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Exclusions from Steel and Aluminum Import Quotas Now Being Allowed

Friday, August 31, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Exclusions from import quotas on steel from South Korea, Argentina, and Brazil and aluminum from Argentina may now be requested under proclamations issued Aug. 29 by President Trump. These quotas were imposed in lieu of the section 232 additional tariffs on steel (25 percent) and aluminum (10 percent) that took effect for most countries on March 23.

(Click here for ST&R’s web page providing comprehensive information on all U.S. tariffs imposed under Section 301 and Section 232 as well as the retaliatory tariffs trading partners are levying on U.S. goods.)

The Department of Commerce states that in a limited number of cases, steel articles are being used in a facility construction project in the U.S. that were contracted for purchase prior to the decision to impose quotas and cannot enter the U.S. because a quota has already been reached. Prior to the new proclamations an exclusion from the quota could be granted but the product would be subject to the additional tariff. Under the new policy, if an exclusion from the quota is granted neither the quota nor the tariff will apply.

Similar to the process already in place for the Section 232 tariffs, directly affected parties located in the U.S. may apply for product exclusions from the quotas for any steel or aluminum articles determined not to be produced in the U.S. in a sufficient and reasonably available amount or of a satisfactory quality, or for specific national security reasons. Such relief may be provided on a party‑by‑party basis taking into account the regional availability of particular articles, the ability to transport articles within the U.S., and any other factors the DOC deems appropriate. Relief will apply to articles entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after the date on which the request for relief is granted. 

The DOC notes that until such time as any applicable quota for a particular article has been reached, any steel or aluminum article for which quota relief is granted will be counted toward that quota. In addition, an export certification may be required to qualify for relief from the steel quotas if the government of any of the affected countries notifies the U.S. that it has established an export certification mechanism that meets the operational requirements for participation in an export certification system administered by the U.S.

For assistance requesting an exemption from one of the steel or aluminum import quotas, or information on any other aspect of the section 232 import restrictions, please contact Nicole Bivens Collinson at (202) 730-4956 or Kristen Smith at (202) 730-4965.

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