Department of Commerce issues proposed revisions to Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs

Posted By: Jerrod Weaver Government Affairs,

Bureau of Industry and Security - Wikipedia The U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has proposed significant changes to the Section 232 tariff exclusion process for aluminum and steel imports. This proposed rule aims to enhance the efficiency and transparency of the exclusion process, building upon feedback received from public comments and recent developments.

Since the imposition of duties on aluminum and steel imports in 2018, the BIS has made several interim revisions to the Section 232 exclusions process. The proposed changes in this rule intend to address the issues raised and streamline the system further. These proposed alterations serve four main purposes:

  • Efficient General Approved Exclusions (GAE) Process: BIS plans to redefine the criteria for GAEs, which have helped reduce exclusion requests. The proposed shift will consider substantiated objections rather than mere objections, aiming to focus on products not sufficiently available or of satisfactory quality in the U.S. This adjustment could lead to a 20% reduction in exclusion requests.

  • Introduction of General Denied Exclusions (GDE): To maintain balance and fairness in the process, BIS proposes the creation of GDEs. These would be applied when certain HTSUS classification codes have high success rates for objections. GDEs are expected to enhance efficiency and fairness.

  • Stricter Certification Requirements: Requesters must certify that they made reasonable efforts to source products from the U.S. or partner countries and submit evidence to support their claims. This change intends to prevent excessive requests and ensure accurate data for national security measures.

  • Enhanced Objector Certification: Objectors must certify their ability to provide requested products promptly if their objections are successful. Evidence of recent sales or sales discussions for the same product must accompany objections, reducing cases where objectors fail to supply the material.

This proposed rule provides an opportunity for the public to comment on these changes, with the comment period closing on October 12, 2023. BIS seeks to strike a balance between efficiency, fairness, and transparency in the Section 232 exclusions process, with these proposed alterations aiming to improve the system's overall effectiveness. Public input and feedback will play a crucial role in shaping the final rule