Biden Admin. Maintains Rule on Imported Aluminum Products

Last month, the Biden administration maintained a Trump-era rule that requires import licenses for entries of covered aluminum products beginning on June 28, 2021.

The “Aluminum Import Monitoring (AIM) and Analysis System” final rule was published December 23, 2020, along with a website for the AIM system that consists of an online aluminum import license application platform and public AIM monitor.

Shortly after the inauguration, the current administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced a delay to the final rule’s effective date.

According to the DOC, “Commerce is extending the period for license applicants to state “unknown” for certain fields on the license application on a temporary basis. This period, originally set to expire on December 23, 2021, is now extended to June 28, 2022.”

AIM is modeled after the similar Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) system, which requires steel importers to provide mill test certificates for steel imports. According to the DOC, while Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “could be asked to consider requiring the collection of mill test certificates for covered aluminum products in the future, as they currently do for steel, that requirement is outside of the scope of this rulemaking.”

Jeff Henderson, president of the Aluminum Extruders Council, notes the benefits the system can possess.

“While the new aluminum import monitoring system creates a burden for domestic extruders that import their primary aluminum units, the industry sees the greater good in the system.  The new monitoring system will allow us to see where imports are originating, and eventually reveal the primary source for the aluminum contained in those imported goods.  This will be helpful to our industry as we continue to watch for imports designed to skirt U.S. trade orders.”

According to the document, any licenses issued before June 28 and are less than 75 days old can be used for covered aluminum imports on or after June 28. Any licenses issued before that date that have expired may be disregarded, as there is no penalty for unused or canceled licenses. The DOC also requests licenses that will not be used to be canceled.

As part of the document addressing the final rule, the DOC also addresses public comments in addition to requesting “additional comment from the public on potential improvements or changes to the system in a subsequent document after the AIM system is in place.”

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