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Importers to Face Late Charges and Interest for Past Due Softwood Lumber Assessments

Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service has issued a final rule that, effective Jan. 1, 2015, establishes late payment and interest charges on past due assessments under the Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order. Under this order, assessments are collected from U.S. manufacturers and importers of softwood lumber, which is used in products like flooring, siding and framing, and used for projects to promote softwood lumber within the United States. Entities that domestically ship or import less than 15 million board feet annually are exempt from assessment, and assessed entities do not pay assessments on their first 15 million board feet domestically shipped or imported per year.

Softwood lumber assessments are due 30 calendar days after the end of each quarter. Under this final rule, late payment charges will be imposed on any assessments not received within 60 calendar days of the date they are due. This one-time charge will be 10 percent of the assessments due before interest charges have accrued. This rule also provides that 1.5 percent per month interest on the outstanding balance, including any late payment and accrued interest, be added to any accounts for which payment has not been received within 60 calendar days after the assessments are due. Such interest will continue to accrue monthly until the outstanding balance is paid.

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