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U.S. Commerce Department rules for exclusion request rebuttals

U.S. Commerce rules for exclusion request rebuttals

The U.S. Commerce Department has published the process for requesting exclusions from the “section 232” tariffs on steel and aluminum imported into the United States.


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The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) released an interim final rule concerning submissions of exclusion requests and objections to submitted requests for aluminum and steel imports. As noted in the interim final rule, public comments and BIS feedback on the high volume of exclusion requests warranted further changes to streamline the exclusion request processing. The most recent update is intended to clarify the criteria the government will consider for granting or denying a tariff exclusion request. Read TradeNewsFlash

Currently, BIS evaluates each exclusion request to see if an item meets any of the following criterion:  (1) the article is not produced in the United States in a sufficient and reasonably available amount; (2) the article is not produced in the United States in a satisfactory quality, or (3) for specific national security considerations.

Under the new rules available on the Commerce website, a person making an exclusion request will be able to respond to any objections by submitting:

  • Rebuttals to objections—BIS states “the most effective rebuttals will be those that aim to correct factual errors or misunderstandings in the objection(s).”
  • Surrebuttals to rebuttals—filed within seven days of the rebuttal posting

Any open or pending exclusion requests will be “grandfathered” into the new process for submitting rebuttals and/or surrebuttals.  The Commerce Department is accepting comments on the new “interim final rule” for the section 232 exclusion process until 13 November 2018.


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

Doug Zuvich
Partner, Global Practice Leader
T: 312-665-1022

Andy Siciliano
Partner, National Practice Leader
T: 631-425-6057

Irina Vaysfeld
T: 212-872-2973

Robert Waldrop
T: 212-954-8117 

Christopher Young
T: 312-665-3229

George Zaharatos
T: 404-222-3292

John L. McLoughlin
Principal, East Coast Leader
T: 267-256-2614

Luis (Lou) Abad
Principal, WNT
T: 212-954-3094

Amie Ahanchian
Managing Director
T: 202-533-3247

Gisele Belotto
Managing Director
T: 305-913-2779

Andy Doornaert
Managing Director
T: 313-230-3080

Jessica Libby
Managing Director
T: 612-305-5533

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