In a February 10, 2022 Federal Register notice, the Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) announced that it is seeking public comments regarding the Section 232 exclusion process currently in place with respect to the additional duties assessed on certain steel and aluminum products.
In particular, BIS is seeking public comment on the responsiveness of the exclusions process to market demand and enhanced consultation with U.S. firms and labor organizations. Also welcomed are comments on more specific aspects of the exclusion process, including: potential changes to the associated forms and required information; the request, objection, rebuttal, and surrebuttal process; the standards of review; General Approved Exclusions; and the overall transparency of the process.
Specific topics identified in comment solicitation include:
(1) how to reduce the volume of submission errors and rejected filings in the Section 232 Exclusions Portal;
(2) how to address the time for processing of exclusion requests, including but not limited to reducing length or type of attachments;
(3) requiring public summaries of any confidential business information in exclusion requests and objections, similar to the existing requirement for rebuttal and surrebuttals;
(4) requiring public disclosure of delivery times on the Exclusion Request and Objection Forms;
(5) requiring recent (i.e., from the last quarter or 90 days) evidence supporting claims made in a Request or Objection;
(6) streamlining the online forms or otherwise reducing administrative burden; and
(7) assessing the General Approved Exclusions’ (GAEs) criteria and identification of specific products.
Comments must be submitted in a particular form and filed through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Comments will be accepted through March 28, 2022.