Commerce Department rules Vietnam circumvented hardwood plywood duties

The Department of Commerce has ruled that hardwood plywood assembled and exported from Vietnam used Chinese core materials. After examining multiple types of HWPW, the agency ruled that the HWPW are subject to substantial antidumping and countervailing duties that range as high as 200 percent.

According to the Coalition for Fair Trade in Hardwood Plywood, the Commerce department made the determination on a country-wide basis, meaning that this determination applies to all such HWPW exported from Vietnam.

The ruling, posted July 29 in the Federal Register, stated:

“The U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that certain hardwood plywood products and veneered panels (hardwood plywood) exported from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnam), which were assembled in Vietnam using hardwood plywood inputs sourced from the People’s Republic of China (China) are products of China and are subject to the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders on hardwood plywood from China. Additionally, Commerce preliminarily determines that certain hardwood plywood assembled in Vietnam using hardwood plywood inputs sourced from China are circumventing the AD and CVD orders on hardwood plywood from China.”

On January 4, 2018, Commerce issued import orders on imports of hardwood plywood from China. The orders came about following affirmative findings of dumping and subsidization by the Department of Commerce and a unanimous finding by the U.S. International Trade Commission that the domestic industry is materially injured by unfairly traded Chinese imports. The final antidumping margin is 183.36 percent for all Chinese companies and the final countervailing subsidy rates range from 22.98 to 194.90 percent.

On February 25, 2020, the Coalition for Fair Trade in Hardwood Plywood alleged that imports of hardwood plywood that was assembled in Vietnam using core veneers, multi-ply core veneered panels, and/or veneer core platforms sourced from China are circumventing the 2018 Order. In their allegation, the petitioner requested that Commerce issue a scope ruling that certain hardwood plywood completed in Vietnam using hardwood plywood inputs manufactured in China, and imported into the United States as Vietnamese-origin plywood is within the scope of the Orders.

On June 17, 2020, Commerce published in the Federal Register the notice of initiation of these scope and anti-circumvention inquiries. In that notice Commerce explained that it intended to examine the scope inquiry request filed by the petitioner under 19 CFR 351.225(c) as part of this anti-circumvention inquiry, and that we will make a final finding with regard to the scope inquiry to determine whether any of the production scenarios identified by the petitioner are already properly considered subject to the scope of the Orders.

On April 15, 2022, Commerce extended the deadline to issue a final determination in these inquiries to October 17, 2022.

Written by Larry Adams
Original Article


Are you more shocked by Chinese tariff dodging or the fact that they got caught?


@Andrey_Tikhomirov are you hearing about anything like this with Russian wood?


@Brianna_song have these tariff’s had an impact on your business?


I do not find the Chinese tariff dodging to be particularly surprising. With that said, I am quite impressed that the US probe was able to determine the origin of the hardwood plywood!


One of our users @Darren_Thomas of Double Helix is an expert on wood origin detection.

@Darren_Thomas Have you heard about this case? Have these tariff’s kept your company busy?


me to, how they’ll recognize the core is China origin or other?

or maybe they will require all chain documents.


who knows, now from China , what kind of wood products can import to USA?

Leo , do you have any data?

or from where I can check ?


No, I haven’t heard of that. But I think that control over Russian wood will be more stringent.


Hi Anna,

Here is a write-up of China’s annual import and export of the lumber industry done by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. It covers where the lumber comes from in China as well as the primary exporters. It appears that most lumber products are still allowed to be exported to the US as we are their second largest exporter, with that said, the US imposed heavy sanctions on China due to their intentional avoidance of anti-dumping rules.


thanks a lot Leo !!!


amazing info in this article @Leo_Spunt – thanks so much for sharing!


That report you found is fascinating! As we can see the import/export markets for hardwood and softwood are completely different. Further I was surprised to see major players in each market were island nations, like New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands.

@Anna_Vardanian, if it is no trade secret, which geographic markets do you deal in the most?


Hi Anna ,

From China , Softwood plywood can export (face back veneer Coniferous. ), like Radiata pine , Agathis , hoop pine face back with poplar core , but need to pay 25% tax you know .

Some products based on this structural also can export with 25% tax .

But final price may not competitive , so need to do a lot of work on comparing. Hope this help you . Thanks


no, don’t think it’s secret, 30% North America(the most Mexico), 30% South America, 26% Asia’s countries , 14% Europe, Africa and Australia.


oh, got it, Thanks for your info.


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