U.S. Customs and Border Protection last week provided guidance concerning the Department of Commerce’s recent final rule revoking 30 previously granted Section 232 General Approved Exclusions.
Aiming to streamline the troubled Section 232 steel and aluminum exclusions process, the Commerce Department in late 2020 made a number of changes, including the creation of General Approved Exclusions, which can be used by any importer, are indefinite in length and are not subject to quantity limitations.
GAEs addressed a long-standing request from importers to create a more efficient process to approve certain exclusions where Commerce has determined that: (1) No objections will be received; and (2) it is warranted to approve an exclusion for all importers to use. In its Dec. 2020 final rule, Commerce included an initial list of 108 GAEs for steel articles and 15 GAEs for aluminum articles.
Subsequently, based on a review of the public feedback (i.e., objections from domestic manufacturers) and additional analysis of Section 232 submissions, Commerce has determined that a subset of the GAEs that were initially included do not meet the required criteria and should therefore be removed. Accordingly, the agency issued a Federal Register notice revoking 30 GAEs — 26 of which apply to steel products, and 4 of which apply to aluminum products. The revocations are effective December 27, 2021.
When reporting an excluded 10-digit HTS classification on an entry summary line, the Automated Commercial Ssytem will not require Section 232 duties for that line. To use a GAE, importers must reference the GAE identifier in the ACE system that corresponds to the steel or aluminum articles being imported. For the GAEs, the GAE identifiers are the excluded 10-digit HTS classifications.
Importers should not report any other Section 232 exclusion number or Chapter 99 Section 232 HTS classification on an entry summary line when importing goods under a GAE.
This guidance only applies to Section 232 duty exclusions under a GAE. Separate guidance will be issued for entry summary reporting requirements for Section 232 quota exclusions under a GAE.