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Commerce Launching Enhanced Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis System

Posted September 12, 2020

The U.S. Department of Commerce yesterday announced that it will be modernizing the International Trade Administration’s Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) system. Commerce also announced plans to unveil a new online platform for SIMA on its website in October.
Steel Smelter Bucket with Bar Graph, Commerce Seal
According to a press release, the improvements to SIMA “will enable Commerce and the public to more readily identify transshipment and circumvention involving steel imports.” 


All steel mill imports into the United States require a license issued by the SIMA office. The SIMA Licensing System is an on-line automatic system for users to register, apply for, and receive licenses in a quick and timely manner.

In addition to managing the licensing system, SIMA publishes near real-time aggregate data on steel mill imports into the U.S. that is designed to provide steel producers, steel consumers, importers, and others with accurate information on anticipated imports of certain steel products roughly five weeks earlier than it would otherwise be available.

Upcoming SIMA Changes

Effective October 13, 2020, regulatory changes to SIMA will:

  • require steel import license applicants to identify not only the country of origin, but also the country where steel used in the manufacture of the imported product was melted and poured, as defined in the final rule;
  • expand the scope of steel products subject to the import licensing requirement to include all products subject to Section 232 tariffs;
  • extend the SIMA system indefinitely; and
  • codify the existing low-value license requirement for certain steel entries up to $5,000.

Commerce states that these changes are consistent with the joint understandings the United States reached last year with both Canada and Mexico, which provided that in monitoring for steel import surges, the U.S. may treat products made with steel that is melted and poured in North America separately from products that are not. 

New Website

A revamped online platform for SIMA is set to be fully operational on October 13, 2020. Commerce notes that it represents the first major overhaul of the system in 15 years.

The updated SIMA will provide users with a modernized suite of detailed analytic tools that “will aid in the identification of changing trade patterns and surges in U.S. imports of steel products, as well as potential circumvention and evasion.” 

Demo Webinars

Commerce will be holding a series of webinars to familiarize people with the updated SIMA system. The webinars, beginning September 28 and running through October, will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. For specific dates and times of the demonstrations, and for information about participating, click here. 

Need More Information?

Additional information about SIMA along with other features of the U.S. Industry Monitoring & Analysis System can be found here.

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