USTR plans no grace period for product in transit when EU tariffs take effect: cheese importers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Trade Representative’s office has told industry it will not offer a grace period for goods that are still in transit when new tariffs on European Union imports take effect Oct. 18, the Cheese Importers Association of America said on Thursday.

“We contacted USTR this morning and they informed us they’re not going to give any grace period for product on the water,” Phil Marfuggi, president and CEO of Ambriola Co Inc, a subsidiary of Auricchio SpA, one of Italy’s largest cheese producers, told Reuters. “In the past, they would give us 30 days.”

Marfuggi, who serves as president of the Cheese Importers Association of America, said the trade group would petition USTR to reverse its approach, given that many orders for goods that had already been shipped might not be processed through U.S. customs by the time the new tariffs go into effect.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama