US Customs and Border Protection Instructions re: CVD/CC Preliminary Determinations

The level of sheer disorganization and lack of clarity on this latest US softwood lumber duty is appalling even to Madison’s, where we are used to a cumbersome and unclear process at the beginning of every new Canada-US Softwood Lumber Dispute:

The US. Department of Commerce’s Preliminary CVD Announcement was published in the Federal Register today, April 28th – Volume 82, Page 19657, 19658, and 19659.

US Customs and Border Protection Instructions re: CVD/CC Preliminary Determinations


These instructions simply refer to the April 24th Message 7024301, that included everything the US Lumber Coalition originally petitioned for; the unassembled articles, stringers, picket/dog-eared fencing regardless of length, and even edge-glued lumber.  These issues are left up to US Customs interpretation, which is going to error on the safe side, and include anything that was not “specifically excluded”.

This earlier than anticipated publication means that the sureties will be expediting their bond reviews, including requiring financial statements, resulting in either cash deposits or Irrevocable Letters of Credit to cover their risk with respect to any increase in the duty rate between the Preliminary Determination and Final Determination.

Based on the DOC’s publication, operators must file CVD entries on all imports of the “included” commodities that were released into the US by US Customs on and after April 28th, with the intent of remitting the rate specific to the exporter.  Due to this same lack of clarity, it is unknown whether more reasonable thinking is going to prevail, enabling us to eventually assess the CVD Duty on the Primary Mill Price.   At this point, access the duty on the “Selling Price” less non-dutiable charges; International Freight, Freely Offered Discount, and the CVD amount, itself – in that order.  At this point, US Customs has yet to make the programming changes required to accept these entries using the CVD Case Numbers involved, disallowing operators from transmitting the data into their system.  We’re hoping they will have this issue resolved later today.  All exporters of the Scope included articles should continue to include the “Export Price” on the US Customs documents.

It is vital for the exporters of the never-before included unassembled articles, picket/dog-eared fencing regardless of length, etc., to understand they must now add the “Export Price” to their US Customs Proforma Invoices, so in the event agents are allowed to use it, they will have the data, and be able to revise their submissions.