June 16, 2020:

As I mentioned in a previous post, tariff refunds are now available for 2- and 4-layer PCB orders placed in the last 18 months.

If a broker managed the tariffs applied to your recently exempted board orders, you must go through that broker to receive the refund.

Start by asking for a detailed list of all tariff-related expenses (TRE) on 2- and 4-layer orders you placed in the last 18 months. Then request payment of all applicable charges.

Your refund may take some time, as your broker will likely have to wait to receive the money back from the U.S. government. But don’t let the issue slide. It is your money.

And the truth is, some brokers have been playing with the numbers and profiting from the imposed tariff. (See my earliest post on this topic.)

I have a suggestion for a faster way to get your money that should make everyone happy: If, for example, the TRE list you receive from your broker amounts to $10,000 in total TRE paid on 2- and 4-layer work, you could simply tell your broker to pay you $6,000 (or, say, $1,500 over four months).

Then you allow the broker to keep the balance. You, as the customer, would get a good portion of the money much faster, and your broker has an incentive to follow through with getting a refund from the government by getting to keep the balance as a contingency fee.

If you dealt with freight forwarders instead of a broker, I suggest you contact a tariff attorney, who will hopefully work on a contingency fee as well.

Buyers should realize that brokers are actively trying to claw back those tariff charges, even if their customers are not seeking reimbursement. Depending on the size of your broker, this could involve tens of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds of thousands.

If you don’t demand to be reimbursed for the tariffs you paid, the broker will simply keep the money.

Don’t hesitate to jump on this opportunity to boost your bottom line.

Need help managing your PCB supply chain? Reach out to me at greg@boardbuying.com.