What are Antidumping and Countervailing duties?

Antidumping (AD) and Countervailing (CV) duties are additional fees that the United States Department of Commerce (DoC) uses to discourage demand for products deemed to be import sensitive. AD/CV duties are one of the mechanisms that the U.S. government uses to help ensure a level playing field between U.S. suppliers & manufacturers and importers who are either receiving subsidies from foreign governments or are selling their products at lower prices in the United States.

What is the difference between AD and CV duties?

Antidumping duties are assessed when it is determined that foreign suppliers or manufacturers are selling goods in the United States at a less-than-fair market value. Dumping occurs when goods are sold at a price less than that of the exporter’s home market, or at a price lower than the goods’ cost of production. To receive an AD duty, the dumping must be proven harmful to a company or industry in the United States. The amount of the AD duty is usually calculated to offset the margin of dumping.

Countervailing Duties are applicable when a foreign government provides subsidies or assistance to a local industry. This can be in the form of low-rate loans, tax exemptions, or indirect payments. The assistance provided enables these suppliers and manufacturers to potentially export and sell the goods for less than domestic companies. After an investigation by the International Trade Commission (ITC), a CV duty is assessed based on the value of the subsidy.

How and why are AD and CV duties established?

Ultimately, AD and CVD measures are established to protect domestic producers from foreign competition. The AD or CVD implementation process follows two-step procedure:

  1. The International Trade Commission investigates whether an industry in the U.S. has been harmed, or is at-risk, due to the import of certain products.
  2. Depending upon the ITC’s investigation, the International Trade Administration determines the existence of subsidies or dumping.

Based on that process, the ITC and International Trade Administration (ITA) will assess AD or CV duties.

What kind of products qualify for AD or CV duties?

The International Trade Administration lists specific information on various commodities which have applicable AD and/or CV duties. Common items that face AD/CV duties are steel, household supplies such as tissue paper and plastic bags, and wooden furniture.

What are some issues that importers face when encountering AD or CV duties?

Beyond the amounts that AD and CV duties can reach (between 7-230% depending on the product and country of origin), there are other issues importers face when dealing with AD and CV duties.

Currently, AD and CV duties are applied retroactively. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, who enforce the assessment of the ITC and ITA, collect AD and CVD deposits at the time of importation. Since it is only a deposit, the final amount can change once the final AD or CVD determination is made and this can result in a substantial loss on the transaction.

Can importers take preventative measures against AD or CV duties?

The easy method for avoiding AD or CV duties is for the importer to know their product. The duties and penalties of AD/CVD products are assigned in order to make those goods less viable in the U.S. market, so why import them? The simplest answer is to find a different source for your products if possible.

How does Descartes CustomsInfo help businesses research Antidumping and Countervailing Duties?

Descartes CustomsInfo Reference™ features an expansive database of over 6 million reference documents, including cross-referenced and searchable duty rates.

Within the Descartes CustomsInfo search tab, a user can explore daily Federal Register (FR) publications from 1998 to the current day by Harmonized System (HS) code and keep up-to-date with AD/CVD investigations by checking the latest Federal Register. Additionally, users can opt to sign up for daily Federal Register alerts.

In the Research Tools Tab, the AD/CVD Lookup tool will search for the rates for any 10-digit Harmonized System (HS) Code. Search results for an HS Code query show a link to the rates, case numbers, related case numbers, a short description, the affected country’s two letter ISO code, effective date, date added, and inactive date. Clicking on one of the “Rates” links pulls up a list of extended case numbers with the names of manufacturers, exporters, and their corresponding AD/CV Duty rates. The general AD/CV Duty rate is also shown.

The Research Tools tab also provides a link to download a spreadsheet with all the HS codes that are currently tagged as having antidumping or countervailing duties.

The Global Tariff and International Mapping (GTIM) tab enables users to look up duties and taxes by selecting the destination country, HS Code, country of origin, and where it is shipped from. Results include duties, taxes, VAT, harbor fees, maintenance fees, arbitrary fees, and veterinary fees.

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