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Commerce Agrees To Investigate Dumping of
Wooden Bedroom Furniture From China

December 15, 2003

On December 11, 2003, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it would initiate an antidumping investigation on Wooden Bedroom Furniture from the People's Republic of China (China), in response to a petition filed by a coalition of U.S. manufacturers on October 31, 2003.

The coalition of U.S. manufacturers requested that antidumping duties between 158.74% and 440.96% be levied against various types of wooden bedroom furniture from China. For more information on the type of furniture subject to this petition click Scope of Petition.

If dumping is found to exist, Commerce will require U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect additional antidumping duties on products that fall within the scope of the finding.

The Next Step

It is now up to Commerce to make a preliminary determination as to whether there are sales of wooden bedroom furniture in the United States at less than fair value. If the preliminary determination is affirmative, Commerce will order the suspension of liquidation of the entries, and require all importers to post a bond for antidumping duties until a final determination is issued. The preliminary decision may be announced as soon as April 28, 2004.

If the final determination is affirmative, an antidumping order will be issued and importers will be required to make cash deposits of antidumping rates based on rates determined for each manufacturer/exporter as determined by Commerce.

For more Information on this case and the antidumping process, go to:

Antidumping information page

Background Information to the China wood-furniture controversy

What can Importers And Manufacturers
Do Now To Protect Their Rights?

Importers and suppliers of Chinese wooden bedroom furniture should immediately request participation in the antidumping investigation. Parties that are not a part of the proceeding will not have standing to object to the findings, and once an antidumping order is issued, importers will have to wait a year or more before antidumping rates can be reviewed.

Scope Requests

During the investigation period, importers, suppliers and manufacturers may submit comments to Commerce as to what furniture products should be excluded from the investigation. Importers and Chinese suppliers should file comments about the scope of the merchandise that is the subject of the review.

Importer/Manufacturer /Supplier Questionnaires

Importers will also want to participate and request Commerce to send an antidumping questionnaire to their Chinese supplier so that a separate dumping rate can be established. Unless the Chinese supplier responds to its own questionnaire, the supplier will be subject to the China-wide rate determined by Commerce, which will apply to all Chinese suppliers who do not answer a questionnaire.

The Timetable for Importers to Post a Bond and to Make Cash Deposits of Estimated Antidumping Duties

Antidumping cases are commenced by the simultaneous filing of a petition with Commerce and the International Trade Commission (ITC), both of which then conduct investigations.

Once the petition is accepted, there are four separate determinations which must be issued by the government agencies in order for additional antidumping duties to be formally instituted.

  1. The ITC must reach a positive preliminary determination of injury to the U.S. industry.
  1. Commerce must make a preliminary determination as to whether the imports are being sold at less than fair value (LTFV). (A negative preliminary finding will not necessarily terminate the case)
  1. Commerce will then allow for comments, prior to making a final determination as to the LTFV issues.
  1. After the Commerce’s final determination of LTFV, the case returns to the ITC where a final injury determination is issued.

As a means of securing dumping duties, Commerce will issue a "suspension of liquidation" at the time of an affirmative preliminary determination from Commerce (number 2 above). The preliminary determination will suspend the liquidation of entries of Chinese wooden furniture, and will require that importers post a separate bond for the payment of the estimated antidumping duties at the time of making entry. The liquidation of entries is suspended until the final determination, unless subject to judicial review. If the determination is affirmative, and the ITC also finds that there is injury, Commerce will issue an antidumping order, which will set forth the final applicable dumping rates.

Importers will be required to make cash deposits of the antidumping duties on or after the date of the antidumping order. In addition, any formerly suspended entries on which bonds were posted would also be subject to antidumping duties.

Commerce has published the following calendar for this investigation:

Commerce’s Published Case Calendar

EVENT

DATE OF ACTION

Petitions Filed

October 31, 2003

Initiation Date

December 10, 2003

ITC Preliminary Determination*

Mid-January 2004

ITA Preliminary Determination

April 28, 2004

ITA Final Determination

July 12, 2004

ITC Final Determination**

August 26, 2004

Signature of Order***

September 2, 2004


* The ITC will issue its preliminary determination 25 days from the day of receiving notice of the Department of Commerce's Initiation Notice.
** This will take place only in the event of a final affirmative determination from the Department of Commerce.
*** This will take place only in the event of a final affirmative determination from the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission.

Participation in antidumping proceedings is difficult and complicated. Professional advice should be obtained with regard to completing a questionnaire and for counsel in participating effectively in these antidumping proceedings.

Our law firm specializes in the practice of antidumping, Customs, and International trade. If you or any of your suppliers believe you may be subject to the Commerce antidumping administrative review, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can provide assistance in responding to Commerce questionnaires, as well as advice on other strategies for minimizing final duty obligations.

George R. Tuttle, PC is a Professional Corporation, which since 1917 has been assisting the trade to resolve disputes in antidumping, international trade and Customs law. Please contact Stephen Spraitzar at (415) 288-0427 (email sss@tuttlelaw.com), should you have further questions.

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 such.

Copyright 2005 by Tuttle Law Offices.

All rights reserved. Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by our offices or by others, we do not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any information and are not responsible for any errors, omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of such information.

 

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