Industry News

New Effective Date for Aluminum Licensing: June 28, 2021

May 25, 2021
By: Meaghan E. Vander Schaaf


The Commerce Department is ending the delay on the long-discussed licensing requirements under the Aluminum Import Monitoring System (AIM). The effective date will be June 28, 2021. This means that licenses will be required for all covered aluminum imports and these imports must be reported on entry summary documentation to CBP on or after June 28, 2021.

Commerce also extended the period for license applicants to state “unknown” for certain fields on the license application to June 28, 2022. Under 19 CFR Section 361.103 aluminum import licenses will be issued to registered importers, customs brokers, or their agents through an automatic aluminum import licensing system. To obtain the license, the applicant must report:

  1. The country where the largest volume of primary aluminum used in the manufacture of the imported aluminum product was smelted (referred to as “country of smelt for the largest volume of primary aluminum” or “country of smelt” as shorthand),
  2. the country where the second largest volume of primary aluminum used in the manufacture of the imported aluminum product was smelted (referred to as “country of smelt for the second largest volume of primary aluminum” or “country of smelt” as shorthand), and
  3. the country where the aluminum used in the imported aluminum product was most recently cast (referred to as “country of most recent cast” for shorthand).

Recognizing that importers may have some initial difficulties in securing the country of smelt for the largest volume and second largest volume of primary aluminum, § 361.103(c)(3)(i)(C) and Section 361.103(c)(3)(ii)(C) allow filers to state “unknown” for this field on the license application on a temporary basis. In this recent announcement, Commerce extended the temporary period (originally set to expire on December 23, 2021) to allow for license applicants to state “unknown” in these fields until June 28, 2022.

It should be noted that the extension of time to state “unknown” for largest and second largest volumes comes in part from a comment Commerce received. The commenter identified that the new data field was not currently captured by existing systems, which only identify country of origin and not country of smelting. Updating these systems to track largest and second largest country of smelting will require substantial reprogramming. The commenter requested a year to meet the reporting requirements. While Commerce granted the request and license applicants may to continue to state “unknown” for certain license fields until June 28, 2022, the agency also noted that importers are now on notice that they need to start collecting the necessary documentation and track this information within their supply chains.

If you have additional questions about the new licensing requirements or using the AIM system, please contact an attorney at Barnes, Richardson & Colburn LLP.