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Aluminum Import Licenses Required Starting January 25, 2021

Posted January 05, 2021


The U.S. Department of Commerce last month issued a final rule requiring an Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis (AIM) license be filed for all subject entries effective January 25, 2021.
Silver Metal Commerce Seal w/ Background of Aluminum Tubes

Commerce has indicated that AIM will operate in essentially the same way as the International Trade Administration’s recently updated Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis program which collects and publishes early warning data of steel mill product imports.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Aluminum Association applauded the new AIM program, saying it “will help us to more quickly and fully understand trends in the aluminum market and, as appropriate, push back on countries that fail to follow the rules and laws that govern global trade.”

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AIM System Benefits


Like SIMA, the new AIM system will enable better tracking of import surges while also helping CBP to identify potential transshipments of aluminum products which could be used to evade or circumvent antidumping and countervailing duties, in addition to Section 232 enforcement actions. Regarding the latter, the monitoring program will also play a supportive role in the enforcement of joint understandings undertaken last year with Canada and Mexico aiming to prevent the illicit transshipment of foreign aluminum products within the North American region.    

The AIM system is an entirely web-based platform consisting of online registration and automatic import license issuance processes, together with a new publically accessible import monitor that will aggregate information including country of origin, country of smelt, country of last cast, relevant aluminum product grouping, and so on. AIM will also aggregate data at the 6-digit Harmonized Tariff Schedule level in addition to presenting a range of historical data for comparison purposes. 

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Scope of Coverage


Aluminum products covered by AIM (listed in Annex II) include unwrought aluminum, bars, rods, profiles, wire, plates, sheets, strip, foil, tubes, pipes, fittings, castings, forgings, etc., provided for by HTS codes 7601, 7604-7609, 7616.99.5160 and 7616.99.5170.

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License Requirements


Under the AIM program, effective January 25, 2020, importers of covered products will be required to obtain an import license, with the license number input into the Customs entry.

  • Import licenses can be applied for up to 60 days prior to the expected date of import and until the date of filing of the CBP entry summary documents, or its electronic equivalent.
  • The aluminum import license is valid for up to 75 days. However, import licenses that are valid on the date of import but expire prior to the filing of CBP entry summary documents will be accepted.
  • Import licenses are not required on informal entries of covered aluminum products, such as goods valued under $2,500. Additionally, shipments containing under $5,000 worth of aluminum, can apply for a reusable low-value license. 

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Need More Information?


Should you have any questions about obtaining the necessary licenses or concerning how other aspects of the new AIM system may affect your imports going forward, don’t hesitate to contact one of our knowledgeable trade experts to discuss these issues in more detail.

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