Frequently asked questions – Softwood lumber
The following information is provided for reference purposes only. We strive to provide information that is correct, to the best of our knowledge, and useful to a large number of companies. The information that we provide is general and does not take into account issues that may arise for individual companies. In the same vein, please note that this information does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. Companies seeking legal advice relating to the U.S. proceedings with respect to softwood lumber, such as the administrative review processes, should retain U.S. legal counsel with expertise in U.S. trade law. Companies may also consider contacting their customs brokers regarding customs-related issues.
U.S. trade remedy proceedings
What is the U.S. trade remedies process?
The U.S. trade remedies process is the process by which U.S. companies seek protection from foreign imports that are allegedly subsidized or dumped and that are allegedly causing injury to the U.S. domestic industry.
This process is primarily administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. International Trade Commission. Key milestones in the process of the initial investigation include:
U.S. Industry Petition
- The trade remedies process begins with the U.S. industry simultaneously filing petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission containing allegations that companies have been selling unfairly dumped and/or subsidized products into the United States in a manner that causes injury or threatens to cause injury to the U.S. industry.
U.S. International Trade Commission - Preliminary Investigations
- After the petition is filed, the U.S. International Trade Commission begins a preliminary investigation to determine if the U.S. industry has been injured or threatened with injury by the allegedly dumped or subsidized goods.
U.S. Department of Commerce - Evaluation and Initiation
- At the same time, the U.S. Department of Commerce evaluates the petition and makes an initial decision on whether to initiate anti-dumping and/or countervailing duty investigations. If it decides to do so, the Department of Commerce then begins the investigation(s), which includes requesting detailed information from parties under investigation and conducting on-site verifications of information submitted in the context of the investigations.
U.S. International Trade Commission - Preliminary Determination
- If the U.S. International Trade Commission, as a result of its investigation, makes a preliminary determination that the U.S. industry has been injured or threatened with injury, the U.S. Department of Commerce continues its investigation(s).
U.S. Department of Commerce - Preliminary Determinations
- Part way through its investigation(s), the U.S. Department of Commerce makes a preliminary determination regarding subsidization and/or dumping. Should the U.S. Department of Commerce find countervailable subsidies and/or dumping, preliminary duties are placed on all goods covered by the investigation(s) entering the United States at that time.
U.S. Department of Commerce - Final Determination
- Following the conclusion of the U.S. Department of Commerce investigation(s), it makes a final determination of subsidization and/or dumping.
U.S. International Trade Commission - Final Determination
- The U.S. International Trade Commission then makes a final injury determination. If the U.S. International Trade Commission makes an affirmative final determination of injury or threat of injury and the U.S. Department of Commerce finds countervailable subsidies and/or dumping in its final determination, the U.S. Department of Commerce will then impose final duties on all goods covered by the investigation(s).
- Following final determinations, the U.S. Department of Commerce will conduct annual administrative reviews, which result in new anti-dumping and countervailing rates for companies subject to the reviews.
- The Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission must conduct sunset reviews no later than five years after an anti-dumping or countervailing duty order is issued. Sunset reviews determine whether revoking the order would be likely to lead to the continuation or recurrence of dumping or subsidies and of material injury.
How do I access documents related to the softwood lumber investigations?
Information on the U.S. countervailing and anti-dumping duty investigations can be found on the U.S. International Trade Administration website, known as ACCESS. You must first register as a Guest User before being able to access information. Once you have signed up, you can search for documents by case number, as follows:
- Anti-dumping duty investigation: A-122-857
- Countervailing duty investigation: C-122-858
Information on the softwood lumber injury investigation can be found on the U.S. International Trade Commission's website, listed under "Softwood Lumber from Canada". In addition, registering with the U.S. International Trade Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) will allow you to gain access to the various documents filed with them in relation to the softwood lumber injury case. Once your account is set up, a simple search for "softwood" or case number "701-TA-566" will display the public documents that have been filed in relation to the injury investigation.
How do I request an ACCESS account?
- An ACCESS E-Filer account is required for Canadian companies wishing to upload any documentation regarding anti-dumping or countervailing duty proceedings by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
- A company needs to register only once with ACCESS, even if it is interested in uploading documents in more than one proceeding. A single E-Filer registration allows a company to file in multiple proceedings. The registrant should use a company e-mail address. A personal email address should be used only if there is no company email address.
- If you are represented by U.S. counsel that has already registered with ACCESS and will be filing on your behalf, it is not necessary for you to separately register.
- There is no monetary cost to creating an ACCESS account. Canadian companies interested in U.S. Department of Commerce proceedings should begin ACCESS account creation at least a week in advance of any document submission deadlines.
- Disclaimer: The Government of Canada does not take any responsibility for technical or other issues that may be encountered by Canadian companies wishing to create and use an ACCESS account. If you encounter any issues during the ACCESS account creation process, please refer to the Help section on the left side of the ACCESS webpage.
- Open your preferred web browser. Enter in the web address https://access.trade.gov, and go to the website.
- You will reach the home login page. Click on "E-filer registration" to the left. This is what you will need if you intend to file documents on ACCESS, such as a notice of no sales. Do not click on guest registration. A guest account does not allow you to upload documents related to Department of Commerce proceedings.
- You will come to the E-Filer registration page. Please fill out all the information that is required.
- For country code, select Canada from the drop-down menu.
- For Firm/Organization name, please find your company. If it is not listed, select "other", and then fill in the address box.
- For email address, please use a company e-mail address. A personal email address should be used only if there is no company email address.
- If you are only interested in the US-Canada softwood lumber anti-dumping duty proceedings, enter "A-122-857 Fifth Admin Review" in the Case No. and Segment box.
- If you are only interested in the US-Canada softwood lumber countervailing duty proceedings, enter "C-122-858 Fifth Admin Review" in the Case No. and Segment box.
- If you are interested in both proceedings, you only need to register once, using one or the other of the above case numbers and segment.
- Enter the security code as your page will indicate.
- Click "submit".
- You will come to a page indicating that the Department of Commerce is reviewing your registration. Note that the approval process, as it indicates, can take up to 48 hours. For additional assistance, you should use the e-mail or telephone number as provided on the webpage.
- Afterwards, in the e-mail account you used to register for the ACCESS account, you will receive an e-mail from ACCESS indicating that they have received your registration with a summary of the information you just provided. The e-mail indicates again that approval of your ACCESS account registration can take up to 48 hours.
- In time, you will receive an e-mail confirmation from ACCESS indicating that your account has been approved. Follow the instructions in that e-mail to login using the credentials you provided for your account creation.
- You will then have access to the ACCESS system.
How do I find the Applicable Service List?
- Log into ACCESS
- Choose the search function from the list on the left hand side
- Enter the following fields:
- Case number:
- For the countervailing duty administrative review this is C-122-858;
- For the anti-dumping duty administrative review this is A-122-857
- Case number:
- Segment: REV-Admin Review (same for both the countervailing duty administrative review and the anti-dumping duty administrative review)
- Segment Begin Date: 01/01/2022 (same for both the countervailing duty administrative review and the anti-dumping duty Fifth administrative review)
- Segment End Date: 12/31/2022 (same for both the countervailing duty administrative review and the anti-dumping duty Fifth administrative review)
- Document Type: Public Service List (this is the applicable type for the notice of no sales filing; if filing a business proprietary submission, select APO Service List)
- Hit the search button and open the public service list with the most recent "Filed Date"
This document will contain the list of parties that you will need to include in your certificate of service attached to your submission.
What are the U.S. subsidy allegations?
The main allegation made by the U.S. industry is that provincial stumpage (i.e. the price charged to harvest timber from Crown lands) constitutes a countervailable subsidy. The U.S. industry has also alleged that certain funding programs provide countervailable subsidies to Canadian softwood lumber producers. In the past, U.S. claims have been found to be without basis. Canada believes this to once again be the case. During the last softwood lumber dispute, Canada successfully brought and won numerous challenges against the United States under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber. Canada has again brought such cases in this dispute.
Can Canada appeal an unfavourable decision?
Yes. Final determinations of subsidy, dumping and injury can be reviewed by the World Trade Organization, and through the binding binational panel review process under Chapter 19 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Chapter 10 of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) or through U.S. courts. Canada is currently challenging U.S. final determinations under these mechanisms.
Which companies were selected to be investigated by the U.S. Department of Commerce in the original investigations?
For both the anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations, the U.S. Department of Commerce selected West Fraser, Tolko, Canfor and Resolute Forest Products as mandatory respondents. These companies were individually investigated and received company-specific anti-dumping and countervailing duty rates.
In addition, J.D. Irving was selected as a voluntary respondent in the countervailing duty investigation and therefore was also individually investigated and received a company-specific countervailing duty rate.
Who is responsible for paying anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed by the United States?
The importer of record on the shipment to the United States is responsible for paying any duties imposed by the United States. The U.S. Department of Commerce requires importers to provide cash deposits on imports of certain softwood lumber products that are equivalent to the anti-dumping and countervailing duty rates in effect at the time of entry.
In most cases, Canadian exporters of softwood lumber products are also listed as the importer of record on shipments to the United States. Consequently, these Canadian exporters are required to shoulder the cost of any U.S. duties placed on their goods.
Do all companies have to pay anti-dumping and countervailing duties, or only those companies that were specifically investigated by the U.S?
Only softwood lumber products that fall within the scope of U.S. investigations are subject to U.S. duties. The U.S. Department of Commerce selects specific Canadian producers to serve as a representative sample for investigation and administrative review purposes in both the anti-dumping and the countervailing duty cases. Each of these receives company-specific countervailing and/or anti-dumping duty rates. Companies that are not directly investigated are subject to a weighted average "all-others" rate.
What is the status of Atlantic Canada in the dispute?
Historically, the Atlantic Provinces (i.e.: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador) have been exempted from U.S. countervailing duty investigations because the United States agreed that their timber pricing was market-based. The Atlantic producers have in the past been subject to anti-dumping duties. In this case, however, the U.S. Department of Commerce investigated allegations that New Brunswick stumpage constituted a countervailable subsidy. It also imposed preliminary anti-dumping and countervailing duties on all exporters in the Atlantic provinces. Canada requested that the U.S. exclude the Atlantic provinces from the countervailing duty investigation.
On November 1, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce confirmed its final scope language, which applies to both the anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations. The final scope language specifically excludes: "softwood lumber products certified by the Atlantic Lumber Board as being first produced in the Provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, or Prince Edward Island from logs harvested in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, or Prince Edward Island."
Therefore, as of November 8, 2017 (the date of publication of the U.S. Department of Commerce's final determinations in the U.S. Federal Register), exports originating from these three provinces, and which have the required Atlantic Lumber Board certificate, are excluded from the final scope of the U.S. Department of Commerce's anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations. Softwood lumber products originating in New Brunswick were not excluded from the application of anti-dumping and countervailing duties.
The U.S. Department of Commerce has instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection to refund any preliminary anti-dumping and countervailing duties for entries which were accompanied by the appropriate Atlantic Lumber Board certificate.
I shipped lumber from one of the excluded provinces without an accompanying certificate from the Atlantic Lumber Board. Will I still receive a refund from U.S. Customs and Border Protection for these shipments?
No. The instructions sent by the Department of Commerce to U.S. Customs and Border Protection state that to qualify for this exclusion, an importer must provide an Atlantic Lumber Board certificate with each entry certifying that the merchandise was first produced in the Provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, or Prince Edward Island from logs harvested in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, or Prince Edward Island. Additionally, the Atlantic Lumber Board certificate of origin number must be identified in the Customs Entry Summary documentation for each entry.
Scope of investigations
Are cedar shakes and shingles covered by the scope of the U.S. duty orders on certain softwood lumber products from Canada?
No. For a time, it appeared that they might be, but as described below, the issue should now be resolved for the overwhelming majority of cedar shakes and shingles.
In March 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection began applying softwood lumber duties to cedar shakes and shingles from Canada. This was an unprecedented decision as these products had never been captured in previous softwood lumber disputes.
The Shake and Shingle Alliance sought to overturn this decision by requesting a scope ruling from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The U.S. Department of Commerce initially determined that cedar shakes and shingles products were within the scope of the softwood lumber duty orders.
Following a challenge by the Shake and Shingle Alliance, in November 2019 the U.S. Department of Commerce was ordered by the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) to revisit its scope determination regarding cedar shakes and shingles. The U.S. Department of Commerce's final redetermination found that the cedar shakes and shingles at issue are not covered by the scope of its duty orders relating to certain softwood lumber products from Canada.
On April 20, 2020, the CIT let stand the U.S. Department of Commerce's final redetermination that certain Canadian cedar shake and shingle products are not within the scope of the U.S. softwood lumber duty orders. On June 26, 2020, the U.S. Department Commerce published its final redetermination in the U.S. Federal Register and issued instructions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to cease the collection of duties and to refund previously collected duties on certain imports of Canadian cedar shakes and shingles.
On September 17, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued further instructions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection narrowing the applicability of its final redetermination on cedar shakes and shingles. The U.S. Department of Commerce clarified that its instructions to stop collection of duties and to liquidate cash deposits on Canadian exports of cedar shake and shingles applied only if the product:
- is exported by the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau or the individual members of the Shake and Shingle Alliance; and
- meets the following description "shakes and shingles that are rectangular products made of Western Red Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar or Eastern White Cedar and are tapered lengthwise to a point with a thickness of 1/16" or less".
On December 2, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued further revised instructions, narrowing yet again the applicability of its final redetermination on cedar shakes and shingles. These instructions indicated that its ruling that certain cedar shakes and shingles exported by the Shake and Shingle Alliance are outside the scope of the duty orders applies only to companies that were members of the Shake and Shingle Alliance on June 12, 2018 (date of the filing of Shake and Shingle Alliance's scope ruling request).
On December 30, 2020, the Government of Canada filed a scope ruling request seeking to obtain a clear and definite outcome with respect to the treatment of cedar shake and shingle products from Canada, that applies to Canada as a whole.
On March 12, 2021, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a scope ruling further to the Government of Canada's request, and found that exports of certain Canadian cedar shakes and shingles, regardless of the producer or exporter, are not covered by the scope of the U.S. duty order on softwood lumber. The description of cedar shakes and shingles found to be outside the scope of the U.S. duty orders is:
Rectangular products made of Western Red Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar, or Eastern White Cedar with a nominal length ranging from 15 to 24 inches and a minimum nominal width of 3 inches, and are tapered along the length of the product, such that one end (known as the "butt end") of the product has a thickness ranging from 5/16 to 1 inch, and the other end of the product tapers to an edge with a thickness of 1/16 inch or less.
On April 28, 2021, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued instruction to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to terminate suspension of liquidation of entries of these products refunded and refund any cash deposits.
Can I get clarity on whether a specific product I manufacture is within the scope of the U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty orders?
Yes. Following the publication of the U.S. Department of Commerce final duty orders in the U.S. Federal Register, which took place on January 3, 2018, companies can formally request rulings by the U.S. Department of Commerce on whether their specific products fall within the scope of the orders (scope ruling).
Within 30 days of receipt of an application for a scope ruling, the U.S. Department of Commerce must either accept or reject the application. If the application is incomplete or otherwise unacceptable, the U.S. Department of Commerce will reject it at which point the applicant may resubmit an amended application. If the U.S. Department of Commerce accepts the application, it will initiate a scope inquiry at which point the Department has 120 days (with the potential for an extension of an additional 180 days) to issue a ruling. The U.S. Department of Commerce will issue a final ruling based on the plain language of the scope of the order if the language is dispositive. If the language is not dispositive, the Department may take into account prior determinations and the descriptions of the merchandise contained in the petition or investigation. If the scope still remains unclear, the U.S. Department of Commerce may consider a number of secondary interpretive sources, like industry usage and dictionaries. Companies typically have the opportunity to provide comments and additional information to the U.S. Department of Commerce during the course of a scope inquiry.
The Government of Canada is not able to provide advice on product-specific scope issues. Canadian exporters wishing to obtain scope rulings that are specific to their products may wish to retain U.S. counsel that specialize in trade remedy law.
What products are targeted by the investigations (i.e. are in-scope)?
On November 1, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce confirmed its final scope language, which applies to both the anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations. It took effect as of the date of publication of the U.S. Department Commerce's final determination in the U.S. Federal Register (November 8, 2017). The full final scope of the U.S. investigations now reads as follows:
The merchandise covered by this investigation is softwood lumber, siding, flooring and certain other coniferous wood (softwood lumber products). The scope includes:
- Coniferous wood, sawn, or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled, whether or not planed, whether or not sanded, or whether or not finger-jointed, of an actual thickness exceeding six millimeters.
- Coniferous wood siding, flooring, and other coniferous wood (other than moldings and dowel rods), including strips and friezes for parquet flooring, that is continuously shaped (including, but not limited to, tongued, grooved, rebated, chamfered, V-jointed, beaded, molded, rounded) along any of its edges, ends, or faces, whether or not planed, whether or not sanded, or whether or not end-jointed.
- Coniferous drilled and notched lumber and angle cut lumber.
- Coniferous lumber stacked on edge and fastened together with nails, whether or not with plywood sheathing.
- Components or parts of semi-finished or unassembled finished products made from subject merchandise that would otherwise meet the definition of the scope above.
Finished products are not covered by the scope of this investigation. For the purposes of this scope, finished products contain, or are comprised of, subject merchandise and have undergone sufficient processing such that they can no longer be considered intermediate products, and such products can be readily differentiated from merchandise subject to this investigation at the time of importation. Such differentiation may, for example, be shown through marks of special adaptation as a particular product. The following products are illustrative of the type of merchandise that is considered "finished," for the purpose of this scope: I-joists; assembled pallets; cutting boards; assembled picture frames; garage doors.
The following items are excluded from the scope of this investigation:
- Softwood lumber products certified by the Atlantic Lumber Board as being first produced in the Provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, or Prince Edward Island from logs harvested in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, or Prince Edward Island.
- U.S.-origin lumber shipped to Canada for processing and imported into the United States if the processing occurring in Canada is limited to one or more of the following: (1) kiln drying; (2) planning to create smooth-to-size board; or (3) sanding.
- Radius-cut box-spring-frame components, not exceeding 1" in actual thickness or 83" in length, ready for assembly without further processing. The radius cuts must be present on both ends of the boards and must be substantially cut so as to completely round one corner.
- Box-spring frame kits if they contain the following wooden pieces – two side rails, two end (or top) rails and varying numbers of slats. The side rails and the end rails must be radius-cut at both ends. The kits must be individually packaged and must contain the exact number of wooden components needed to make a particular box spring frame, with no further processing required. None of the components exceeds 1" in actual thickness or 83" in length.
Softwood lumber product imports are generally entered under Chapter 44 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States ("HTSUS"). This chapter of the HTSUS covers "Wood and articles of wood." Softwood lumber products that are subject to this investigation are currently classifiable under the following ten-digit HTSUS subheadings in Chapter 44:]
4407.10.01.01; 4407.10.01.02; 4407.10.01.15; 4407.10.01.16; 4407.10.01.17; 4407.10.01.18; 4407.10.01.19; 4407.10.01.20; 4407.10.01.42; 4407.10.01.43; 4407.10.01.44; 4407.10.01.45; 4407.10.01.46; 4407.10.01.47; 4407.10.01.48; 4407.10.01.49; 4407.10.01.52; 4407.10.01.53; 4407.10.01.54; 4407.10.01.55; 4407.10.01.56; 4407.10.01.57; 4407.10.01.58; 4407.10.01.59; 4407.10.01.64; 4407.10.01.65; 4407.10.01.66; 4407.10.01.67; 4407.10.01.68; 4407.10.01.69; 4407.10.01.74; 4407.10.01.75; 4407.10.01.76; 4407.10.01.77; 4407.10.01.82; 4407.10.01.83; 4407.10.01.92; 4407.10.01.93; 4409.10.05.00; 4409.10.10.20; 4409.10.10.40; 4409.10.10.60; 4409.10.10.80; 4409.10.20.00; 4409.10.90.20; 4409.10.90.40; and 4418.99.10.00.
Subject merchandise as described above might be identified on entry documentation as stringers, square cut box-spring-frame components, fence pickets, truss components, pallet components, flooring, and door and window frame parts. Items so identified might be entered under the following ten-digit HTSUS subheadings in Chapter 44:
4415.20.40.00; 4415.20.80.00; 4418.99.90.05; 44188.8.131.52; 44184.108.40.206; 44220.127.116.11; 4418.104.22.168; and 4422.214.171.124.
Although these HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.
For remanufacturers of softwood lumber, what value do duties apply to?
This is an important issue for Canadian remanufactures. The way duties should be calculated on remanufactured products has been an issue in prior softwood lumber investigations and the U.S. Department of Commerce has not always been consistent in its approach. In the third softwood lumber dispute (1991–1994), duties for remanufactured products were calculated based on the value of the lumber at the "first mill", rather than based on the value of the finished products. In the fourth softwood lumber dispute (2001–2006), Commerce rejected arguments that duties should be calculated based on "first mill" value. Under the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement, the parties agreed that any export charges would be calculated based on "first mill" value.
In its November 1, 2017 final determinations, the U.S. Department of Commerce did not direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits on merchandise subject to this investigation on the value of lumber at the "first mill". As a result, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is applying duties according to its normal practice and collecting cash deposits on merchandise subject to this investigation (including remanufactured products) on the value of the final product.
If the raw material used to produce an in-scope product originates from outside of Canada, will the product automatically be excluded from the scope of the investigations and thus exempt from duties?
Not necessarily. In its November 1, 2017 final determinations, the U.S. Department of Commerce agreed to a limited scope exclusion based on the origin of the wood. Specifically, the final scope of the U.S. investigations provides:
- U.S.-origin lumber shipped to Canada for processing and imported into the United States is excluded from the scope of the investigations if the processing occurring in Canada is limited to one or more of the following: (1) kiln drying; (2) planning to create smooth-to-size board; or (3) sanding.
What is an expedited review?
An expedited review is a process by which companies can obtain a company-specific countervailing duty cash deposit rate, as opposed to the final "all-others" rate in the initial U.S. Department of Commerce investigation.
The expedited review determines whether a company received countervailable subsidies by undergoing essentially the same process as completed in the initial company-specific U.S. Department of Commerce countervailing duty investigation.
What was the deadline to request an expedited review?
The deadline for companies to submit a request for an expedited review to the U.S. Department of Commerce was February 5, 2018.
For how many companies did the United States initiate the expedited review process?
The U.S. Department of Commerce initiated expedited reviews for 33 of the 34 Canadian companies that requested such a review, and granted a withdrawal request for the 34th company. The U.S. Department of Commerce subsequently granted withdrawal requests for all 24 Canadian companies that requested to withdraw after initiation. As a result, only nine companies remained in the process.
What were the results of the expedited review process?
From the nine companies that participated in the expedited review process, five companies received a de minimis countervailing duty rate and four companies received a new individual countervailing duty rate.
What is the impact of the decision of the U.S. Court of International Trade on expedited reviews?
On August 18, 2021, the U.S. Court of International Trade (USCIT) issued its decision regarding the U.S. COALITION's challenge of the U.S. Department of Commerce's ability to conduct expedited reviews. The USCIT agreed with the COALITION that the U.S. Department of Commerce lacks the statutory authority to conduct expedited reviews. The USCIT further determined that the expedited review results must be vacated, but that the decision would only be implemented going forward. As a result, companies that received expedited review duty rates will no longer be subject to those rates and will instead pay the "all others" rate from the original investigation, unless they participate in a future countervailing administrative review. This decision took effect in late August 2021 when the U.S. Department of Commerce published the notice of the court's decision.
What happens next on expedited reviews?
On October 18, 2021, the Government of Canada appealed the USCIT's decision before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Proceedings in that appeal are ongoing. The Government of Canada will continue to defend Canadian industry as part of these proceedings, while working collaboratively with the Canadian companies involved in the process.
New shipper review
My company did not ship during 2015, but is doing so now and must pay duties. Can my company receive a company-specific duty rate?
- U.S. law allows new shipper reviews for companies that did not export to the United States during the period that was investigated in the original investigation. For the countervailing duty investigation, this was calendar year 2015. For the anti-dumping investigation, this was October 1, 2015 through to September 30, 2016.
- A new shipper review is essentially a mechanism for producers and exporters of softwood lumber products that fall within the scope of the U.S. investigations to obtain their own individual anti-dumping duty rate and countervailing duty rate. To request a new shipper review, the requester must have exported, or sold for export, relevant softwood lumber products to the United States.
- Note also that, to be eligible for a new shipper review, the applicant must not be affiliated with an exporter or producer that did export relevant softwood lumber products to the United States during the periods of investigation.
- Companies should be aware that there is no guarantee of receiving lower duty rates as a result of the new shipper review process than the "all-others" duty rates, and that companies could, in fact, receive higher rates. New shippers will also not be excluded from the order even if they receive a zero or de minimis rate of less than 1 percent.
- The Government of Canada strongly recommends that companies interested in requesting a new shipper review retain U.S. counsel; specifically, counsel that specializes in U.S. trade law.
When can I apply for a new shipper review?
- An exporter or producer may request a new shipper review within one year of the date on which the relevant softwood lumber products first entered the United States, or were withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, or, if the exporter or producer cannot establish the date of first entry, the date on which the exporter or producer first shipped merchandise for export to the United States.
How long does a new shipper review take?
- U.S. regulations provide that the U.S. Department of Commerce will issue preliminary results of the new shipper review within 180 days after the date on which the new shipper review was initiated, and final results of the review within 90 days after the date on which the preliminary results were issued. These deadlines may be extended to 300 days and 150 days, respectively.
What are the first steps in a new shipper review?
- If your company is a new shipper and is considering undergoing the new shipper review process, you will need to notify the Government of Canada, as well as each Province / Territory where your company had operations during calendar years 2008 to 2018. You can advise the Government of Canada of your intention to participate in this process at our dedicated softwood email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Due to the complexities of these reviews, as well as their associated costs and risks, the Government of Canada strongly recommends that companies interested in requesting a new shipper review retain U.S. counsel; specifically, counsel that specializes in U.S. trade law.
- Date Modified: