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U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Affirmative Preliminary Circumvention Ruling on Exports of Hydrofluorocarbon Blends from China


On January 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced an affirmative preliminary antidumping duty (AD) circumvention ruling involving imports of unfinished R-32/R-125 of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) from China that are further processed in the U.S., and are circumventing the existing AD order on imports of HFC blends (R–404A, R-407A, R–407C, R–410A, and R–507A) from China.

Accordingly, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect AD cash deposits on imports of unfinished blends of HFC components R-32 and R-125 from China.

The applicable cash deposit rate will be equal to the rates previously established and in effect at the time of entry. Suspension will apply to any future imports and unliquidated entries since June 18, 2019 (the date which Commerce initiated this circumvention inquiry).

This inquiry was initiated in response to a covered merchandise referral from CBP and allegations of circumvention from the American HFC Coalition.

Commerce expects to issue its final ruling by April 7, 2020.

U.S. law provides that Commerce may find circumvention of AD or countervailing duty orders when merchandise subject to an existing order is completed or assembled in the United States from parts and components imported from the country subject to the order. 

The strict enforcement of U.S. trade law is a primary focus of the Trump Administration. To date, the Trump Administration has issued 35 preliminary or final affirmative determinations in anti-circumvention inquiries – this is a 192 percent increase from the number of such determinations made during the comparable period in the previous administration.