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Restrictions on Canadian Softwood Lumber Exports to U.S. Expire Oct. 12

Thursday, October 08, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement will expire Oct. 12, eliminating the additional duties and quotas that have restricted Canadian softwood lumber exports to the U.S. for the past nine years. If shipments surge as a result, U.S. lumber producers could seek a reinstatement of the antidumping and countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber that prevailed prior to the SLA. However, press reports indicate that there will be a one-year “standstill” period under which no such duties will be allowed, giving the two sides time to discuss whether to extend the existing agreement, which Canada favors, or amend it, which U.S. producers support.

In the meantime, U.S. Customs and Border Protection states that it will take the following actions, effective Oct. 13, in light of the expiration of the SLA.

Permit Numbers. CBP will no longer enforce the export permit number requirements and specifications pursuant to 19 CFR 12.140 (b)(2). The Automated Broker Interface will no longer require a valid SLA 2006 export permit number for tariff numbers subject to this agreement. Automated Commercial Environment or Automated Commercial System filers should enter a dummy SLA 2006 permit number, P88888888 (P followed by eight 8s), in the SLA permit number field where applicable. 

Region of Origin. CBP will no longer enforce the region of origin requirements pursuant to 19 CFR 12.140 (b)(1).

Maritime Certificate of Origin. CBP will no longer enforce the original maritime certificate of origin requirements pursuant to 19 CFR 12.140(c). If an importer presents a maritime COO for softwood lumber products on or after Oct. 13, the COO is to be returned to the importer.

Reporting. CBP will continue to enforce the SLA 2008 reporting requirements for shipments of softwood lumber and softwood lumber products shipped from any country into the U.S. and subject to the importer declaration program pursuant to 19 CFR 12.142. The export price, export charge (if applicable) and importer declaration are reported electronically on CBP form 7501 in ABI.

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