Background

The Bureau of Industry and Security has issued an interim final rule that, effective Dec. 14, will revise aspects of the process for requesting exclusions from the Section 232 tariffs and quantitative limitations on imports of aluminum and steel. Comments on these changes are due no later than Feb. 12.

According to BIS, this rule makes the following three key changes.

- allows for general approved exclusions that may be used by any importer, provides that GAEs are indefinite in length (until removed or revised) but are not retroactive, and adopts 108 GAEs for steel articles and 15 for aluminum articles

- adds a new certification requirement to ensure that volumes requested are consistent with the requestor’s legitimate business needs and adds a note to remind all parties of the prohibition against, and consequences of, making false statements to the U.S. government

- modifies language to apply the same time standard to U.S. objectors and foreign suppliers for when the steel or aluminum articles need to be provided to the exclusion requester

BIS states that other issues regarding the exclusion process are still being reviewed, including (1) the exclusion portal being programmed to flag requests that have been waiting a certain number of days/months, (2) whether objections have an outsized influence on the process, and (3) preferential treatment for products further manufactured or substantially transformed in the U.S. BIS states that it intends to publish at least one more interim final rule addressing these and other issues and possibly making additional revisions.

For more information on the Section 232 restrictions on steel and aluminum, or the changes made by this rule, please contact Kristen Smith at (202) 730-4965.

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