You may be aware that there are antidumping and countervailing duty orders on imports of “aluminum extrusions” from China. This means that additional duties (often more than 300%) apply to these products upon importation. The term “aluminum extrusions” is defined quite broadly and includes a wide range of articles. While the scope includes HTS tariff subheadings, these are not dispositive as to whether a given article is within the scope (and thereby subject to the additional duties) or not. Instead, it is the narrative scope description (not the HTS classifications) that control. The scope of these orders is set forth in the following Federal Register notice .
A number of our clients, in a range of industries, have been surprised by the breadth of these orders. The broad scope combined with the fact that many covered articles will be classified in subheadings that are not flagged in ABI, has lead many importers to inadvertently fail to deposit the estimated ADD/CVD upon importation. US Customs has been quite aggressive in this area and we recommend that all clients review the scope of the orders against their imports to make sure that the proper duties are being tendered upon importation. We have assisted numerous clients with this process and would be happy to discuss how best to go about doing so.
In addition, it is important that you understand your options for minimizing the duty impact these order have. For example, there are options to reduce the duties owed on these products under the orders. The Department of Commerce has a process by which foreign manufacturers and exporters can obtain their own – and often much lower – duty rate for imports. Depending on the volume that a company exports to the United States, they may qualify to be reviewed for their own rates; and even if your suppliers are not among the largest exporters, they may still be able to obtain much lower rates than the default rates applied generally to PRC entities.
The next opportunity to request such a review is coming this May. As a result, if you are importing articles subject to these orders, we recommend that you consider your options now. We have identified the issues that an importer or user of aluminum products should consider and can provide an overview of what needs to be done to participate at Commerce to potentially lower your exposure. If this information would be useful to you, please let us know.