232: Continuing or “Renewing” an Exclusion Request Will Require a New Submission – Act Early

From Fred Waite and Kimberly Young, AWPA Counsel

In the interim final rule published last year, BIS provided the following explanation about “renewals” of exclusions granted under Section 232:

“Individuals and companies will need to file a new exclusion request before the expiration of any granted exclusions to avoid any interruptions in their tariff relief. A copy of the previous approval is not needed, simply referring to the previous regulations.gov approval number in the new application is sufficient. The existing approved exclusion would not be amended, but may assist the Department in reviewing a new exclusion request. Each approved exclusion is limited to a set time period because there will be changing domestic production capabilities and product availability as U.S. steel and aluminum manufacturers increase production. Each exclusion request is reviewed on its own merit and on a case-by-case basis, so the existence of a previous exclusion approval is not a guarantee a new exclusion request will be approved. As a time saving tip, requesters may reuse the original form submission and just update the fields that need to be updated by downloading the form, making any needed updates, and then submitting the updated form in regulations.gov as a new submission.”

Given that (a) exclusions are generally granted for one year from the BIS signature date; (b) granted exclusions become effective five days after the BIS decision memo is posted on www.regulations.gov and (c) new exclusion requests are taking anywhere from 4 to 12 months to be decided by BIS, we would recommend that companies seeking to “renew” their existing exclusions begin the process well in advance of their one-year anniversary.

It will be better to have overlapping exclusions on the same product than to have an exclusion expire before a new exclusion for that product is granted.