Filing an Exclusion Request on Aluminum and Steel Tariffs

On March 8, 2018, under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, President Donald Trump exercised his authority and imposed a 25 and 10 percent tariff on steel and aluminium imports, respectively, to protect the national security of the United States. President Trump’s tariff decision was based on recommendations from the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC).

On March 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce published the process for filing Exclusion Requests from the aluminium and steel tariffs in the Federal Register (Vol. 83, No. 53, 12106-12112), found here. On March 23, 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Control began collecting tariffs from aluminium and steel imports.

Presidential Proclamations 9704 and 9705

Presidential Proclamations 9704 and 9705 established tariffs under Section 232 and authorizes the Secretary of Commerce, along with other leading federal officials, “to grant exclusions from the duties for parties in the United States affected by the duties if the aluminum and steel articles are 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”, in the hopes of “minimizing undue impact on downstream American industries.”

Only those individuals and organizations that use aluminium and steel in business activities in the United States are allowed to submit exclusion requests. In order for the DOC to consider an exclusion request, the petitioner has to provide factual information on the following:

  1. For a single type of aluminum or steel product, DOC requires the use of a 10-digit HTUS code (Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)).
  2. The quantity of the aluminum or steel product required and stated in kilograms (under a one-year exclusion).
  3. A full description of the properties of the aluminum or steel product they seek to import, including the chemical composition, strength, dimensions, toughness, magnetic permeability, and surface coatings among other relevant properties.

Each exclusion request will be open for public review once it is posted on the Federal Register at https://www.regulations.gov/ for 30 days. During this time, only U.S. individuals and organizations are allowed to file an objection to the exclusion request. Once the 30 days are up, it takes approximately 60 days for the DOC to review the exclusion request and any objection filings related to it. In addition, the DOC checks for completeness and only fully completed exclusion requests will be considered. Once reviewed, the DOC will give a single response to each exclusion request, posted on the Federal Register.

Qualifications & Requirements on aluminum or steel imports

Individuals or organizations must submit a separate exclusion request on each distinct type and dimension of aluminum or steel product to be imported. The DOC will not accept paper submissions, therefore, all exclusion request should be submitted electronically. Individuals and organizations seeking an exclusion request should follow these steps:

  1. Download the Request for Exclusion from Remedies from the Section 232 National Security Investigation of Imports of Aluminum (Exclusion Request) form or the Request for Exclusion from Remedies from the Section 232 National Security Investigation of Imports of Steel (Exclusion Request) form. These forms can be found by copying and pasting the following URLs into your browser: https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/232-aluminum and https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/232-steel.
  2. Complete the form using Microsoft Excel and be sure to save a copy on your local drive.
  3. Go to docket number BIS-2018-0002 or BIS-2018-0006 on https://www.regulations.gov/, fill out the required information, and upload the completed exclusion request.

Individuals and organizations that elect to attach supporting documents must provide them in a PDF format and they must not exceed 25 pages. Remember, all information submitted is subject to disclosure, so do not provide personal information on an exclusion request.

Only individuals or organizations located and operating within the United States can file an objection to an exclusion request. To be considered, the objecting individual or organization must provide factual information for the following:

  1. The aluminum or steel product they manufacture within the United States.
  2. The production capability of the aluminum or steel facility operating within the United States.
  3. The availability and delivery time of products they manufacture relative to the specific product subject to an exclusion request.

Individuals and organizations that wish to submit an objection to an exclusion request, must provide specific information on their product that is comparable to the exclusion request in question. The information should provide the following:

  1. A discussion on the suitability of their product for the same application identified by the exclusion requester.
  2. A full description of the product properties it manufactures comparative to the specifications provided in the exclusion request, including strength, dimensions, etc.

The DOC will review all objection filings for completeness and will immediately discard incomplete objection filings. The DOC will also make all objection filings available to the public for inspection and copying, so do not include personal information.

At Trade Consulting Services we help businesses import and export with confidence. If you need assistance determining how to process an exclusion request or determining if you should submit an exclusion request, get in touch with us today. We can handle all aspects of your import and export compliance program or provide customized import and export training to give you and your staff the tools you need to manage it internally.

View Our Services for more information or call us at 214-810-0204.

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