On December 23, 2020 the Department of Commerce issued a new rule adopting the Aluminum Import Monitoring Analysis (AIM) system and promulgated new regulations (19 C.F.R. Part 361) that establish a website for the AIM system. This website will include an online aluminum import license application platform and a public AIM monitor. This means that importers, customs brokers, or their agents must obtain an import license through the AIM system website for each entry of certain aluminum products into the United States. This license will require that applicants identify the country or countries where the largest and the second largest volume of primary aluminum used in the manufacture of the imported aluminum product was smelted (subject to certain exceptions) and the country where the aluminum product was most recently cast.
The AIM System, with import license requirements and a public monitor, was modeled after the Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) system. SIMA, in place since March of 2005, allows the Commerce Department to monitor certain steel imports. Under SIMA, steel import licenses, issued through the online SIMA licensing system, are required for imports of specific steel products into the United States. The SIMA public monitoring system provides aggregate data on for steel mill imports, up to eight weeks in advance of official U.S. import statistics issued by the U.S. Census Bureau. Under the AIM system, similar timely data will be available for aluminum products in order monitor import surges of specific aluminum products and prevent the of transshipment of aluminum products.
The effective date is January 25, 2021 and the AIM system website will be operational on January 4, 2021. After the AIM system is in place, Commerce will seek additional comment from parties on potential improvements or changes to the system in a subsequent notice. Do not hesitate to contact an attorney at Barnes, Richardson & Colburn LLP if you have additional questions about the new licensing requirement or using the AIM system.