U.S. interim final rule revising Section 232 tariff exclusions process for steel and aluminum imports

U.S. interim final rule revising Section 232

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Commerce Department today released for publication in the Federal Register an interim final rule revising aspects of the process for requesting exclusions from customs duties and quantitative limitations on imports of aluminum and steel under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

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Today’s interim final rule [PDF 364 KB] (25 pages as published in the Federal Register on December 14, 2020) makes additional revisions to the Section 232 exclusion process, including to the 232 Exclusions Portal, based on public comments to the current process.

The interim final rule in particular makes three changes to the Section 232 exclusions process.

  • First, the interim final rule addresses the need to create a more efficient method for approving exclusions when objections have not been received in the past for certain steel or aluminum articles. The Commerce Department has determined creating general approved exclusions that may be used by any importing entity is warranted.
  • Second, the interim final rule addresses a trend that certain exclusion requesters may have requested more volume than needed for their own business purposes (compared to past usage). As noted in today’s release, submitting large numbers of unneeded exclusion requests decreases the efficiency of the Section 232 exclusions process for Commerce and for potential objectors, as well as creating issues for potential objectors.
  • Third, the interim final rule addresses a concern that objectors were being held to a higher standard than foreign suppliers because of the interpretation that “immediately” meant the objector needed to be able to provide the steel or aluminum articles within eight weeks, even though a foreign supplier may not be able to provide the same steel or aluminum article until much longer than eight weeks. With this interim final rule, the term “immediately” is retained but the language has been modified to apply for both U.S. objectors and foreign suppliers the same standard when the steel or aluminum articles need to be provided to the exclusion requester.


For more information on this topic or to learn more about KPMG’s Trade & Customs Services, contact:

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John L. McLoughlin
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Andy Siciliano
Partner and National Practice Leader
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E: asiciliano@kpmg.com

Steve Brotherton
Principal and Global Export and Sanctions Leader
T: 415-963-7861
E: sbrotherton@kpmg.com

Luis (Lou) Abad
Principal, Washington National Tax
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E: labad@kpmg.com

Irina Vaysfeld
Principal
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E: ivaysfeld@kpmg.com

Amie Ahanchian
Principal
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E: aahanchian@kpmg.com

Christopher Young
Principal
T: 312-665-3229
E: christopheryoung@kpmg.com

Gisele Belotto
Managing Director
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E: gbelotto@kpmg.com

George Zaharatos
Principal
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E: gzaharatos@kpmg.com

Andy Doornaert
Managing Director
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E: adoornaert@kpmg.com

Jessica Libby
Managing Director
T: 612-305-5533
E: jlibby@kpmg.com

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