On September 11, 2018, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), Commerce, published in the Federal Register an interim final rule [Docket No.: 180227217–8217–02] which revises the procedures for submitting and objecting to exclusion requests from the section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs.
Proclamations 9704 and 9705 (“the Proclamations”) authorized the Secretary of Commerce (the “Secretary”) to grant exclusions from the duties if the Secretary determines the steel or aluminum article for which the exclusion is requested is not “produced in the United States in a sufficient and reasonably available amount or of a satisfactory quality” or should be excluded “based upon specific national security considerations.” On March 19, 2018, Commerce issued an interim final rule (the “March 19 rule”), setting forth the requirements a directly affected party located in the United States must satisfy when submitting exclusion requests. The March 19 rule also set forth the requirements that US parties must meet when submitting objections to exclusion requests. The March 19 rule amended the National Security Industrial Base Regulations to add two new supplements. The rule published on September 11, by BIS, on behalf of the Secretary, revises the two supplements added by the March 19 rule. The revisions are informed by the comments received in response to the March 19 rule and Commerce’s experience with managing the exclusion and objection process. Commerce understands the importance of having a transparent, fair and efficient exclusion and objection process. The publication of this rule should make significant improvements in all three respects, but due to the scope of this new process, BIS is publishing this rule as an interim final rule with request for comments. This interim final rule is effective September 11, 2018. Comments on the interim final rule must be received by BIS no later than November 13, 2018.