On September 12, 2016, the Canada Border Services Agency ("CBSA") initiated an antidumping investigation against fabricated industrial steel components originating in or exported from China, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Spain and the United Arab Emirates. A subsidy investigation was also initiated in respect of China. The complaint was filed by Supermetal Structures Inc. (Lévis, Québec), Supreme Group LP (Edmonton, Alberta) and Waiward Steel LP (Edmonton, Alberta).
When I first saw the description of the case, I wondered what goods, exactly, were being targeted. The Subject Goods are defined as:
"Certain fabricated steel products such as structural steel and plate-work components of buildings, process equipment, process enclosures, access structures, process structures, and structures for conveyancing and material handling, including steel beams, braces, frames, railings, stairs, trusses, conveyor belt frame structures and galleries, bents, bins, chutes, hoppers, ductwork, process tanks, pipe racks and apron feeders, whether assembled or partially assembled into modules, or unassembled for use is structures for:
- oil and gas extraction, conveyance and processing;
- mining extraction, conveyance, storage, and processing;
- industrial power generation facilities;
- petrochemical plants;
- cement plants;
- fertilizer plants; and
- industrial metal smelters."
This definition seems to be very broad and complicated. There is more information in the Complaint. However, it is equally complicated. The Subject Goods are further described as follows:
"...certain fabricated steel components is not a technical term, but a reference to a type of end use. It is a widely understood term within the structural steel industry. Goods falling within the product definition are fabricated steel components such as angles, columns, beams, girders, base plates, trusses, kits of fabricated structural shapes and "plate-work" components, such as bins, hoppers, chutes and the like as well as related steel products that have been custom fabricated into articles suitable for erection or assembly into a variety of structures to specific custom plans."
The Subject Goods are explained as:
"A custom product for use in large industrial developments or projects that may be built over many years and in various phases. The product is not individual pieces of steel, rather it is a complete set of precisely fabricated steel components that are assembled into a custom designed structure."
The Subject Goods are classified under the following Harmonized System classification numbers:
The following goods are NOT Subject Goods and are excluded from the Subject Goods definition:
"electrical transmission towers; rolled steel products not further worked; steel beams not further worked; oil pump jacks; solar, wind and tidal power generation structures; power generation facilities with a rated capacity below 100 megawatts; goods classified as "prefabricated buildings" under HS Code 9406.00.90.30; structural steel for use in manufacturing facilities used in applications other than those described above; and products covered by Certain Fasteners (RR-2014-001), Structural Tubing (RR-2013-001), Carbon Steel Plate (III) (RR-2012-001), Carbon Steel Plate (VII) (NQ-2013-005), and Steel Grating (NQ-2010-002)."
The CBSA's schedule is as follows:
September 12, 2016: Initiation of the CBSA's dumping and
September 27, 2016: Statement of Reasons issued regarding the initiation of the investigations
October 3, 2016: Importer responses to CBSA's Request for Information due
October 19, 2016: Exporter and Government responses to CBSA's Request for Information due
December 12, 2016: Preliminary Determination or termination of the CBSA's dumping and subsidy investigations
December 27, 2016: Statement of Reasons issued (Preliminary Determination or termination)
In the event of a Preliminary Determination
December 12, 2016: Exporter and Importer ruling letters
January 26, 2017, at noon: Closing of the Record date
February 2, 2017, by noon: Case Arguments due from all parties
February 9, 2017, by noon: Reply Submissions due from all parties in respect of Case Arguments
March 13, 2017: Final Determination or termination of the CBSA's dumping and subsidy investigations
March 13, 2017: Exporter and Importer ruling letters available
March 28, 2017: Statement of Reasons issued (Final Determination or termination)
The Canadian International Trade Tribunal's ("CITT") schedule for the preliminary injury inquiry is as follows:
September 13, 2016: Notice of commencement of preliminary injury
September 26, 2016: Notices of participation and representation, declarations and undertakings
October 3, 2016: Distribution of documents received from the CBSA
October 11, 2016, by noon: Submissions by parties opposed to the complaint
October 18, 2016, by noon: Replies from the complainants and parties in support of the complaint
November 10, 2016: Determination
November 25, 2016: Reasons for determination
On first review, the subject goods scope is complicated and may cover many components individually. Companies in China, Spain, the UK, the UAE and South Korea who manufacture hoppers, for example, may run into problems at the border based on the definition as written. The scope of the subject goods definition and classes of goods are issues that can be raised during the CITT's preliminary injury inquiry.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.