Now Is The Time To Request A Section A Rate For
During the month of January 2012, U.S. importers and Chinese exporters of wooden bedroom furniture (WBF) from China will have an opportunity to ask for a Section A rate for their WBF products. The hope in filing such a request would be to change the antidumping duty rate from the current China-wide rate of 216.01% to a much lower rate for a specific exporter. The Section A rate that was assigned to about 40 companies in the most recently completed administrative review was 41.75%. Other Chinese exporters have been assigned lower Section A rates from previous reviews.
Requests for Section A rates must be filed and received during the period of January 1 - 31, 2012 at the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce). Commerce will subsequently conduct an administrative review for imports of WBF made during the period of January 1, 2011 - December 31, 2011. The Section A rate eventually determined by Commerce may be higher or lower than the Section A rate established in the most recent review.
Requirements For Applying For A Section A Rate
Under 19 CFR §351.213(e), an administrative review under this section will normally cover, as appropriate, entries, exports, or sales of the subject merchandise during the 12 months in the period of review (POR), which, in this case will be January 1, 2011 - December 31, 2011. However, in addition to filing during the period of January 1 - 31, 2012, in order to be considered for a Section A rate, at least one commercial sale for export to the U.S. and customs entry must have been made by the importer/exporter during the POR. Thus, if the importer/exporter has not made an entry of WBF during this period, it will not be eligible to apply for a Section A rate.
Under the Commerce rules, only the exporter can obtain a Section A rate. Therefore, if a factory sells to an exporter who thereafter sells to a customer in the U.S., the factory will not receive the Section A rate — just the exporter. However, if the factory is the exporter, then the factory can apply for the Section A rate.
Further if the exporter buys from more than one factory, then the sales from each factory will have to be included in the Section A response. Moreover, Commerce assigns a Section A rate only to approved combinations of exporters and factories. Thus, if Exporter A buys from Factory #1 and this information is disclosed in the Section A application and the Section A application is approved, then the Section A rate applies only to transactions involving Exporter A and Factory #1. If Exporter A subsequently starts purchasing from Factory #2, the Section A rate would not be applicable to exports of products from Factory #2.
Section A applications can be complicated, both in the information that needs to be provided, as well as in their administration. Consulting with legal counsel specializing in Customs and antidumping matters is advisable when applying for a Section A rate.
Importers, suppliers and manufacturers should also be aware of the fact that “scope requests” can be filed with Commerce at any time. In a scope request, Commerce performs a review as to whether a particular furniture product is within the scope of the antidumping order. If Commerce determines that the merchandise is outside the scope, then pending entries of that product will be liquidated without antidumping duties. Those wishing to file a scope request should consult with the applicable Commerce regulations and would be advised to consult with legal expertise prior to filing the scope request.
If you have any questions about these issues, please contact Stephen Spraitzar at (415) 288-0427, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stephen Spraitzar is an attorney with the Law Offices of George R. Tuttle in San Francisco.
The information in this article is general in nature, and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship with respect to any event or occurrence, and may not be considered as such.
Copyright © 2012 by Tuttle Law Offices.
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