The Bureau of Industry and Security is accepting comments through March 28 on ways to further improve the Section 232 tariff exclusion process.

BIS states that as of Jan. 30 it had processed more than 382,000 exclusion requests and rejected or made determinations on more than 369,000. Average processing times are 43 days for requests that do not receive objections (which account for about 70 percent of all requests) and 98 days for those that do. BIS notes that less than ten percent of the volume of steel and aluminum articles granted exclusions is utilized with the articles being imported into the U.S.

BIS is now seeking input on the responsiveness of the exclusion process to market demand, the overall transparency of the process, and potential changes. Specific aspects of the process on which comments may be submitted include the following.

- how to reduce the volume of submission errors and rejected filings in the exclusions portal

- how to address the time for processing exclusion requests, including reducing length or type of attachments

- requiring public summaries of any confidential business information in requests and objections, similar to the existing requirement for rebuttal and surrebuttals

- requiring public disclosure of delivery times on request and objection forms

- requiring recent (i.e., from the last quarter or 90 days) evidence supporting claims made in a request or objection

- streamlining the online forms or otherwise reducing administrative burden

- assessing the general approved exclusions criteria and identification of specific products

For more information on Section 232 tariffs and exclusions, please contact attorney Kristen Smith at (202) 730-4965 or via email.

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