According to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates, retail imports at the nation’s major container ports surged to “unusually high numbers” just before the latest wave of tariffs hit goods from China beginning Sept. 1. While toys were not included in this wave, the next 15% tariff goes into effect on Dec. 15 and is expected to cover nearly all toys. The NRF expects another surge to precede the next tax.

“Retailers are still trying to minimize the impact of the trade war on consumers by bringing in as much merchandise as they can before each new round of tariffs takes effect and drives up prices,” says Jonathan Gold, NRF’s vice president of supply chain and customs policy. “That’s the same pattern we’ve seen over the past year, but we’re very quickly going to be at the point where virtually all consumer goods will be subject to these taxes on American families. The upcoming October talks with China are an opportunity to put a stop to this escalation, repeal the tariffs that have been imposed and focus on growing the economy.”

While the industry waits for December, The Toy Association is hosting an upcoming webinar that members are encouraged to participate in, called Tariffs on Toys: How to Apply for an Exclusion Request.

“A 15% tariff on toys imported from China will go into effect Dec. 15, but there are steps that companies can take to increase the industry’s likelihood of getting at least some products excluded from these regressive taxes,” says Rebecca Mond, vice president of federal government affairs at The Toy Association. “Although the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has granted only a few exclusion requests to date, all Toy Association members are urged to consider submitting petitions for exclusions from the soon-to-be-implemented tariffs.”

As always, information regarding tariffs on toys and games is very fluid, and the Toy Book will continue to monitor new developments with updates published here. Additional resources can be found at donttaxtoys.com and tariffshurt.com