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Petitions for the Iposition of Antidumping Duties and Countervailing Duties on Certain Quartz Surface Products from India and the Republic of Turkey -  Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP

I.  Type of Action: Antidumping Duty (“AD”) and Countervailing Duty (“CVD”): India and Turkey

II.  Product:

Quartz surface products consist of slabs and other surfaces created from a mixture of materials that includes predominately silica (e.g., quartz, quartz powder, cristobalite, glass powder) as well as a resin binder (e.g., an unsaturated polyester). The incorporation of other materials, including, but not limited to, pigments, cement, or other additives does not remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation. However, the scope of the investigation only includes products where the silica content is greater than any other single material, by actual weight. Quartz surface products are typically sold as rectangular slabs with a total surface area of approximately 45 to 60 square feet and a nominal thickness of one, two, or three centimeters. However, the scope of this investigation includes surface products of all other sizes, thicknesses, and shapes. In addition to slabs, the scope of this investigation includes, but is not limited to, other surfaces such as countertops, backsplashes, vanity tops, bar tops, work tops, tabletops, flooring, wall facing, shower surrounds, fire place surrounds, mantels, and tiles. Certain quartz surface products are covered by the investigation whether polished or unpolished, cut or uncut, fabricated or not fabricated, cured or uncured, edged or not edged, finished or unfinished, thermoformed or not thermoformed, packaged or unpackaged, and regardless of the type of surface finish.

In addition, quartz surface products are covered by the investigation whether or not they are imported attached to, or in conjunction with, non-subject merchandise such as sinks, sink bowls, vanities, cabinets, and furniture. If quartz surface products are imported attached to, or in conjunction with, such non-subject merchandise, only the quartz surface product is covered by the scope.

Subject merchandise includes material matching the above description that has been finished, packaged, or otherwise fabricated in a third country, including by cutting, polishing, curing, edging, thermoforming, attaching to, or packaging with another product, or any other finishing, packaging, or fabrication that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the quartz surface products.

The scope of the investigation does not cover quarried stone surface products, such as granite, marble, soapstone, or quartzite. Specifically excluded from the scope of the investigations are crushed glass surface products. Crushed glass surface products must meet each of the following criteria to qualify for this exclusion: (1) the crushed glass content is greater than any other single material, by actual weight; (2) there are pieces of crushed glass visible across the surface of the product; (3) at least some of the individual pieces of crushed glass that are visible across the surface are larger than 1 centimeter wide as measured at their widest cross-section (“Glass Pieces”); and (4) the distance between any single Glass Piece and the closest separate Glass Piece does not exceed three inches.

The products subject to the scope are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under the following subheading: 6810.99.0010. Subject merchandise may also enter under subheadings 6810.11.0010, 6810.11.0070, 6810.19.1200, 6810.19.1400, 6810.19.5000, 6810.91.0000, 6810.99.0080, 6815.99.4070, 2506.10.0010, 2506.10.0050, 2506.20.0010, 2506.20.0080, and 7016.90.10. The HTSUS subheadings set forth above are provided for convenience and U.S. Customs purposes only. The written description of the scope is dispositive.

III.  HTS classifications: See scope.

IV.  Date of Filing: May 8, 2019

V.  Petitioners: Cambria Company LLC

VI.  Foreign Producers/Exporters: Please contact our office for a list filed with the petition.

VII.  US Importers:  Please contact our office for a list filed with the petition.

VIII.  Alleged Dumping Margins (No CVD Margins Listed):  India: 344.11%; Turkey: 89.38%

IX: Comments:

A.  Projected date of ITC Preliminary Conference: May 29, 2019.

B.  The earliest theoretical date for retroactive suspension of liquidation for the AD is July 17, 2019; CVD is May 28, 2019.  Please contact our office for a complete projected schedule for the AD/CVD investigations.

C.  Volume and Value of Imports:  Please contact our office for a summary of the data filed with the petition.

D.  List of Alleged Subsidy Programs: Please contact our office for a list of alleged subsidy programs.

If you have questions regarding how this investigation may impact future imports of scope merchandise or whether a particular product is within the scope of the investigation, please contact one of our attorneys.

U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Imports of Magnesium from Israel - U.S. Department of Commerce

WASHINGTON – Today (5/3/19), the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the affirmative preliminary determination in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of imports of magnesium from Israel, finding that exporters received countervailable subsidies of 7.48 percent.

Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of magnesium from Israel based on these preliminary rates.

In 2017, imports of magnesium from Israel were valued at an estimated $43.5 million.

The petitioner is US Magnesium LLC (Salt Lake City, UT).

The strict enforcement of U.S. trade law is a primary focus of the Trump Administration. Since the beginning of the current Administration, Commerce has initiated 160 new antidumping and countervailing duty investigations – this is a 220 percent increase from the comparable period in the previous administration.

Antidumping and countervailing duty laws provide American businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the harmful effects of the unfair pricing of imports into the United States. Commerce currently maintains 479 antidumping and countervailing duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.

Commerce is currently scheduled to announce its final CVD determination on or about September 17, 2019.
If Commerce makes an affirmative final determination, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) will be scheduled to make its final injury determination on or about October 31, 2019. If Commerce makes an affirmative final determination in this investigation, and the ITC makes an affirmative final injury determination, Commerce will issue a CVD order. If Commerce makes a negative final determination, or the ITC makes a negative final determination of injury, the investigation will be terminated and no order will be issued.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration is responsible for vigorously enforcing U.S. trade law and does so through an impartial, transparent process that abides by international law and is based on factual evidence provided on the record.

Foreign companies that price their products in the U.S. market below the cost of production or below prices in their home markets are subject to antidumping duties. Companies that receive unfair subsidies from their governments, such as grants, loans, equity infusions, tax breaks, or production inputs, are subject to countervailing duties aimed at directly countering those subsidies. 

Court of Appeals Rules that Santa Suit is Not Festive - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (in the April 29, 2019 decision in Rubies Costume Company v. United States), considered whether the below “Premier Plush 9 Piece Santa Suit” (consisting of a jacket, pants, gloves, a toy sack, a beard, a wig, a hat, a belt, and shoe covers) fell within the tariff provision describing “Articles for Christmas festivities and parts and accessories thereof.”  

While the Court acknowledged that the Santa Claus costume is customarily worn in connection with the celebration of Christmas, it noted that the coverage of Chapter 95 excludes “fancy dress, of textiles, of chapter 61 or 62”. Noting the well-made nature of the costume, the Court found that the elaborate Santa Suit constituted fancy dress, excluded from duty-free festive treatment. As such, its components were separately classified (e.g., jacket (10% duty), pants (28.2% duty), gloves (10.0% duty), toy sack (17.6% duty) and various accessories (duty-free)).

As demonstrated by this latest decision, there are many factors that go into the determination as to whether an article (be it apparel, ceramic ware, lighting, ritual items, etc.) may be considered “festive.” We are available to further explore this area with you and conduct a review of your product line to identify potential duty savings opportunities. Please do not hesitate to contact our office for more information.

Commission Adequacy Determination: Persulfates from China - U.S. International Trade Commission - U.S. International Trade Commission

Commission Adequacy Determinations

The Uruguay Round Agreements Act requires the Department of Commerce to revoke an antidumping or countervailing duty order, or terminate a suspension agreement, after five years unless the Department of Commerce and the USITC determine that revoking the order or terminating the suspension agreement would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping or subsidies (Commerce) and of material injury (USITC) within a reasonably foreseeable time. 

The Commission’s notice of institution in five-year reviews requests that interested parties file with the Commission responses that discuss the likely effects of revoking the order under review and provide other pertinent information. Generally within 95 days from institution, the Commission will determine whether the responses it has received reflect an adequate or inadequate level of interest in a full review. Read more about Adequacy Determinations

Click here for a list of select adequacy determinations since February 2018. To sort columns, please click on column headings.

CBP’s Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism Finalized an Update to its Minimum Security Criteria - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

WASHINGTON—After over two and a half years of collaboration with the trade community, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) program has finalized its review and update of its Minimum Security Criteria (MSC).

Early in 2016, CBP formally requested the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) to establish a Working Group (WG) in order to discuss and recommend updates to the program’s MSC. CTPAT’s MSC required updating to ensure that it is reflective of the current supply chain environment and the threats that the global supply chain faces today. Once established, the WG, made up of 50 individuals from both the private and public sector, worked diligently to discuss the updates.

This collaboration produced a series of MSC booklets, one for each business entity type eligible for CTPAT membership. The booklets address both the eligibility requirements and the MSC for each of the twelve entities in CTPAT. These booklets have been uploaded to the CTPAT Portal and will soon be uploaded to the CTPAT website as well ( Members are expected to implement the new criteria throughout the remainder of calendar year 2019 and validations on the new MSC will begin in early 2020. 

The CTPAT MSC WG, dismantled after completing its update, was comprised of individuals representing the equities and interests of the entire supply chain spectrum. It was made up of representatives from current CTPAT companies in good standing, including importers, exporters, sea carriers, and customs brokers. It also included representatives from major trade organizations and associations, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; the World Shipping Council; the Transported Asset Protection Association; the International Air Transportation Association; the World Business Alliance for Secure Commerce; the British Standards Institute; the Supplier Compliance Audit Network; Airlines for America; and Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg.

CBP’s goal is to establish a holistic approach to ensuring the security of the supply chain – and an approach that better reflects CBP’s overall mission. To that end, issues related to cybersecurity, the protection of the supply chain from agricultural contaminants and pests, the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing, and the proper use and management of security technology, such as intrusion alarms and security camera systems, have been incorporated into the program’s new criteria. CTPAT will continue to engage its membership and the trade community at large to educate and socialize the new security requirements.

CTPAT: Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) is but one layer in U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) multi-layered cargo enforcement strategy. Through this program, CBP works with the trade community to strengthen international supply chains and improve United States border security. CTPAT is a voluntary public-private sector partnership program which recognizes that CBP can provide the highest level of cargo security only through close cooperation with the principle stakeholders of the international supply chain such as importers, carriers, consolidators, licensed customs brokers, and manufacturers. The Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 provided a statutory framework for the CTPAT program and imposed strict program oversight requirements.

A Growing Partnership
From its inception in November 2001, CTPAT continued to grow. Today, more than 11,400 certified partners spanning the gamut of the trade community, have been accepted into the program. The partners include U.S. importers/exporters, U.S./Canada highway carriers; U.S./Mexico highway carriers; rail and sea carriers; licensed U.S. Customs brokers; U.S. marine port authority/terminal operators; U.S. freight consolidators; ocean transportation intermediaries and non‐operating common carriers; Mexican and Canadian manufacturers; and Mexican long‐haul carriers, all of whom account for over 52 percent (by value) of cargo imported into the U.S.

How CTPAT  works
When an entity joins CTPAT, an agreement is made to work with CBP to protect the supply chain, identify security gaps, and implement specific security measures and best practices. Applicants must address a broad range of security topics and present security profiles that list action plans to align security throughout the supply chain.

CTPAT members are considered to be of low risk, and are therefore less likely to be examined at a U.S. port of entry.

CTPAT Benefits 
CTPAT Partners enjoy a variety of benefits, including taking an active role in working closer with the U.S. Government in its war against terrorism. As they do this, Partners are able to better identify their own security vulnerabilities and take corrective actions to mitigate risks. Some of the benefits of the program include:

  • Reduced number of CBP examinations
  • Front of the line inspections
  • Possible exemption from Stratified Exams
  • Shorter wait times at the border
  • Assignment of a Supply Chain Security Specialist to the company
  • Access to the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) Lanes at the land borders
  • Access to the CTPAT web-based Portal system and a library of training materials
  • Possibility of enjoying additional benefits by being recognized as a trusted trade Partner by foreign Customs administrations that have signed Mutual Recognition with the United States
  • Eligibility for other U.S. Government pilot programs, such as the Food and Drug Administration’s Secure Supply Chain program
  • Business resumption priority following a natural disaster or terrorist attack
  • Importer eligibility to participate in the Importer Self-Assessment Program (ISA)

Priority consideration at CBP’s industry-focused Centers of Excellence and Expertise

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