Softwood Lumber Recent Developments

2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012

2017

  • 25-04-2017 Decision Memorandum for the preliminary determination related to scope

    The Decision Memorandum for the preliminary determination that was released by the U.S. Department of Commerce on April 25, 2017, confirms that the U.S. Department of Commerce has not made any changes to the scope of the countervailing and anti-dumping duty investigations at this time.  The scope remains the same as that indicated in the Notice of Initiation issued on December 15, 2016. Despite support from the U.S. Lumber Coalition (the Petitioner) to exclude certain products from the scope of the investigations, the U.S. Department of Commerce has decided to defer any decisions to narrow the scope until a later date, anticipated at the final countervailing and anti-dumping duty determinations.  Therefore, all products in scope are subject preliminary duties pending any U.S. Department of Commerce decision to exclude products from the scope of the investigations.  In the event that the U.S. Department of Commerce does exclude products from the scope of the investigations, cash deposits on excluded products will be refunded (although exactly when that will occur depends largely on when the U.S. Department of Commerce directs U.S. Customs and Border Protection to issue refunds). 

    The U.S. Department of Commerce has invited interested parties to provide comments on scope exclusions currently under its consideration within 7 days of the publication of the preliminary countervailing duty determination in the U.S. Federal Register. Publication in the U.S. Federal Register is expected to occur on April 28, 2017.  

    Canada does not provide advice to exporters on U.S. Customs and Border Protection classifications. However, it should be noted that the investigations will not change the existing U.S. HTSUS codes. The U.S. Department of Commerce will publish a notice in the U.S. Federal Register and issue instructions to U.S. Customs. The notice and instructions will contain a scope definition in a format similar to what was contained in the notice of initiation issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce on December 15, 2016. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is supposed to adhere to the written scope definitions, with the HTSUS codes provided for information purposes only.  Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the investigations is dispositive.

  • 25-04-2017 Company exclusions process – decision memo of United States Department of Commerce

    Early in the countervailing duty investigation on softwood lumber from Canada, the Government of Canada submitted a proposal to the United States Department of Commerce requesting that Commerce consider a company exclusions process which would allow companies that receive no countervailable subsidies, or that receive only de minimis (less than one percent ad valorem) countervailable subsidies to be excluded from the current US countervailing duties investigation. 

    In a decision memo released at the same time as its preliminary countervailing duty determination, the U.S. Department of Commerce has decided that it lacks the authority to conduct a company exclusions process in a company specific countervailing duty investigation.  In their April 25th decision memo on company exclusions, the U.S. Department of Commerce indicated that while their regulations specifically provide for company exclusions in an aggregate case, their regulations do not specifically provide for company exclusions in the company-specific countervailing duty investigation they are conducting.

    The Department took this position despite the fact that the U.S. Lumber Coalition (the petitioner) had filed a written submission to the U.S. Department of Commerce which indicated that a limited company exclusions process would be appropriate in this case. 

    The Government of Canada will have another opportunity in its case brief to provide comments as to why the U.S. Department of Commerce should consider a company exclusions process. As per the current U.S. regulations, case briefs are due seven days after the final day of verifications by the U.S. Department of Commerce.  Verifications are currently scheduled to be completed in late June 2017. 

    Outside of the company exclusions process, companies have the option to seek an exclusion in the context of an expedited review, which is provided for under the current U.S. regulations. If, in the context of an expedited review, companies successfully demonstrate to the U.S. Department of Commerce that they received zero or de minimis subsidies during calendar year 2015 they would be excluded from any countervailing duty order.  The expedited review process begins at the conclusion of the countervailing duty investigation -- companies interested in participating in this process must request an expedited review within 30 days of the date of publication in the U.S. Federal Register of any countervailing duty order, expected at the end of 2017 or early 2018.   Should companies choose to submit a request to the U.S. Department of Commerce for an expedited review, it is recommended that they retain U.S. counsel that specializes in trade remedy law.

  • 24-04-2017 - Joint Statement of Minister Freeland and Minister Carr in response to United States Department of Commerce countervailing duty preliminary determination

    Minister Freeland and Minister Carr issued a joint statement in response to these determinations by the United States Department of Commerce.

  • 24-04-2017 – United States Department of Commerce issues preliminary determination in countervailing duty investigation into imports of certain Canadian softwood lumber products

    The United States Department of Commerce issued its preliminary determination in its countervailing duty investigation into imports of certain softwood lumber products from Canada. The United States Department of Commerce found that Canadian softwood lumber imports into the United States were subsidised and calculated company specific-rates for the four mandatory respondents and one voluntary respondent as follows:

    • Canfor Corporation: 20.26%
    • Tolko Marketing Sales Ltd.: 19.5%
    • West Fraser Mills Ltd.: 24.12%
    • Resolute Forest Products Canada Inc.: 12.82%
    • J.D. Irving Ltd.: 3.02%

    For all other companies, the U.S. Department of Commerce has calculated an “all others” countervailing duty rate of 19.88%.

    Duties will come into effect upon publication in the U.S. Federal Register.

  • 24-04-2017 – United States Department of Commerce issues its preliminary determination of critical circumstances

    The United States Department of Commerce made an affirmative preliminary critical circumstances determination, concluding that there has been a surge of importations (known as “massive importations”) into the United States of Canadian softwood lumber products exported by J.D. Irving Ltd and all other Canadian softwood lumber companies with the exception of the four mandatory respondents (Canfor Corporation, West Fraser Mills Ltd., Tolko Marketing Sales Ltd., and Resolute FP Canada Inc.) 

    As a result of this determination, the U.S. Department of Commerce has indicated it will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to apply countervailing and anti-dumping duties retroactively to 90 days prior to the publication of both the anti-dumping and countervailing preliminary determinations in the U.S. Federal Register.

  • 13-01-2017 – The U.S. International Trade Commission’s preliminary finding of material injury caused by Canadian softwood lumber products

    On January 13, 2017, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) published its preliminarily determination that the U.S. industry is materially injured by virtue of imports of Canadian softwood lumber products. This decision means that the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue its anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations into Canadian softwood lumber products. If the U.S. Department of Commerce makes affirmative preliminary determinations, preliminary AD and CVD duties would be applicable at that time.

    The U.S. Department of Commerce also confirmed it will proceed with a company-specific CVD investigation and identified that its mandatory respondents are West Fraser, Tolko, Canfor and Resolute Forest Products.

2016

  • 23-12-2016 – For the purposes of the Softwood Lumber Export Permit Monitoring Program use of the HS 2017 changes will be delayed until January 1st, 2018

    With the imminent adoption by Canada of the World Customs Organization 2017 Harmonized System (HS 2017) nomenclature on January 1st, 2017, coupled with the United States’ delayed adoption of HS 2017 changes for Chapter 44 (Wood and articles of wood; wood charcoal) until January 1st, 2018 - the Softwood Lumber Division of Global Affairs Canada would like to inform you of the following:

    For the purposes of the Softwood Lumber Export Permit Monitoring Program, the implementation of HS 2017 changes will be delayed until January 1st, 2018. When applying for an export permit, Exporters and Brokers of Softwood Lumber Products should continue to use the Canadian tariff classifications set out in Annex 1B of the Softwood Lumber Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America, signed on September 12, 2006, as it read on October 12, 2015.

    A Notice will be published in the fall of 2017 announcing the implementation of HS 2017 changes as of January 1st, 2018.

    For further information please contact:

    Sylvain Emond
    Softwood Lumber Division
    343-203-3723
    Sylvain.emond@international.gc.ca

  • 28-11-2016 – Petition to United States Government to Launch Investigation into Imports of Certain Canadian Softwood Lumber Products

    On November 25, 2016, the Committee Overseeing Action for Lumber International Trade Investigations or Negotiations filed petitions with the United States Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission, requesting the initiation of countervailing, anti-dumping and injury investigations into imports of certain softwood lumber products from Canada.

  • 19-10-2016 – Possible Company Exclusions Process Regarding a Potential United States Investigation Into Imports of Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada

    In anticipation of a possible investigation by the United States into imports of certain softwood lumber products from Canada, the Government of Canada has developed an e-portal. The e-portal will assist companies to apply to be considered for exclusion from any countervailing duties that could result from this investigation. The e-portal will initially allow Canadian companies to: a) create their profiles and b) access the current version of the Company Exclusions package, which will be updated following initiation of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Note that the e-portal will only enable companies to apply following initiation by the United States. Please note also that the United States has not agreed to undertake such an exclusions process and is under no obligation to do so.

    All information regarding eligibility for the company exclusions process will be available exclusively through the e-portal. For those that register, the e-portal administrators will email to advise of any changes to the Company Exclusions package. For further information, please see Notice to Exporters Serial 200.

    Questions regarding the company exclusions process can be directed to:

    Telephone: 1 800 438-9092
    Email: info@companyexclusions.ca
    E-portal web address: www.companyexclusions.ca

2015

  • 09-10-2015 – Monitoring Program for Softwood Lumber Products Shipments as of October 13th, 2015

    The Government of Canada will monitor shipments of softwood lumber products first manufactured in all provinces and territories of Canada to the United States following the expiry of the Softwood Lumber Agreement on October 12, 2015.  Beginning on October 13, 2015 a monitoring program will be administered through the issuance of export permits by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The object of this monitoring program is to collect data respecting softwood lumber exports to the U.S. of products first manufactured in all Canadian provinces and territories. Details on this program are outlined in Notice to Exporters Serial Number 195.

  • 09-10-2015 - Softwood Lumber Exports to the United States: Monitoring Softwood Lumber Product Exports to the United States – SER - 195

    Message to Industry.

  • 05-10-2015 - Message to Customs Brokers regarding Softwood Lumber

    The daily softwood lumber report for the month of October is now available.

    For further information, please contact Gordon Chestnut at 343-203-3724 or by email at gordon.chestnut@international.gc.ca.

  • 02-10-2015 - Message to Customs Brokers regarding Softwood Lumber

    Please note that we are presently experiencing technical issues with the daily report for softwood lumber for the month of October. There is an investigation underway. We will provide you with an update as the information will become available.

    For further information, please contact Gordon Chestnut at 343-203-3724 or by email at gordon.chestnut@international.gc.ca.

  • 30-09-2015 - Message to Customs Brokers regarding Softwood Lumber

    Brokers are advised that the correction period for September 2015 Softwood Lumber permits ends October 5, 2015 at 17:00 ET.

    We remind you of the importance of submitting correct information on permits as this is imperative to the operation of the Softwood Lumber Agreement. Please submit permit corrections for the month of September before the end of the correction period, as is the case for every allocation month of the year.

    For further information, please contact Gordon Chestnut at 343-203-3724 or by email at gordon.chestnut@international.gc.ca.

  • 21-09-2015 – Further to the message on September 14, 2015, this is to advise that the export allocations for companies in Option B regions will not be available on September 21, 2015. The Softwood Lumber Division is still reviewing the October allocations and, it is now anticipated that the allocation levels will be made available on September 28, 2015.

    For further information, please contact Sylvain Emond at 343-203-3723 or by email at sylvain.emond@international.gc.ca.

  • 14-09-2015 – The Prevailing Monthly Price for October 2015 is US$ 313. Please note that the Softwood Lumber Agreement is scheduled to expire on October 12th, 2015. As such, for the month of October export measures will apply only to exports with shipment dates of October 1st to 12th at 11:59 PM.

    Further, Regional Trigger Volumes for Option A regions and the Regional Quota Volumes for Option B regions will be prorated to reflect only the period for which the Agreement is still in effect in October.

    Option A regions:

    With respect to the Regional Trigger Volume and associated surge mechanism a region’s Option A volume will correspond to 12/31 of the region’s monthly share.

    Option B regions:

    With respect to quota issuance, this means that companies in Option B regions who qualify will be issued an export allocation corresponding to 12/31 of their share of the Regional Quota Volume. This export allocation is anticipated to be issued by September 21, 2015 and will be reflected in the company’s EIPA account.

    In accordance with the SLA, the carry-back provision outlined in Article 7B will be suspended for October of 2015. Further, if a company employed the carry-back provisions in September by borrowing from October’s volume the October balance available to that company will be decreased accordingly. Companies whose accounts are in a carry-forward situation will still be able to access this quota volume for October.

    For further information, please contact Sylvain Emond at 343-203-3723 or by email at sylvain.emond@international.gc.ca.

  • 17-08-2015 – The Prevailing Monthly Price for September 2015 is US$ 336. As such, export measures will apply from September 1st to 30th and companies in Option B regions who qualify will be issued an export allocation corresponding to their share of the RQV. The export allocation is anticipated to be issued by August 17, 2015, and will be reflected in the company’s EIPA account. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement, when the price drops below $US 355 following a no-volume restraint period, volume restraints will resume for the following month and remain in effect until further notice. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during a volume-restraint month, please refer to Sections 5.0 and 7.0 in Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 15-07-2015 – The Prevailing Monthly Price for August 2015 is US$ 347. As such, export measures will apply from August 1st to 31st and companies in Option B regions who qualify will be issued an export allocation corresponding to their share of the RQV. The export allocation is anticipated to be issued by July 21, 2015, and will be reflected in the company’s EIPA account. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement, when the price drops below $US 355 following a no-volume restraint period, volume restraints will resume for the following month and remain in effect until further notice. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during a volume-restraint month, please refer to Sections 5.0 and 7.0 in Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 12-06-2015 – The Prevailing Monthly Price for July 2015 is US$ 315. As such, export measures will apply from July 1st to 31st and companies in Option B regions who qualify will be issued an export allocation corresponding to their share of the RQV. The export allocation is anticipated to be issued by June 22th, 2015, and will be reflected in the company’s EIPA account. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement, when the price drops below $US 355 following a no-volume restraint period, volume restraints will resume for the following month and remain in effect until further notice. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during a volume-restraint month, please refer to Sections 5.0 and 7.0 in Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 12-05-2015 - The Prevailing Monthly Price for June 2015 is US$ 324. As such, export measures will apply from June 1st to 30th and companies in Option B regions who qualify will be issued an export allocation corresponding to their share of the RQV. The export allocation is anticipated to be issued by May 22th, 2015, and will be reflected in the company’s EIPA account. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement, when the price drops below $US 355 following a no-volume restraint period, volume restraints will resume for the following month and remain in effect until further notice. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during a volume-restraint month, please refer to Sections 5.0 and 7.0 in Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 13-04-2015  – The Prevailing Monthly Price for May 2015 is US$ 336. As such, export measures will apply from May 1st to 31st and companies in Option B regions who qualify will be issued an export allocation corresponding to their share of the RQV. The export allocation is anticipated to be issued by April 24th, 2015, and will be reflected in the company’s EIPA account. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement, when the price drops below $US 355 following a no-volume restraint period, volume restraints will resume for the following month and remain in effect until further notice. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during a volume-restraint month, please refer to Sections 5.0 and 7.0 in  Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 09-03-2015 – The Prevailing Monthly Price for April 2015 is US$ 352. As such, export measures will apply from April 1st to 30th and companies in Option B regions who qualify will be issued an export allocation corresponding to their share of the RQV. The export allocation is anticipated to be issued by March 24th, 2015, and will be reflected in the company’s EIPA account. Carry-forward carry-back provisions will be re-instated on the basis of calculations derived from October 2013 balances. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement, when the price drops below $US 355 following a no-volume restraint period, volume restraints will resume for the following month and remain in effect until further notice. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during a volume-restraint month, please refer to Sections 5.0 and 7.0 in  Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 09-02-2015 - The prevailing monthly price for March 2015 exceeds US $355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from March 1st to 31st. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 12-01-2015 – The prevailing monthly price for February 2015 exceeds US $355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from February 1st to 28th. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.

2014

  • 10-12-2014 – The prevailing monthly price for January 2015 exceeds US $355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from January 1st to 31st. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 12-11-2014 – The prevailing monthly price for December 2014 exceeds US $355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from December 1st to 31st. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 14-10-2014 – The prevailing monthly price for November 2014 exceeds US $355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from November 1st to 30th. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 16-9-2014 – The prevailing monthly price for October 2014 exceeds US $355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from October 1st to 31st. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 11-8-2014 – The prevailing monthly price for September 2014 exceeds US $355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from September 1st to 30th. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 17-7-2014 – The prevailing monthly price for August 2014 exceeds US $355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from August 1st to 31st. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 2-7-2014 – The prevailing monthly price for July 2014 exceeds US $355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from July 1st to 31st. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 12-5-2014 – The prevailing monthly price for June 2014 exceeds US$ 355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from June 1st to 30th. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 08-4-2014 – The prevailing monthly price for May 2014 exceeds US$ 355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from May 1st to 31st. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 24-3-2014 – The prevailing monthly price for April 2014 exceeds US$ 355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from April 1st to 30th. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 11-2-2014 – The prevailing monthly price for March 2014 exceeds US$ 355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from March 1st to 31st. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 14-1-2014 – The prevailing monthly price for February 2014 exceeds US$ 355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from February 1st to 28th. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.

2013

  • 10-12-2013 – This message is to inform industry stakeholders that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, on December 9, 2013, made the 2014 Allocation Method Order - Softwood Lumber Products (AMO). The 2014 AMO establishes the method for allocating to individual companies the quantity of softwood lumber products that may be exported to the United States during a month from Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan for the period of January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. For more information regarding the 2014 AMO, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial # 189.
  • 10-12-2013 – The prevailing monthly price for January 2014 exceeds US$ 355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from January 1st to 31st. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 22-11-2013 – The prevailing monthly price for December 2013 exceeds US$ 355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from December 1st to 31st. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 16-10-2013 – The prevailing monthly price for November 2013 exceeds US$ 355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from November 1st to 30th. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 15-7-2013 – The Prevailing Monthly Price for August 2013 is US$ 326. As such, export measures will apply from August 1st to 31st and companies in Option B regions who qualify will be issued an export allocation corresponding to their share of the RQV. The export allocation is anticipated to be issued by July 24th, 2013, and will be reflected in the company’s EIPA account. Carry-forward carry-back provisions will be re-instated on the basis of calculations derived from December 2012 balances. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement, when the price drops below $US 355 following a no-volume restraint period, volume restraints will resume for the following month and remain in effect until further notice. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during a volume-restraint month, please refer to Sections 5.0 and 7.0 in Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 14-6-2013 – The prevailing monthly price for July 2013 exceeds US$ 355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from July 1st to 31st. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 16-5-2013 – The prevailing monthly price for June 2013 exceeds US$ 355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from June 1st to 30th. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 19-4-2013 – The prevailing monthly price for May 2013 exceeds US$ 355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from May 1st to 31st. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 21-3-2013 – The prevailing monthly price for April 2013 exceeds US$ 355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from April 1st to 30th. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 25-2-2013 – The prevailing monthly price for March 2013 exceeds US$ 355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from March 1st to 31st. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
  • 18-1-2013 – The prevailing monthly price for February 2013 exceeds US$ 355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from February 1st to 28th. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.

2012