December 9, 2009
During the last few years, the Department of Commerce has permitted Chinese exporters of wooden bedroom furniture (WBF) to apply to the Department of Commerce for a “Section A” rate, which is much lower than the China-wide rate of 216.01%. The “Section A” rate in the last administrative review was determined to be 29.89%. A “Section A” rate is a weighted-average rate based on responses to antidumping questionnaires of designated Chinese exporters, whereas, the China-wide rate is for exporters who have not been assigned a separate rate.
During the month of January 2010, exporters of WBF from China that do not have a “Section A” rate but are subject to the China-wide rate of 216.01% will have an opportunity to ask the Commerce Department if their company can be assigned the “Section A” rate.
To ask for a “Section A” rate, an exporter of WBF must complete a “Section A” rate application and include information such as the amount of WBF exported during the period of review (Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2009), and whether the exporter is substantially free from Chinese government control. Additionally, exporters previously granted a “Section A” rate may need to complete an application for recertification if the domestic industry requests a review of such exporter’s 2009 exports.
It is important to note that it is only the “exporter” of the WBF, as defined by Commerce, that can be assigned a “Section A” rate. Importers, however, can encourage and assist their foreign exporters in making such a request.
What is not widely publicized is the fact that in order for a Chinese exporter to even apply for a “Section A” rate, there is the prerequisite that during the last 12 months (calendar year 2009) the exporter must have exported at least one commercial shipment of WBF to the United States. Without a single export of WBF there is nothing for Commerce to review in a “Section A” application. Therefore, to qualify for review, an exporter must sell and enter for consumption into the United States market at least one commercial shipment of WBF before December 31, 2009 and pay the China-wide antidumping duty rate.
“Section A” applications have increasingly become more complicated since they were first introduced by Commerce during the initial investigation of WBF. These applications are also being given more intense scrutiny by Commerce, as well as by petitioners (the U.S. wooden bedroom furniture industry). Because of the increasing complexity of “Section A” applications, it is highly advisable that expert legal counsel specializing in antidumping law assist the Chinese exporter in applying for a “Section A” rate. In addition, expert counsel can provide advice on other, complicated legal issues that can evolve from responses to the “Section A” questionnaire.
If you have any questions on the issues raised in this newsletter, please contact Stephen Spraitzar at (415) 288-0427 or firstname.lastname@example.org or George Tuttle at (415) 288-0425 or email@example.com.
Stephen Spraitzar and George Tuttle are attorneys 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 © 2009 by Tuttle Law Offices.
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