Antidumping/countervailing (abbreviated sometimes as “AD/CVD”) duties are among the most puzzling situations that an importer can find itself in the middle of. Many times importers bring in goods without realizing they are (or might be) subject to antidumping and/or countervailing duties, and many times CBP believes a product is subject to antidumping duties when it clearly is not. In short, antidumping and countervailing duties cause a lot of confusion for everyone.
We represent importers before the International Trade Administration (“ITA” is a sub-agency of the Department of Commerce) which is in charge of the ongoing administration of existing antidumping and countervailing duty investigations.
We assist importers who did not know their products were subject to antidumping and countervailing duties and those who want to know for certain whether their product are within the “scope” of an anti-dumping or countervailing duty “order”. This assistance comes in a few forms, but most prominently scope ruling requests, protests, and offers in compromise.
Scope Ruling Requests
A scope ruling request is filed with the International Trade Administration seeking clarification or confirmation as to whether or not merchandise that you import or want to import will be subject to additional duties in the form of antidumping or countervailing duties.
A scope ruling request takes the form of an analysis and argument as to why the merchandise should not be subject to the antidumping or countervailing duties. A scope ruling request relies on the text of the “scope” of the AD/CVD order that might apply to the merchandise, and also an analysis – a compare and contrast — of scope rulings already issued by the ITA for other importers like you.
A scope ruling request can be decided within as little as forty-five days, or the process can drag on for months depending on the issues involved, how thorough your application is, and also the comments made by other parties, namely the petitioner who started the whole AD/CVD case.
We have been successful in obtaining favorable Scope Rulings for our clients in the past, including regarding the aluminum extrusions and raw flexible magnet investigations.
Protests and Offers in Compromise of AD/CVD Duties
If you have been surprised to find out the goods you imported are claimed to be subject to antidumping/countervailing duties, you may have some options depending on how long it’s been since the goods were imported and their current “liquidation” status.
For instance, if no more than 180 days have passed since the goods were “liquidated”, a protest can be filed challenging the applicability of AD/CVD duties.
If the goods are not liquidated but are the subject of a request for information or notice of action from CBP (CBP form 28 or 29), CBP might agree to suspend decision pending submission of a scope application request as explained in the preceding section above. This will allow you time to get a decision from the International Trade Administration.
Finally, if you are receiving billing notices from CBP’s Finance Center (based out of Indianapolis), the only good option you may have left is to make an Offer in Compromise. An Offer in Compromise is basically a settlement offer that you make with the government offering to pay a lesser amount for various reasons, including doubt as to collectability, or unlikely recovery of lost revenue/duties for other reasons.
Have an AD/CVD problem?
If you have a problem with antidumping and/or countervailing duties, we invite you to reach out to our firm for a consultation. We can discuss the situation, your concerns, and propose a plan of action to avoid unnecessary duties or complications arising out of antidumping and countervailing duty investigations.