Industry News

Commerce Releases 232 Exclusion Materials And Interim Regulations

March 19, 2018

Over the weekend, the Department of Commerce issued a flurry of materials regarding the Adjusting Imports of Aluminum and the Adjusting of Imports of Steel Presidential Proclamations. The agency released an Interim Final Rule that covers the requirements for submissions for requesting exclusions from the duties set forth in the proclamations, as well as the requirements for objecting to exclusion requests.

Commerce will accept comments on the interim final rule until May 18, 2018. Submitted comments should address the rules themselves and are not exclusion requests. The comments could lead to changes in the final rule. However, Commerce started accepting exclusion requests on the morning of March 19, 2018, so it is likely that Commerce will ultimately adopt rules very similar to the interim rule.

With respect to exclusion requests, the rules are same for aluminum and steel requests. There are several important limitations in the rules.

  • Exclusion requests are limited to individual or organizations using the articles “in business activities (e.g. construction, manufacturing, or supplying steel to users) in the United States.”
  • Exclusions will be made on a product-specific basis, with products narrowly defined to differentiate by dimension in some cases, and will be entirely public.
  • Exclusions will normally be limited to the organization that requested exclusion, unless Commerce announces otherwise.
  • There is no deadline for filing exclusion requests.
  • Exclusion requests are likely to be challenging for companies with complex supply chains, since much of the requested information is end-user specific. It may be necessary for an importer and a user to each file an exclusion request.
  • Requests for steel exclusions are required to be filed electronically using the form here (downloads automatically).
  • Requests for aluminum exclusions are required to be filed electronically using the form here (downloads automatically).
  • Commerce indicates that it expects exclusion requests to be decided within 90 business days.
  • Any individual or organization in the United States may file objections to an exclusion request using a form available from Commerce.

Contact any of our attorneys for further questions about this developing topic.