Frequently asked questions – Softwood lumber

The following information is provided to you 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.

Current U.S. anti-dumping and countervailing duty rates

What cash deposit rates are currently in effect for Canadian softwood lumber products exported to the United States?

On November 24, 2021, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued anti-dumping and countervailing duty rates for companies subject to the second administrative reviews. These rates came into effect when the U.S. Department of Commerce published the final results in the U.S. Federal Register on December 2, 2021.

On January 10, 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce amended the final results of its countervailing duty second administrative review. The table below reflects the cash deposit rates that are currently in effect for companies subject to the second administrative reviews.

CompanyAnti-dumping Duty Rate (2019)Countervailing Duty Rate (2019)Combined Duty Rates (2019)
Canfor Corporation17.12 %2.42 %19.54 %
Resolute Forest Products Canada Inc.11.59 % (all others)18.07 %29.66 %
West Fraser Mills Ltd.6.06 %5.08 %11.14 %
J.D. Irving Ltd.11.59 % (all others)3.46 %15.05 %
All Others11.59 %6.32 %17.91 %

For companies subject to the second administrative reviews, these duty rates apply retroactively to their exports made in 2019. In addition, these rates apply to new entries as a cash deposit rate going forward until these companies are subject to a future administrative review.

For companies not subject to the second administrative reviews, the most recent duty rate applicable to them will continue to apply.

Administrative reviews

What is an administrative review?

The U.S. Department of Commerce conducts an annual review of its anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders. This administrative review process is similar to the process followed for the initial investigations, but applies only to companies that are subject to the review. A company is subject to the review if there has been a specific request for a review of that company filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce. The administrative review will establish duty assessment rates for shipments entered during the period of review and establish the new duty deposit rates going forward until the next annual administrative review is completed.

How will the COVID-19 situation impact the administrative review processes?

Effective March 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce temporarily modified certain requirements for serving documents containing business proprietary information in the anti-dumping and countervailing cases. This temporarily allows documents containing business proprietary information to be submitted by electronic means through ACCESS, rather than the usual requirement for the physical exchange of documents. The goal is to promote public health and slow the spread of COVID-19. This temporary modification will be in place until further notice.

On April 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced it would uniformly toll (i.e. delay) deadlines for all anti-dumping and countervailing administrative reviews by 50 days in response to operational adjustments due to COVID-19. On July 21, 2020, Commerce announced that it would further toll deadlines for all administrative review preliminary and final determinations by 60 days. Final results for the first administrative reviews were therefore delayed until late November 2020. In the same manner, final results for the second administrative reviews were also delayed until late November 2021. Final results for the third administrative reviews are not affected by this tolling, and are therefore expected by August 2022.

When does the United States begin the administrative review processes?

The U.S. statute provides that requests for administrative review must be filed during the anniversary month of the publication of an anti-dumping or countervailing duty order. As the anniversary month for both orders is January, this is when the administrative review process begins each year.

What are the time periods covered by the Periods of Review?

First administrative reviews: The Period of Review for the countervailing first administrative review (AR1) is April 28, 2017 to December 31, 2018. The Period of Review for the anti-dumping first administrative review is June 30, 2017 to December 31, 2018.

Second administrative reviews: The Period of Review for both the countervailing and the anti-dumping second administrative reviews (AR2) is January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019.

Third administrative reviews: The Period of Review for both the countervailing and the anti-dumping third administrative reviews (AR3) is January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

Fourth administrative reviews: The Period of Review for both the countervailing and the anti-dumping fourth administrative reviews is January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021.

If my company is subject to one or both of the anti-dumping and countervailing administrative reviews, what does this mean for my company?

If you are subject to one or both of the anti-dumping and countervailing administrative reviews, please review the following:

If your company currently exports in-scope products to the United States, please refer to the question below, entitled “How will my company be affected by the administrative review process?”

If your company currently only exports out-of-scope products to the United States and therefore you do not pay anti-dumping or countervailing duty cash deposits on these products, this should not change as a result of your inclusion in the administrative review process. U.S. Customs and Border Protection applies duties solely to products within the scope of the duty orders. The scope of the duty orders is not expected to change as part of the administrative review process.

If you begin shipping in-scope merchandise in the future, but did not export in-scope merchandise during the period of the initial duty investigations (calendar year 2015 for the countervailing investigation and October 2015 through September 2016 for the anti-dumping investigation), your shipments will be subject to duties upon entry into the United States and you may wish to request a new shipper review at the appropriate time (please see “New Shipper Review” section below). You should consult U.S. counsel specializing in U.S. trade law to determine if that may be appropriate for your company’s circumstances.

How will my company be affected by the administrative review process?

According to U.S. trade law, an administrative review request can be made by a number of parties: exporters and producers can request review of their own companies; importers can request review of the companies from which they purchased; and the Government of Canada can request reviews of specified exporters or producers. The petitioner may also request that the U.S. Department of Commerce conduct an administrative review of many or all exporters or producers who can be identified based on Customs data and other sources. If the petitioner makes a request, all companies named in that request would be subject to the administrative review. Separate requests are required for the anti-dumping and countervailing duty administrative reviews.

Not all companies that are subject to a review are necessarily individually examined, however. The U.S. Department of Commerce may select only a handful of respondents for individual examination. Individually examined companies (i.e. mandatory or voluntary respondents) will need to provide detailed information about their financial situation and operations during the respective anti-dumping and countervailing periods of review and will be provided with their own individual assessment and duty deposit rates at the conclusion of the administrative reviews. The remaining companies that are subject to the reviews (i.e. those not individually examined) will be given a new “all-others rate” as a result of the reviews. This new “all-others rate” will be based on a weighted average of the final rates for the individually examined respondents.

The new individual or “all-others” rates determined through the administrative reviews will establish the cash deposit rates on a going-forward basis and will establish assessment rates on past entries which occurred during the period of review. This means that if the final administrative review rates are higher than the cash deposit rates in place at the time the goods were entered, importers of record subject to the administrative reviews would be issued an invoice for the difference on shipments made during the period of review. Likewise, if the administrative review rates are lower than the cash deposit rates in place at the time the goods were entered, these importers of record would be entitled to a refund.

If no administrative review request is made for a company, the company’s shipments that were entered during the period of review will be automatically liquidated at the cash deposit rate that was in effect at the time the entry was made. While this provides certainty to a company as to the amount of duties that will ultimately be owed, it also means that the company could not benefit from any legal victory (i.e. under NAFTA Chapter 19/CUSMA Chapter 10) with respect to those entries as they would already have been disbursed to the U.S. Treasury. Furthermore, in the previous softwood lumber dispute, duties that had been liquidated were not available as part of the settlement in the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement.

How do administrative reviews work for resellers? Will resellers be subject to the rates attributed to their suppliers, or will they receive their own administrative review rates?

In general, resellers receive the anti-dumping or countervailing duty rates attributed to their suppliers unless resellers have been individually reviewed as mandatory respondents.

In the unlikely event that a reseller is selected as a mandatory respondent for the administrative review, this reseller will typically receive separate rates for each combination of the reseller and its suppliers.

If my company is selected as a mandatory or voluntary respondent, can my company represent itself in an administrative review? Should my company retain legal counsel?

Retaining legal counsel is not legally required. However, due to the complexities of these reviews, as well as their associated costs and risks, the Government of Canada strongly recommends that companies that are individually examined retain U.S. counsel who specialize in U.S. trade law.

How long will an administrative review take?

In general, administrative reviews tend to take about a year and a half to complete. The deadline for the issuance of preliminary results is 245 days after the last day of the anniversary month of the duty order. However, this can be extended to 365 days at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s discretion. The deadline for the final results is generally 120 days after the preliminary results, but this deadline can be extended to 180 days. If the U.S. does not extend the time for issuing preliminary results, they may extend the time for issuing final results from 120 days to 300 days. However, with the tolling of deadlines by a total of 110 days due to COVID-19, final results for the first administrative reviews were delayed until the end of November 2020. In the same manner, final results for the second administrative reviews were delayed until the end of November 2021. Final results for the third administrative reviews are not affected by the tolling, and are therefore expected by August 2022.

How will the current administrative review results impact subsequent administrative review results?

The U.S. Department of Commerce treats each administrative review as its own proceeding. However, the U.S. Department of Commerce typically resolves issues by reaching the same conclusion in subsequent administrative reviews, unless new facts or arguments are presented that justify a change in course. Thus, the second administrative review results are likely to be used as guidance for how the U.S. Department of Commerce will proceed in the third administrative reviews, and so on.

Does the scope of the administrative reviews include cedar shake and shingles products?

No, as long as the products meet the description below. In response to a request filed by Canada on December 30, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a scope ruling on March 12, 2021 determining that certain cedar shakes and shingles (CSS) are not covered by the scope of the softwood lumber duty orders. The decision took effect on April 28, 2021, when Commerce issued instructions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to exempt certain CSS from the softwood lumber duty orders. U.S. CBP will refund any duties previously collected on these products.

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.

What is the role of the federal, provincial and territorial governments in administrative reviews?

As part of the countervailing administrative review, the U.S. Department of Commerce will investigate provincial, territorial and federal assistance programs which U.S. industry alleges have benefited Canadian companies. For non-recurring programs, such as grants, the Government of Canada, as well as each implicated province and territory involved in the administrative review, will be required to respond to a questionnaire regarding assistance provided over a 10-year period to respondents selected by the U.S. Department of Commerce. In the case of recurring programs, such as stumpage, the Canadian and provincial governments, as well as selected respondents, will be required to provide information for the period of review.

First Administrative Reviews

What companies did the U.S. Department of Commerce select as respondents for the first administrative reviews?

For both the anti-dumping and countervailing first administrative reviews, the U.S. Department of Commerce selected Canfor, Resolute and West Fraser as mandatory respondents. For the countervailing first administrative review, the U.S. Department of Commerce also selected J.D. Irving, Ltd. as a voluntary respondent.

When will companies be refunded for payment of the difference for the shipments entered during the periods of review?

When the duty assessment rates determined through the final results of an administrative review are lower than the cash deposit rates a company has paid, a refund for entries made during the periods of review would generally be issued shortly after liquidation (that is, upon disbursement of these duties to the U.S. Treasury). For the first administrative review, however, since the final results were appealed and an interested party requested suspension of liquidation as part of that appeal, liquidation should be suspended until the end of the appeal process. Consequently, the United States would not be expected to issue any refunds until the appeal process is complete.

Will there be interest included in the potential refund that companies could receive resulting from the final rates from the first administrative reviews?

Yes. For shipments entered after the date on which the countervailing duty and anti-dumping duty orders were published (January 3, 2018), any refunds or balances due at liquidation will include interest. Over or under payments on cash deposits prior to the date on which the orders were published are not subject to interest.

The applicable interest rate is set by U.S. statute, and is derived from the U.S. federal short-term rate. Interest is calculated from the date of deposit through to the date of liquidation.

Will there be a return of the bonds related to particular entries now that the final results of the first administrative reviews have been published?

The purpose of these bonds is to secure payment of potential additional amounts due in the event that the company does not pay what it owes. Bonds relating to particular entries would not typically be cancelled until liquidation of those entries. As long as the liquidation of an entry remains suspended, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not release the bond applicable to that entry.

There is some unpredictability in what U.S. Customs and Border Protection will require from individual companies in terms of continuous bonds. The best way for individual companies to get specific information is to contact their customs brokers.

When did the final anti-dumping and countervailing first administrative review rates take effect?

The new anti-dumping and countervailing rates from the first administrative reviews took effect when the U.S. Department of Commerce published the final results in the U.S. Federal Register.

Final results for the anti-dumping administrative review were published on November 30, 2020, and the final results for the countervailing administrative review were published on December 1, 2020.

For how long were the first administrative review duty rates in effect?

For companies included in the second administrative reviews, the cash deposit rates from the final results of the first administrative reviews were in effect for approximately one year from the date of publication in the U.S. Federal Register. The first administrative review cash deposit rates were then be superseded by the final results of the second administrative reviews, which took effect on December 2, 2021.

For companies included in the first administrative reviews, but not the second administrative reviews, the final rates from the first administrative reviews will continue to apply until these companies are included in a future administrative review, at which point the rates will be superseded by the results of that particular administrative review.

Will companies that are not subject to the first administrative reviews be subject to the new final rates resulting from the anti-dumping and countervailing first administrative reviews, or will they keep the old rates?

Companies not subject to the first administrative reviews will keep the duty rates determined through the original investigation.

Second Administrative Reviews

What companies did the U.S. Department of Commerce select as respondents for the second administrative reviews?

In the countervailing second administrative review, the U.S. Department of Commerce selected Canfor, Resolute and West Fraser as mandatory respondents, and J.D. Irving, Ltd. as a voluntary respondent. In the anti-dumping second administrative review, only Canfor and West Fraser were selected as mandatory respondents.

Will companies included in the second administrative reviews receive refunds or invoices?

In 2019, at the time of import into to United States for AR2, most companies were subject to the “all others” combined rate of 20.23% from the initial investigation (The 8.99% rate from AR1 only came into effect in December 2020). This means that, overall, companies subject to the AR2 combined rate of 17.9% are entitled to a net refund rather than a net invoice for the difference paid in cash deposits.

However, if an interested party (including the petitioner) challenges the final results through a CUSMA panel or U.S. courts, the liquidation of these duties and their refund may be suspended until the conclusion of these challenges.

If companies were not subject to the second administrative reviews, are they subject to the new second administrative review anti-dumping and countervailing duty rates going forward, or do they keep the old rates?

The companies that were not subject to the second administrative reviews will continue to be subject to the most recent duty rate applicable to them.

When did the final anti-dumping and countervailing second administrative review rates take effect?

The U.S. Department of Commerce issued the final results of the second administrative reviews on November 24, 2021. The new duty assessment rates for both the anti-dumping and countervailing administrative reviews took effect upon publication in the U.S. Federal Register on December 2, 2021.

For how long will the second administrative review cash deposit rates be in effect?

For companies included in the third administrative reviews, the cash deposit rates from the final results of the second administrative reviews will be in effect until final results from the third administrative review are issued, likely in August 2022.

For companies included in the second administrative reviews, but not the third administrative reviews, the final rates from the second administrative reviews will continue to apply until these companies are included in a future administrative review, at which point the rates will be superseded by the results of that particular administrative review.

How will the liquidation of cash deposits affect my company?

On April 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced it would proceed with the automatic liquidation of countervailing duty cash deposits collected on certain softwood lumber products from Canada that entered the United States during the period of review, from 01/01/2019 to 12/31/2019 for companies that did not participate in the second administrative review. On May 19, 2020, Commerce issued similar instructions stating that it would proceed with the automatic liquidation of anti-dumping duty cash deposits from the same period for companies that did not participate in the second administrative review. Therefore, companies that were not subject to either the anti-dumping or countervailing second administrative review will have their entries liquidated (i.e. disbursed to the U.S. Treasury), at the cash deposit rate that was in effect at the time the entry was made. This also means that these companies could not benefit from any future legal victory (e.g. under NAFTA Chapter 19/CUSMA Chapter 10) with respect to those entries as they would already have been disbursed to the U.S. Treasury.

Companies that were subject to the anti-dumping or countervailing second administrative reviews will be exempted from the automatic liquidation of cash deposits for entries during the period of review, at least until the conclusion of the second administrative reviews and any subsequent legal challenges under CUSMA Chapter 10 or before U.S. courts.

Third Administrative Reviews

When was the deadline to request participation in the third administrative reviews? What should my company do if it missed the deadline?

The deadline for companies interested in participating in the third administrative reviews was January 31, 2021.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is the investigating authority responsible for conducting administrative reviews for the softwood lumber anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders. As such, specific procedural questions should be conveyed to the U.S. Department of Commerce directly.

What companies did the U.S. Department of Commerce select as respondents for the third administrative reviews?

In the countervailing third administrative review, the U.S. Department of Commerce selected Canfor, Resolute and West Fraser as mandatory respondents, and J.D. Irving Limited as a voluntary respondent.

In the anti-dumping third administrative review, only Canfor and West Fraser were selected as mandatory respondents.

Fourth Administrative Reviews

When was the deadline to request to participate in the fourth administrative reviews? What should my company do if it missed the deadline?

The deadline for companies interested in participating in the fourth administrative reviews was January 31, 2022.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is the investigating authority responsible for conducting administrative reviews for the softwood lumber anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders. Requests to participate in the fourth administrative reviews should be filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce using their ACCESS website.  As such, specific procedural questions should be directed to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Can companies choose to withdraw from the administrative review process after they’ve made a request to participate?

Yes, with conditions. The U.S. Department of Commerce may allow the withdrawal of a company from the administrative review process, but only if all parties that requested a review for that company withdraw their request for review.

If the petitioner (i.e. the Coalition) has requested the review of a company, the petitioner would then need to withdraw their request in order for a company not to be captured by the administrative review process.

A withdrawal request must be submitted within 90 days of the publication of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Notice of Initiation. The Notice of Initiation was published on March 9, 2022. Companies wishing to withdraw their administrative review requests would therefore need to so do by June 7, 2022.

When will the U.S. Department of Commerce issue questionnaires in the fourth administrative review process?

The U.S. Department of Commerce published its initiation notice on March 9, 2022. Commerce is expected to select mandatory respondents in late March or early April. It then will send initial questionnaires to those selected companies and to governments. Questionnaires are typically sent either the same day or within a couple of days of mandatory respondent selection.

When are preliminary results expected?

The preliminary results are expected somewhere between October 2022 and January 2023, and final results somewhere between January and August 2023, depending on whether Commerce uses all of the timeline extensions available to it.

How do I request an ACCESS account?

Introduction:

  • An ACCESS 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 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.

Steps:

  1. Open your preferred web browser. Enter in the web address https://access.trade.gov, and go to the website.
  2. 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.
  3. You will come to the Terms of Use Agreement page. Read through and then click Accept. If you decline, you will be unable to create an ACCESS account.
  4. You will come to the E-Filer registration page. Please fill out all the information that is required.
    1. For country code, select Canada from the drop-down menu.
    2. For Firm/Organization name, please find your company. If it is not listed, select “other”, and then fill in the address box.
    3. 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.
    4. If you are only interested in the US-Canada softwood lumber anti-dumping duty proceedings, enter “A-122-857 Fourth Admin Review” in the Case No. and Segment box.
    5. If you are only interested in the US-Canada softwood lumber countervailing duty proceedings, enter “C-122-858 Fourth Admin Review” in the Case No. and Segment box.
    6. 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.
    7. Enter the security code as your page will indicate.
  5. Click “submit”.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. You will then have access to the ACCESS system.
How do I find the Applicable Service List?
  1. Log into ACCESS
  2. Choose the search function from the list on the left hand side
  3. Enter the following fields:
    1. Case number:
      1. For the countervailing duty administrative review this is C-122-858;
      2. For the anti-dumping duty administrative review this is A-122-857
    2. Segment: REV-Admin Review (same for both the countervailing duty administrative review and the anti-dumping duty administrative review)
    3. Segment Begin Date:
      1. For the countervailing duty fourth administrative review this is 1/1/2021;
      2. For the anti-dumping duty fourth administrative review this is 1/1/2021
    4. Segment End Date: 12/31/2021 (same for both the countervailing duty administrative review and the anti-dumping duty fourth administrative review)
    5. 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)
  4. 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.

How do I file a Notice of No Sales?

Introduction:

  • In its notice of initiation, the U.S. Department of Commerce requests that if any company included in the notice had no exports, sales, or entries during the period of review, it must notify the U.S. Department of Commerce of this lack of sales within 30 days of publication of the notice of initiation.  Any company that files such a notice of no sales will be dropped out of the administrative review.  Normally, the only reason such a company would have been included in the notice of initiation in the first place would have been because Petitioner requested that they be subject to the review.
  • These instructions identify the specific steps to be followed for making a “notice of no sales” filing. The security classification and document type designations may need to be modified if you are filing a different document.
  • The procedures for filing a notice of no sales are very similar to the procedures for filing a request for review, discussed above.  Canadian companies wishing to file documentation must have an ACCESS e-filer account to do so. If you do not already have an ACCESS e-filer account, please refer to the above FAQs for more information.
  • If you are represented by U.S. counsel that has already registered with ACCESS as an e-filer and will be filing documentation on your behalf, it is not necessary for you to also have an e-filer account, or to file additional documents.
  • Additionally, the Government of Canada does not take any responsibility for technical or other issues that may be encountered by Canadian companies using the ACCESS system. If you encounter any issues while you are using ACCESS, please refer to the Help section on the left side of the ACCESS webpage.
  • Please note that you will have to repeat this filing process separately if you are filing for both anti-dumping and countervailing duty proceedings, but you can use the same ACCESS e-filer account to file documents in both proceedings.
  • Following digital filing on ACCESS, you are also required to serve a paper copy of the submission on all parties listed in the applicable service list via personal service or first class mail. Instructions for finding the applicable service list are directly below.

Steps:

  1. Open your preferred web browser. Enter in the web address https://access.trade.gov, and go to the website.
  2. You will reach the home login page. Please enter your username and password. Click the box for “I’m not a robot” and click the box to accept the terms and conditions.
  3. Click Login.
  4. You will reach the User homepage.
  5. On the left side of the screen, click on “E-file Document.”
  6. Please enter in the required information: 

    When you are filing for the anti-dumping duty fourth administrative review proceedings, you will need the following details to file your request:

    Case Number: A-122-857
    Segment: select “REV-Admin Review” from the drop down menu
    Segment Begin date: 1/1/2021
    Segment End date: 12/31/2021
    Segment specific information: leave this blank
    Security classification: select “Public Document” from the drop down menu
    Document Type: select “Letter” from the drop down menu
    Filed on behalf of: Enter your company information.

    Please leave the other fields above the “Upload Files” section blank.

    When uploading your document in the “Upload Files” section, you should make clear the subject of the document in the “Title” field. For example, if filing a notice of no sales, write as a title: “Notice of no sales_(COMPANY NAME)”.

    When you are filing for the countervailing duty fourth administrative review proceedings, you will need the following details to file your request:

    Case Number: C-122-858
    Segment: select “REV-Admin Review” from the drop down menu
    Segment Begin date: 1/1/2021
    Segment End date: 12/31/2021
    Segment specific information: leave this blank
    Security classification: select “Public Document” from the drop down menu
    Document Type: select “Letter” from the drop down menu
    Filed on behalf of: Enter your company information.

    Please leave the other fields above the “Upload Files” section blank.

    When uploading your document in the “Upload Files” section, you should make clear the subject of the document in the “Title” field. For example, if filing a notice of no sales, write as a title: “Notice of no sales_(COMPANY NAME)”.
     
  7. To file your documentation, go to the “upload file” section at the bottom. Enter the title of your document as suggested in the Step above. Click “browse.”
  8. Search within your internal computer for the final version of your document.
  9. Once you have done so, click “submit” at the bottom.
  10. You will receive a confirmation window. Please click “OK”. As the window describes, do not click refresh or the back button after you click “OK”.
  11. You should then receive a confirmation page confirming the details of your submission. Please save and print a copy for your records.
  12. Again, if you are filing for both anti-dumping and countervailing duty proceedings, you will have to file separately for each of the proceedings. If so, please repeat the above steps for the second proceeding.
  13. Following the online filing, you must send a complete paper copy of your filing to all parties listed in the applicable service list via first-class mail or through personal service. It is advised that you send the paper copies as soon as you complete the online filing via ACCESS.
  14. You will now have completed your filing.

Suspension of duty liquidation

What is suspension of liquidation?

Countervailing and anti-dumping duty payments are typically on deposit until the final duty assessment rates for a given period of review are established retroactively by the U.S. Department of Commerce in an administrative review. When Commerce’s final results for an administrative review are issued, the duties are assessed and they are then liquidated (i.e. disbursed to U.S. Treasury). Companies receive either a refund or invoice for additional duties owed if the final duty assessment is lower or higher than the deposit rate.

However, if the final results of an administrative review are appealed, for instance through a NAFTA/CUSMA dispute settlement panel or the U.S. courts, the liquidation of duties may be suspended upon request of a party until that legal challenge is resolved.

On February 2 and 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued customs instructions continuing the suspension of liquidation for the first administrative reviews, pending the completion of the ongoing CUSMA binational panel reviews.

On December 21, 2021, Canada publicly announced that it will challenge the final results of the U.S. second administrative reviews under Chapter 10 of CUSMA. As a result, companies may request that the finalization and liquidation of their duties be delayed until the conclusion of these legal challenges.

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 a 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, if 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).

Administrative Reviews

  • Following final determinations, the U.S. Department of Commerce will conduct annual administrative reviews, which result in new anti-dumping and countervailing duty rates for companies subject to the reviews. 
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. 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.

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 under 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 investigation?

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 these investigations are subject to U.S. duties. The U.S. Department of Commerce selects specific Canadian producers to serve as a 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.

Atlantic Canada

What is the status of Atlantic Canada in the investigations?

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 the United State 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:

  1. is exported by the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau or the individual members of the Shake and Shingle Alliance; and
  2. 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.

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 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) planing 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; 4418.99.90.20; 4418.99.90.40; 4418.99.90.95; 4421.99.70.40; and 4421.99.97.80.

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 collect 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) planing to create smooth-to-size board; or (3) sanding.

Expedited review

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 it 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 U.S. Department of Commerce's determination on remand that it 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. 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. regulations and statute allow 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: softwood.boisdoeuvre@international.gc.ca.
  • 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.