Section 232 tariffs on imported aluminum remain in effect. However, Fujifilm  North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division, has received exclusions on the majority of the 147 Exclusion Requests it filed several months ago. Other companies in the printer and printing industry, including HP Inc., which is seeking exemptions on ink and toner cartridges, have also filed for exclusions.

Todd Zimmerman, division president of Fujifilm North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division, commented: “Although the current (U.S.) federal-government shutdown prevents Fujifilm from receiving further updates as to the status of our remaining Exclusion Requests and the process, timing and amount of refunds Fujifilm can expect on tariffs paid since June 1, 2018, Fujifilm remains committed to crediting plate customer accounts for every dollar of tariff tax that the Commerce Department returns to Fujifilm.”

“Our resolve to challenge these tariffs has led to this outcome for our valued customers,” Zimmerman added. “I sincerely appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding as we worked through this difficult situation. We will provide updates on this process as soon as we receive further information from our contacts in the Commerce Department.”

The exclusions are valid until approximately December 2019, and can be revoked by the U.S. Commerce Department at any time.

Fujifilm says it’s “dedicated to providing American jobs and supporting local communities.” At the Fujifilm Manufacturing U.S.A. facility in Greenwood, South Carolina, more than 200 Fujifilm associates contribute to the overall printing plate manufacturing process within thermal, process-less, and violet plate offerings, engineering 13 different types of plates. Once plates are manufactured at the 500-acre complex, they are stored in an on-site distribution center with dedicated inventories to meet plate customer needs in a timely manner. The nationwide warehouse distribution system used by Fujifilm is said to minimize handling to avoid potential damage that can be caused by using overseas container shipments.

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