Commerce Department Issues Product Exclusion Process

The US Department of Commerce (Commerce) released the details for the process to request and object to products exclusions related to the section 232 proclamations imposing 25 percent ad valorem tariffs on covered steel imports. The interim final rule is published in today’s Federal RegisterThis interim final rule is effective today and comments are due in 60 days, by May 18th.

The exclusion process covers products “determined not to be produced in the United States in a sufficient and reasonably available amount or of a satisfactory quality or based upon specific national security considerations.” 

Information on the details of the process follows:

  • Requestors: Only individuals or organizations using the steel articles in business activities (e.g., construction, manufacturing, or supplying steel to users) in the United States may submit exclusion requests. The exclusion request must specify the requester’s business activities in the United States and must have an Employer Identification Number or a Customs and Border Protection Import Number.
  • Separate Requests Required for Distinct Products: A separate exclusion request “must be submitted on each distinct type and dimension” of the product to be imported. The product exclusion form sets out the information required to support a product exclusion request, including the 10-digit Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) number of the product; a detailed description of the product (including chemistry, weight, metallurgical properties, surface finish, and physical dimensions); and an explanation of the reason for the exclusion request. Separate exclusion requests must be submitted for products falling in more than one 10-digit HTSUS statistical reporting number.
  • Additional Requests for the Same Product: Subsequent requests by other individuals or enterprises made be made for the same product type through new submissions.
  • Approved Exclusions Limited to Product and Individual Requestor: Approved exclusions are made only for the product imported by the individual or organization making the request, unless Commerce approves a broader exclusion.
  • Approved Exclusions Limited in Amount and Timeframe: Product exclusions will be granted for a specified quantity of imports and for a one-year period. Approved exclusions will be effective five business days after the approval is posted on the Commerce website and are not retroactive.
  • Exclusion Requests May Be Made for Products Previously Denied: Commerce will review any exclusion request, even if a request for the same product was previously denied.
  • Objections to Exclusion Requests: Any individual or enterprise in the United States may file an objection to the exclusion request. Comments in opposition must be submitted no later than 30 days after the exclusion request is posted.
  • Public Disclosure of Exclusion Requests, Objections, and Approved Exclusions: All product exclusion requests and objections to such requests will be made available to the public. There is a procedure for submitting confidential information in support of or in opposition to product exclusion requests.
  • Submission: All exclusion requests must be submitted through the Federal rulemaking portal. The steel docket (BIS-2018-0006) is expected to be added to later today. Product exclusion requests and objections to product exclusion requests are limited to 25 pages, inclusive of exhibits and attachments.
  • Commerce Department Review: Review of exclusion requests will generally take place within 90 days.
  • Forms for Exclusion Requests and Objections: Forms to request exclusions or to object to exclusions and guidelines are found on the AWPA website.