Today the Department of Commerce (DOC) issued new regulations on the requirements for submitting exclusion requests from the upcoming Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum products. The tariffs of 25 percent ad valorem on steel and 10 percent ad valorem on aluminum take effect later this week for all entries for consumption on or after March 23, 2018. Products of Canada and Mexico are currently exempt.
Under these new rules, the submission of exclusion requests have the following requirements and conditions:
- Request can only be made by individuals or organization using steel and aluminum articles in the United States (e.g., construction, manufacturing, supplying steel to end users).
- Exclusions will be on a product specific basis and limited to the organization which submitted the request, unless the DOC approves a broader application.
- Exclusion requests must be submitted electronically on a required form available at the DOC website (see below). The form requires very detailed information. Supporting records must be uploaded as PDF and there is a 25 page limit, including attachments, but exclusive of the form.
- Requests will be made public. Business confidential information can be submitted separately, although the procedure for doing so is not specified.
- No time limit as to when to submit the exclusion request.
- Objections to an exclusion may be submitted within 30 days after a request is posted.
- Exclusions will last for one year. The DOC form requires the request to specify the annual quantity to be covered by the exclusion, although the regulations do not state that exclusions will be limited to specific quantities.
- Exclusions will take effect 5 business days after DOC posts its response.
- DOC review of an exclusion request normally will not exceed 90 days from the date of submission.
- The regulation does not specify if an exclusion, once granted, will be retroactive to March 23. Thus, affected parties are encouraged to submit exclusion requests as soon as possible.
The regulations and the required form raise a number of issues that should be considered by affected parties in developing an exclusion request that will have the highest probability of being accepted. These issues include whether to submit the request by the importer of record or the end user, which foreign mills and countries of origin to include, how to best define the product to be covered by the exclusion, what evidence to include to support the lack of domestic availability or acceptable quality, what quantities to request, and how excluded shipments should be identified to CBP at time of entry.
The DOC forms can be found here.
A webinar concerning exclusion requests can be accessed here. https://foreigntradeassociation.com/event-2865534
If you have questions regarding the Section 232 tariffs and the submission of exclusion requests, please feel free to contact our offices.