Background

Since June 2018 the U.S. has assessed additional duties on specified steel and aluminum products pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. In February 2020 the list of covered products was expanded to certain derivatives of steel or aluminum products, including steel or aluminum body stampings for motor vehicles and tractors, produced in specified countries. Although some exclusions from these duties were approved, the vast majority of the duties remain in effect and will be assessed on future entries. 

However, there may be an opportunity to recover Section 232 duties paid on steel or aluminum derivatives. For steel derivatives the additional duty is 25 percent, while for aluminum derivatives it is 10 percent. These duties apply to specified iron or steel articles of HTSUS headings 7317 and 8708 and specified aluminum articles of HTSUS headings 7614 and 8708. On the CF 7501 entry forms, entries of such goods would also include a Chapter 99 designation, either subheading 9903.80.03 (iron or steel) or subheading 9903.85.03 (aluminum).

In a recent decision, the Court of International Trade granted an importer’s claim that the presidential proclamation extending the Section 232 tariffs to steel and aluminum derivatives was unlawful. The court determined that the proclamation was issued beyond the time limit set forth in Section 232 and was therefore outside the executive branch’s congressionally-delegated authority. Accordingly, the court declared the proclamation “invalid as contrary to law” and directed that the entries at issue in the case be liquidated without such duties or, if the entries had already liquidated, refunded with interest.

While this decision is likely to be appealed, importers should act now to preserve their right to potential refunds. ST&R can assist importers in protecting these claims. If you have paid or intend to pay Section 232 duties on steel or aluminum derivatives, as defined above, please contact attorneys Larry Ordet, Mark Segrist, or Mark Tallo for further information.

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