September 12, 2022 MEMORANDUM TO: The File
THROUGH: Kabir Archuletta Program Manager
AD/CVD Operations, Office V
FROM: Rachel Jennings
Senior International Trade Analyst AD/CVD Operations, Office V
Circumvention Inquiry CIRC - Vietnam Assembly
Public Document E&C/V: RJ
RE: Scope and Circumvention Inquiries of the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders Certain Hardwood Plywood from the People’s Republic of China
SUBJECT: Extension of Deadline to Certify Certain Entries of Hardwood Plywood and Response to Request to Modify Cash Deposit Instructions
On June 17, 2020, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) published the Initiation Notice in the circumvention and scope inquiries of the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on certain hardwood plywood products (hardwood plywood) from the People’s Republic of China.1 On July 29, 2022, Commerce published its preliminary determination in the above-referenced proceeding.2 Between August 10, 2022, and September 8, 2022, several interested parties submitted requests to Commerce to: (1) extend the deadline for importers and exporters to certify hardwood plywood exported from Vietnam that was entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after June 17, 2020 (the publication of the Initiation Notice ), and until August 28, 2022 (30 days after the publication of the Preliminary Determination ); and (2) modify the cash deposit instructions (CDIs) issued to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to specifically exclude certain entries of non-inquiry merchandise from the certification program established in the Preliminary Determination.4
In consideration of the reasons outlined in the extension requests, we are hereby extending the deadline for the certification of hardwood plywood that was not produced under any of the five production scenarios found to be in scope or circumventing the Orders,5,6 and that was shipped and/or entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption in the United States from June 17, 2020, through August 28, 2022, by 80 days.7 The current deadline to complete these certifications is September 12, 2022 (i.e., 45 days after the publication of the Preliminary Determination). The new deadline for parties to certify shipments/entries/warehouse- withdrawals of hardwood plywood, as described above, is now December 1, 2022. Upon issuance of this memorandum, Commerce will amend the CDIs sent to CBP with the revised certification deadline, and will issue notice to the public of this extension via the Federal Register.
Regarding the requests to modify the preliminary CDIs sent to CBP, parties argue that Commerce incorrectly omitted a production scenario that Commerce stated was not covered by these scope and circumvention inquiries on hardwood plywood assembled in Vietnam.
Specifically, parties state that the preliminary CDIs should expressly state that:
entries of hardwood plywood with “core veneers fully produced in Vietnam or a third- country that are assembled into a veneer core platform in Vietnam and combined with a face and back veneer produced in China” are not subject merchandise and are not covered by any affirmative finding in this scope/circumvention proceeding.
Further, parties argue that merchandise produced under the above-described scenario should not be subject to the CDIs and the associated cash deposit or certification requirements.9
Commerce is hereby declining to modify the description of the merchandise covered by the certification requirements in the preliminary CDIs. In the preliminary CDIs, Commerce notified CBP that, as a result of the Preliminary Determinations, hardwood plywood produced under three production scenarios are covered by the scope of the Orders and hardwood plywood produced under two production scenarios are circumventing the Orders.10 Notably, the production scenarios detailed in the preliminary CDIs were limited to the scenarios that are covered by these inquiries, and not one of the many permutations, including the scenario identified in several record submissions, of hardwood plywood production in Vietnam that are not covered by these inquiries. Indeed, the purpose of the certification program is to allow parties to certify that entries of hardwood plywood assembled in Vietnam were not produced under any of the five production scenarios subject to our inquiry. Hardwood plywood assembled in Vietnam and produced under all other production scenarios is eligible to be certified as non- subject merchandise. In general, as long as eligible exporters and importers meet the requirements of the certification program, hardwood plywood exported from Vietnam produced outside of the five production scenarios outlined in the CBP instructions should not be subject to the cash deposit requirements provided in the preliminary CDIs.
Moreover, hardwood plywood produced from core veneers fully produced in Vietnam or a third- country that are assembled into a veneer core platform in Vietnam and combined with a face and back veneer produced in China is not always distinguishable from hardwood plywood produced under the five scenarios subject to these inquiries at the time of entry. Accordingly, because it is Commerce’s practice to establish certification programs for merchandise that is not circumventing an order, but is not always physically distinguishable at entry from in- scope/inquiry merchandise,11 we find that it is not appropriate to specifically exclude this scenario from the certification program.