Skip to Content

Notice

Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products from the Netherlands; Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Import Administration, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

ACTION:

Notice of preliminary results of antidumping duty administrative review.

SUMMARY:

In response to requests from Nucor Corporation and Bethlehem Steel Corporation, National Steel Corporation, Start Printed Page 68342and United States Steel Corporation (collectively, petitioners), the Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain hot-rolled carbon steel flat products (hot-rolled steel) from the Netherlands (A-421-807). This administrative review covers imports of subject merchandise from Corus Staal BV (Corus Staal). The period of review is May 3, 2001 through October 31, 2002.

We preliminarily determine that sales of hot-rolled steel from the Netherlands in the United States have been made below normal value (NV). If these preliminary results are adopted in our final results of administrative review, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs) to assess antidumping duties based on the difference between the export price (EP) or constructed export price (CEP) and NV. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results. Parties who submit argument in this proceeding are requested to submit with the argument: (1) A statement of the issues, (2) a brief summary of the argument, and (3) a table of authorities.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

December 8, 2003.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Deborah Scott or Robert James, Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Enforcement Group III, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230, telephone: (202) 482-2657 or (202) 482-0649, respectively.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On November 29, 2001, the Department published the antidumping duty order on certain hot-rolled carbon steel flat products from the Netherlands. See Antidumping Duty Order: Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products from the Netherlands, 66 FR 59565 (November 29, 2001). On November 1, 2002, the Department published the opportunity to request administrative review of, inter alia, certain hot-rolled carbon steel flat products from the Netherlands for the period May 3, 2001 through October 31, 2002. See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 67 FR 66612 (November 1, 2002).

In accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b)(1), on November 26 and 27, 2002,[1] petitioners requested that we conduct an administrative review of sales of the subject merchandise made by Corus Staal. On December 26, 2002, the Department published in the Federal Register a notice of initiation of this antidumping duty administrative review covering the period May 3, 2001 through October 31, 2002. See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 67 FR 78772 (December 26, 2002).

On January 9, 2003, the Department issued its antidumping duty questionnaire to Corus Staal. Corus Staal submitted its response to section A of the questionnaire on January 30, 2003, and its response to sections B, C, D, and E of the questionnaire on March 4, 2003. On March 10, 2003, the Department issued a supplemental questionnaire for section A, to which Corus Staal responded on March 28, 2003. On March 31, 2003, the Department issued a supplemental questionnaire for sections D and E of the questionnaire; Corus Staal submitted its response on April 21, 2003. On April 23, 2003, the Department issued a supplemental questionnaire for sections B and C of the questionnaire. Corus Staal filed its response to the supplemental questionnaire for sections B and C on May 19, 2003. We verified Corus Staal's submitted data as discussed below in the “Verification” section of this notice. Finally, on October 3, 2003, we issued a supplemental questionnaire requesting Corus Staal to report entered value data. Corus Staal responded to this request on October 17, 2003.

Because it was not practicable to complete this review within the normal time frame, on June 19, 2003, we published in the Federal Register our notice of extension of time limit for this review. See Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products from the Netherlands; Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; Extension of Time Limit, June 19, 2003 (68 FR 36769). This extension established the deadline for these preliminary results as December 1, 2003.

Period of Review

The POR is May 3, 2001, through October 31, 2002.

Scope of the Review

For purposes of this order, the products covered are certain hot-rolled carbon steel flat products of a rectangular shape, of a width of 0.5 inch or greater, neither clad, plated, nor coated with metal and whether or not painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances, in coils (whether or not in successively superimposed layers), regardless of thickness, and in straight lengths, of a thickness of less than 4.75 mm and of a width measuring at least 10 times the thickness. Universal mill plate (i.e., flat-rolled products rolled on four faces or in a closed box pass, of a width exceeding 150 mm, but not exceeding 1250 mm, and of a thickness of not less than 4.0 mm, not in coils and without patterns in relief) of a thickness not less than 4.0 mm is not included within the scope of this review. Specifically included within the scope of this order are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-free (IF)) steels, high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels, and the substrate for motor lamination steels. IF steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium or niobium (also commonly referred to as columbium), or both, added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, vanadium, and molybdenum. The substrate for motor lamination steels contains micro-alloying levels of elements such silicon and aluminum.

Steel products to be included in the scope of this order, regardless of definitions in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), are products in which: (i) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (ii) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (iii) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

1.80 percent of manganese, or

2.25 percent of silicon, or

1.00 percent of copper, or

0.50 percent of aluminum, or

1.25 percent of chromium, or

0.30 percent of cobalt, or

0.40 percent of lead, or

1.25 percent of nickel, or

0.30 percent of tungsten, or

0.10 percent of molybdenum, or

0.10 percent of niobium, or

0.15 percent of vanadium, or

0.15 percent of zirconium.

All products that meet the physical and chemical description provided above are within the scope of this order unless otherwise excluded. The following products, by way of example, are outside or specifically excluded from the scope of this order: Start Printed Page 68343

  • Alloy hot-rolled steel products in which at least one of the chemical elements exceeds those listed above (including, e.g., ASTM specifications A543, A387, A514, A517, A506).
  • Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)/American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) grades of series 2300 and higher.
  • Ball bearings steels, as defined in the HTS.
  • Tool steels, as defined in the HTS.
  • Silico-manganese (as defined in the HTS) or silicon electrical steel with a silicon level exceeding 2.25 percent.
  • ASTM specifications A710 and A736.
  • USS Abrasion-resistant steels (USS AR 400, USS AR 500).
  • All products (proprietary or otherwise) based on an alloy ASTM specification (sample specifications: ASTM A506, A507).
  • Non-rectangular shapes, not in coils, which are the result of having been processed by cutting or stamping and which have assumed the character of articles or products classified outside chapter 72 of the HTS.

The merchandise subject to this order is classified in the HTS at subheadings: 7208.10.15.00, 7208.10.30.00, 7208.10.60.00, 7208.25.30.00, 7208.25.60.00, 7208.26.00.30, 7208.26.00.60, 7208.27.00.30, 7208.27.00.60, 7208.36.00.30, 7208.36.00.60, 7208.37.00.30, 7208.37.00.60, 7208.38.00.15, 7208.38.00.30, 7208.38.00.90, 7208.39.00.15, 7208.39.00.30, 7208.39.00.90, 7208.40.60.30, 7208.40.60.60, 7208.53.00.00, 7208.54.00.00, 7208.90.00.00, 7211.14.00.90, 7211.19.15.00, 7211.19.20.00, 7211.19.30.00, 7211.19.45.00, 7211.19.60.00, 7211.19.75.30, 7211.19.75.60, and 7211.19.75.90. Certain hot-rolled flat-rolled carbon steel flat products covered by this order, including: vacuum degassed fully stabilized; high strength low alloy; and the substrate for motor lamination steel may also enter under the following tariff numbers: 7225.11.00.00, 7225.19.00.00, 7225.30.30.50, 7225.30.70.00, 7225.40.70.00, 7225.99.00.90, 7226.11.10.00, 7226.11.90.30, 7226.11.90.60, 7226.19.10.00, 7226.19.90.00, 7226.91.50.00, 7226.91.70.00, 7226.91.80.00, and 7226.99.00.00. Subject merchandise may also enter under 7210.70.30.00, 7210.90.90.00, 7211.14.00.30, 7212.40.10.00, 7212.40.50.00, and 7212.50.00.00. Although the HTS subheadings are provided for convenience and U.S. Customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this order is dispositive.

Verification

As provided in section 782(i) of the Tariff Act, we verified the cost and sales information provided by Corus Staal using standard verification procedures, including on-site inspection of the manufacturer's facilities and the examination of relevant sales and financial records. Our verification results are outlined in the public and proprietary versions of the cost and sales verification reports, which are on file in the Central Records Unit of the Department. The Department verified Corus Staal's cost responses from May 12, 2003, through May 16, 2003, and sales responses from June 16, 2003, through June 20, 2003. The Department also verified the value-added information reported by Corus Staal for Thomas Steel Strip Corporation (Thomas Steel) from August 21, 2003, through August 22, 2003. The results of these verifications are found in the cost verification report dated October 2, 2003, the Corus Staal sales verification report dated September 25, 2003, and the Thomas Steel value-added verification report dated October 1, 2003, on file in the Central Records Unit of the Department in room B-099 of the main Commerce building.

Affiliated-Party Sales Issues

During the POR, Corus Staal sold the foreign like product to several affiliated resellers in the home market. These include Namascor BV (Namascor), a service center wholly-owned by Corus Staal, and Laura Metaal BV (Laura), a manufacturer and service center in which Corus Staal's parent company, Corus Nederland BV, has a shareholder interest. For purposes of our analysis, we used Namascor's and Laura's sales to unaffiliated customers, and, where Laura consumed the subject merchandise purchased from Corus Staal in its manufacturing operations, we used Corus Staal's sales to Laura. In addition, Corus Staal sold the foreign like product to Feijen Service Center, a business unit of Corus Service Center Maastricht (Feijen), and to Corus Vlietjonge BV (Vlietjonge),[2] also a service center. Both Feijen and Vlietjonge are affiliated with Corus Staal through the former British Steel companies, whose parent, British Steel plc, merged with Koninklijke Hoogovens NV (now Corus Nederland BV) in October 1999 to form the Corus Group plc. In its January 30, 2003, response to the Department's January 9, 2003, questionnaire and in a letter dated April 9, 2003, Corus Staal requested an exemption from reporting downstream sales by Feijen and Vlietjonge because of the nature and quantity of the products sold. On April 16, 2003, the Department excused Corus Staal from reporting downstream sales by Feijen and Vlietjonge; therefore, we have used Corus Staal's sales to Feijen and Vlietjonge to perform our analysis.

In the U.S. market, Corus Staal sold subject merchandise to Thomas Steel, a further manufacturer of battery-quality hot band steel. Thomas Steel is wholly-owned by Corus USA Inc., which in turn is wholly-owned by Corus Staal's parent company, Corus Nederland BV. Claiming the value-added in the United States by Thomas Steel exceeded substantially the value of the subject merchandise as imported, Corus Staal utilized the “simplified reporting” option for the merchandise further processed by Thomas Steel. Pursuant to section 772(e) of the Tariff Act, when the subject merchandise is imported by an affiliated person and the value added in the United States by the affiliated person is likely to exceed substantially the value of the subject merchandise, we will determine the constructed export price for such merchandise using the price of identical or other subject merchandise if there is a sufficient quantity of sales to provide a reasonable basis for comparison and we determine that the use of such sales is appropriate. If there is not a sufficient quantity of such sales or if we determine that using the price of identical or other subject merchandise is not appropriate, we may use any other reasonable basis to determine the constructed export price. See, e.g., Preliminary Results and Rescission in Part of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Gray Portland Cement and Clinker From Mexico, 67 FR 57379, 57381 (September 10, 2002) (unchanged for final results, 68 FR 1816 (January 14, 2003)). Consistent with the Department's regulations, we have determined for these preliminary results that the estimated value added in the United States by Thomas Steel accounted for at least 65 percent of the price charged to the first unaffiliated customer for the merchandise as sold in the United States, and therefore, the value added is likely to exceed substantially the value of the subject merchandise. We have also preliminarily determined there is a sufficient quantity of sales remaining to provide a reasonable basis for comparison and that we have no reason to believe another methodology would be appropriate. See the memorandum from Robert James and Richard Weible to Barbara E. Tillman, “Simplified Start Printed Page 68344Reporting’ and Value Added in the United States by Thomas Steel,” dated July 3, 2003. See also the Thomas Steel value-added verification report at pages 1 to 13, which supports Corus Staal's claim that the value-added in the United States by Thomas Steel exceeded substantially the value of the subject merchandise as imported.

Fair Value Comparisons

To determine whether sales of hot-rolled steel from the Netherlands to the United States were made at less than fair value, we compared the EP or CEP to the NV, as described in the “Export Price and Constructed Export Price” and “Normal Value” sections of this notice, below. In accordance with section 777A(d)(2) of the Tariff Act, we compared the EPs and CEPs of individual U.S. transactions to monthly weighted-average NVs.

Product Comparisons

In accordance with section 771(16) of the Tariff Act, we considered all products produced by the respondent, covered by the descriptions in the “Scope of the Review” section of this notice, to be foreign like products for the purpose of determining appropriate product comparisons to U.S. sales of hot-rolled steel from the Netherlands.

We have relied on the following eleven criteria to match U.S. sales of subject merchandise to comparison-market sales of the foreign like product: whether painted or not, quality, carbon content level, yield strength, thickness, width, whether coil or cut-to-length sheet, whether temper rolled or not, whether pickled or not, whether mill or trimmed edge, and whether the steel is rolled with or without patterns in relief.

Where there were no sales of identical merchandise in the home market to compare to U.S. sales, we compared U.S. sales to the next most similar foreign like product on the basis of the characteristics and reporting instructions listed in the Department's January 9, 2003, questionnaire.

Export Price and Constructed Export Price

Section 772(a) of the Tariff Act defines EP as “the price at which the subject merchandise is first sold (or agreed to be sold) before the date of importation by the producer or exporter of the subject merchandise outside of the United States to an unaffiliated purchaser for exportation to the United States, as adjusted under subsection (c).” Section 772(b) of the Tariff Act defines CEP as the price at which the subject merchandise is first sold (or agreed to be sold) in the United States before or after the date of importation by or for the account of the producer or exporter of such merchandise or by a seller affiliated with the producer or exporter, to a purchaser not affiliated with the producer or exporter, as adjusted under sections 772(c) and (d).”

In the instant review Corus Staal sold subject merchandise through two affiliated steel service centers which further manufacture flat-rolled steel products: Rafferty-Brown Steel Co., Inc. of Connecticut and Rafferty-Brown Steel Co. of North Carolina (collectively, Rafferty Brown). Corus Staal reported each of these transactions as CEP transactions, and the remainder of its U.S. sales of subject merchandise as EP transactions. However, after reviewing the evidence on the record of this review, we have preliminarily determined that certain of Corus Staal's reported EP transactions are classified properly as CEP sales because these sales occurred in the United States. Such a determination is consistent with section 772(b) of the Tariff Act and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's (Federal Circuit's) decision in AK Steel Corp. et. al. v. United States, 226 F.3d 1361, 1374 (Fed. Cir. 2000) (AK Steel). In AK Steel, the Federal Circuit examined the definitions of EP and CEP, noting “the plain meaning of the language enacted by Congress in 1994 focuses on where the sale takes place and whether the foreign producer or exporter and the U.S. importer are affiliated, making these two factors dispositive of the choice between the two classifications.” AK Steel at 1369. It also stated that “the critical differences between EP and CEP sales are whether the sale or transaction takes place inside or outside the United States and whether it is made by an affiliate,” and noted the phrase “outside the United States” had been added to the 1994 statutory definition of EP (called “purchase price” in the pre-1994 statute). AK Steel at 1368-70. Referring to the CEP definition, the AK Steel Court then defined the term “seller” as “one who contracts to sell” and the term “sold” as “the transfer of ownership or title.” AK Steel at 1371. Thus, the classification of a sale as either EP or CEP depends upon where the contract for sale was concluded (i.e., in or outside the United States) and whether the foreign producer or exporter is affiliated with the U.S. importer.

During the POR Corus Staal executed all agreements with U.S. customers and amendments related to those agreements in the Netherlands. See Corus Staal's May 19, 2003, supplemental questionnaire response (May 19, 2003, SQR) at 2. Corus Staal also served as the importer of record for subject merchandise entered during the POR. See Corus Staal's January 30, 2003, questionnaire response (January 30, 2003, QR) at A-15, footnote 10. However, prior to the start of the POR, agreements and amendments were signed by Corus America, Inc. (CAI). May 19, 2003, SQR at 2. CAI is the entity through whom Corus Steel USA Inc. (CSUSA), a subsidiary of Corus Staal's parent company, Corus Nederland BV, has a contract to provide administrative and some selling functions on Corus Staal's behalf.[3] See the January 30, 2003, QR at A-18 and the March 28, 2003 supplemental questionnaire response (March 28, 2003, SQR) at A-6. In these instances when CAI signed the agreements and amendments, CAI would draft the document and forward it to Corus Staal in the Netherlands for approval. After approving the draft document by dating and signing it, Corus Staal would send the document back to CAI, who would then sign and issue the final version to the customer. See Sales Verification Report at 4-5. Thus, some sales made during the second quarter of 2001 (i.e., from May 3 to June 30, 2001) were made subject to agreements and/or amendments signed by CAI in the United States. May 19, 2003, SQR at 2. Because the contracts for sales made during May and June 2001 were concluded in the United States, we find these sales to be CEP transactions within the meaning of section 772(b) of the Tariff Act.

With respect to the remainder of Corus Staal's reported EP sales (i.e., those sales to unaffiliated U.S. customers made between July 1, 2001, and October 30, 2002), we have continued to classify them as EP transactions because the contracts governing these sales were signed by Corus Staal in the Netherlands and Corus Staal served as the importer of record.

For those sales which we are classifying as EP transactions, we calculated the price of Corus Staal's EP sales in accordance with section 772(a) of the Tariff Act. We based EP on the packed, delivered, duty paid prices for export to end users and service centers in the U.S. market. We adjusted gross unit price for billing errors, freight revenue, certain minor processing expenses, and early payment discounts, where applicable. We also made deductions for movement expenses in Start Printed Page 68345accordance with section 772(c)(2)(A) of the Tariff Act; these included, where appropriate, foreign inland freight, foreign brokerage and handling, international freight, U.S. customs duties, U.S. inland freight, and U.S. warehousing expenses.

For those transactions categorized as CEP sales, we calculated price in conformity with section 772(b) of the Tariff Act. We based CEP on the packed, delivered or delivered, duty paid prices to unaffiliated purchasers in the United States. Where applicable, we made adjustments to gross unit price for billing errors, freight revenue, certain minor processing expenses, and early payment discounts. We also made deductions for movement expenses in accordance with section 772(c)(2)(A) of the Tariff Act; these included, where appropriate, foreign inland freight, foreign brokerage and handling, international freight, U.S. customs duties, U.S. inland freight, and U.S. warehousing expenses. In accordance with section 772(d)(1) of the Tariff Act, we deducted those selling expenses associated with economic activities occurring in the United States, including direct selling expenses (imputed credit, warranty expenses, and travel expenses incurred by Corus Staal's U.S. sales team), inventory carrying costs, and indirect selling expenses. For CEP sales, we also made an adjustment for profit in accordance with section 772(d)(3) of the Tariff Act. Finally, with respect to subject merchandise to which value was added in the United States by Rafferty Brown prior to sale to unaffiliated customers, we deducted the cost of further manufacture in accordance with section 772(d)(2) of the Tariff Act.

Section 201 Duties

The Department notes that merchandise subject to this review is subject to duties imposed under section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (section 201 duties). Because the Department has not previously addressed the appropriateness of deducting section 201 duties from EP and CEP, on September 9, 2003, the Department published a request for public comments on this issue (68 FR 53104). Comments were received by October 9, 2003, and rebuttal comments were received by November 7, 2003. Since the Department has not made a determination on this issue at this time, for purposes of these preliminary results, no adjustment has been made to EP and CEP.

Level of Trade

In accordance with section 773(a)(1)(B)(i) of the Tariff Act, to the extent practicable, we determine NV based on sales in the comparison market at the same level of trade (LOT) as the CEP transaction. The NV LOT is that of the starting price of the comparison sales in the home market or, when NV is based on constructed value (CV), that of the sales from which we derive selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) expenses and profit. For EP, the LOT is also the level of the starting price sale, which is usually from the exporter to the importer. For CEP, it is the level of the constructed sale from the exporter to the importer.

To determine whether NV sales are at a different LOT than CEP sales, we examine stages in the marketing process and selling functions along the chain of distribution between the producer and the unaffiliated customer. If the comparison market sales are at a different LOT, and the difference affects price comparability, as manifested in a pattern of consistent price differences between the sales on which NV is based and comparison market sales at the LOT of the export transaction, we make a LOT adjustment under section 773(a)(7)(A) of the Tariff Act. Finally, for CEP sales, if the NV level is more remote from the factory than the CEP level and there is no basis for determining whether the differences in the levels between NV and CEP sales affect price comparability, we adjust NV under section 773(a)(7)(B) of the Tariff Act (i.e., the CEP offset provision).

In implementing these principles in the instant review, we obtained information from Corus Staal about the marketing stages involved in its reported U.S. and home market sales, including a description of the selling activities performed by Corus Staal and the level to which each selling activity was performed for each channel of distribution. In identifying LOTs for U.S. CEP sales we considered the selling functions reflected in the starting price after any adjustments under section 772(d) of the Tariff Act.

In the home market, Corus Staal reported two channels of distribution (sales by Corus Staal and sales through its affiliated service centers Namascor and Laura) and three customer categories (end users, steel service centers, and trading companies). See, e.g., Corus Staal's January 30, 2003, QR at A-14. For both channels of distribution in the home market, Corus Staal performed similar selling functions, including strategic and economic planning, advertising, freight and delivery arrangements, technical/warranty services, and sales logistics support. The remaining selling activities performed did not differ significantly by channel of distribution, with the exception of market research and research and development activities, which were performed only by Corus Staal. See Corus Staal's January 30, 2003, QR at Exhibit A-8 and pages A-20 through A-34. Because channels of distribution do not qualify as separate levels of trade when the selling functions performed for each channel are sufficiently similar, we have determined that one LOT exists for Corus Staal's home market sales. In addition, we note that while Corus Staal initially claimed there were differences in LOT between home market direct sales and sales through home market affiliated service centers and, therefore, it was entitled to a LOT adjustment for U.S. sales compared to sales made by home market affiliated service centers, it later withdrew its claim. See Corus Staal's January 30, 2003, QR at A-17 and its May 19, 2003 SQR at 16.

In the U.S. market, Corus Staal reported two channels of distribution for its sales of subject merchandise during the POR: EP sales made directly to unaffiliated U.S. customers and CEP sales made through its affiliated service centers, RBC and RBN. For sales classified as EP, Corus Staal reported two customer categories, end users and steel service centers. See, e.g., Corus Staal's January 30, 2003, QR at A-15 and A-16. However, as explained in the “Export Price and Constructed Export Price” section of this notice, we have preliminary determined that certain of Corus Staal's reported EP transactions (i.e., sales from May 3, 2001, to June 30, 2001) are classified properly as CEP sales.

With regard to CEP sales made through RBC and RBN, Corus Staal claimed that a CEP offset is appropriate because RBC's and RBN's sales are made at a point in the distribution process that is less advanced than Corus Staal's home market sales. See Corus Staal's January 30, 2003, QR at A-17. As noted above, we determine the U.S. LOT on the basis of the CEP starting price minus the expenses and profit deducted pursuant to section 772(d) of the Tariff Act. In analyzing respondent's request for a CEP offset, we reviewed information provided in section A of Corus Staal's response regarding selling activities performed and services offered in the U.S. and foreign markets. We found there to be few differences in the selling functions performed by Corus Staal on its sales to affiliated service centers in the United States and those Start Printed Page 68346performed on its sales to home market customers. For example, Corus Staal provided similar freight and delivery services, technical/warranty assistance, and sales logistics support on its sales to home market customers and on its sales to RBC and RBN. See, e.g., Corus Staal's January 30, 2003, QR at pages A-20 through A-46. Therefore, the Department has preliminarily determined the record does not support Corus Staal's claim that home market sales are at a different, more advanced LOT than its CEP sales to RBC and RBN. Accordingly, no CEP offset adjustment to NV is warranted for Corus Staal's reported CEP sales.

As to Corus Staal's sales to unaffiliated customers in the United States which we have reclassified as CEP transactions, we considered whether a LOT adjustment may be appropriate. As noted above, we have preliminary determined that one LOT exists in the home market, and therefore, there is no basis upon which to determine whether there is a pattern of consistent price differences between LOTs. Thus, we examined whether Corus Staal's home market sales were at a different, more advanced LOT than its sales to U.S. unaffiliated customers to determine whether a CEP offset was necessary. Comparing the selling activities performed and services offered by Corus Staal on its sales to unaffiliated customers in the United States to those activities performed on its home market sales, we found there to be few differences in the selling functions performed by Corus Staal on its sales to unaffiliated customers in the United States and those performed for sales in the home market. For example, on sales to both home market customers and to unaffiliated U.S. customers, Corus Staal provided similar strategic and economic planning, freight and delivery services, technical/warranty assistance, research and development, and sales logistics support. See, e.g., Corus Staal's January 30, 2003, QR at pages A-20 through A-46. As a result, we preliminarily find that there is not a significant difference in selling functions performed in the U.S. and foreign markets on these sales. Thus, we find that Corus Staal's home market sales and sales to unaffiliated customers in the United States were made at the same LOT; accordingly, no CEP offset adjustment is warranted.

Finally, for those sales which we are continuing to classify as EP, we considered whether a LOT adjustment is warranted. Again, comparing the selling activities performed and services offered by Corus Staal on its sales to unaffiliated customers in the United States to those activities performed on its home market sales, we found there to be few differences in the selling functions performed by Corus Staal. Thus, we find that Corus Staal's home market sales and sales to unaffiliated customers in the United States were made at the same LOT, and therefore, no LOT adjustment is necessary.

Normal Value

A. Selection of Comparison Market

To determine whether there is a sufficient volume of sales in the home market to serve as a viable basis for calculating NV (i.e., the aggregate volume of home market sales of the foreign like product is greater than five percent of the aggregate volume of U.S. sales), we compared the respondent's volume of home market sales of the foreign like product to the volume of U.S. sales of the subject merchandise, in accordance with section 773(a)(1)(B) of the Tariff Act. Because the respondent's aggregate volume of home market sales of the foreign like product was greater than five percent of its aggregate volume of U.S. sales for the subject merchandise, we determined the home market was viable. See, e.g., Corus Staal's January 30, 2003, QR at Attachment A-2.

B. Affiliated Party Transactions and Arm's-Length Test

Corus Staal reported that it made sales in the home market to affiliated resellers and end-users. Sales to affiliated customers in the home market not made at arm's-length prices are excluded from our analysis because we consider them to be outside the ordinary course of trade. See 19 CFR 351.102(b). Prior to performing the arm's-length test, we aggregated multiple customer codes reported for individual affiliates in order to treat them as single entities. See Antidumping Proceedings: Affiliated Party Sales in the Ordinary Course of Trade, 67 FR 69186, 69194 (November 15, 2002) (Modification to Affiliated Party Sales). To test whether the sales to affiliates were made at arm's length prices, we compared on a model-specific basis the starting prices of sales to affiliated and unaffiliated customers net of all direct selling expenses, discounts and rebates, movement charges, and packing. Where prices to the affiliated party were, on average, within a range of 98 to 102 percent of the price of identical or comparable merchandise to the unaffiliated parties, we determined that the sales made to the affiliated party were at arm's length. See Modification to Affiliated Party Sales at 69187-88. In accordance with the Department's practice, we only included in our margin analysis those sales to affiliated parties that were made at arm's length.

C. Cost of Production Analysis

Because we disregarded sales of certain products made at prices below the cost of production (COP) in the investigation of hot-rolled steel from the Netherlands (see Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value; Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products From The Netherlands, 66 FR 50408 (October 3, 2001), as amended, Notice of Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value; Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products From The Netherlands, 66 FR 55637 (November 2, 2001)), we have reasonable grounds to believe or suspect that Corus Staal made sales of the foreign like product at prices below the COP, as provided by section 773(b)(2)(A)(ii) of the Tariff Act. Therefore, pursuant to section 773(b)(1) of the Tariff Act, we initiated a COP investigation of sales by Corus Staal.

In accordance with section 773(b)(3) of the Tariff Act, we calculated the weighted-average COP for each model based on the sum of Corus Staal's material and fabrication costs for the foreign like product, plus amounts for SG&A and packing costs. The Department relied on the COP data reported by Corus Staal, except as noted below:

—For merchandise produced at the direct sheet plant (DSP), Corus Staal claimed a start-up adjustment for the entire POR. Having determined that the startup period ended on November 30, 2001, we decreased Corus Staal's claimed startup adjustment accordingly. In addition, for DSP products, we amortized the capital cost (the startup adjustment allowed) of the DSP line over a ten-year period and included 11 months of amortization cost in the total cost of manufacture (TCOM).

—We adjusted Corus Staal's reported standard cost because respondent overstated the amount of general and administrative (G&A) expenses that should have been removed from the standard cost.

—We revised the G&A ratio to exclude the G&A expenses accounted for in the standard cost and to include two adjustments identified on the first day of the cost verification.

—We adjusted Corus Staal's TCOM to reflect the unexplained difference found in its cost reconciliation at the cost verification.

For further detail regarding these adjustments, see the Department's “Cost of Production and Constructed Value Start Printed Page 68347Calculation Adjustments for the Preliminary Results” (COP Analysis Memorandum), dated December 1, 2003.

Corus Staal reported separate COPs to distinguish between identical CONNUMs produced in both its conventional hot-rolling mill and direct sheet plant. For purposes of our analysis, however, we are not distinguishing between products produced at the two facilities, because the type of facility used to produce the subject merchandise is not one of the criteria used to match U.S. sales of subject merchandise to sales of the foreign like product. For a list of the product characteristics considered in our analysis, see the section “Product Comparisons” above. Thus, we weight-averaged the COPs reported for identical products produced in both the conventional hot-rolling mill and direct sheet plant.[4] We then compared the weighted-average COP figures to the home market sales prices of the foreign like product as required under section 773(b) of the Tariff Act, to determine whether these sales had been made at prices below COP. On a product-specific basis, we compared the COP to home market prices net of billing adjustments, freight revenue, certain minor processing expenses, discounts and rebates, and any applicable movement charges.

In determining whether to disregard home market sales made at prices below the COP, we examined, in accordance with sections 773(b)(1)(A) and (B) of the Tariff Act: whether, within an extended period of time, such sales were made in substantial quantities; and whether such sales were made at prices which permitted the recovery of all costs within a reasonable period of time in the normal course of trade. Pursuant to section 773(b)(2)(C) of the Tariff Act, where less than 20 percent of the respondent's home market sales of a given model were at prices below the COP, we did not disregard any below-cost sales of that model because we determined that the below-cost sales were not made within an extended period of time and in “substantial quantities.” Where 20 percent or more of the respondent's home market sales of a given model were at prices less than COP, we disregarded the below-cost sales because: (1) They were made within an extended period of time in “substantial quantities,” in accordance with sections 773(b)(2)(B) and (C) of the Tariff Act, and (2) based on our comparison of prices to the weighted-average COPs for the POR, they were at prices which would not permit the recovery of all costs within a reasonable period of time, in accordance with section 773(b)(2)(D) of the Tariff Act.

Our cost test for Corus Staal revealed that for home market sales of certain models, less than 20 percent of the sales of those models were at prices below the COP. We therefore retained all such sales in our analysis and used them as the basis for determining NV. Our cost test also indicated that for certain models, more than 20 percent of the home market sales of those models were sold at prices below COP within an extended period of time and were at prices which would not permit the recovery of all costs within a reasonable period of time. Thus, in accordance with section 773(b)(1) of the Tariff Act, we excluded these below-cost sales from our analysis and used the remaining above-cost sales as the basis for determining NV.

D. Constructed Value

In accordance with section 773(e) of the Tariff Act, we calculated CV based on the sum of the Corus Staal's material and fabrication costs, SG&A expenses, profit, and U.S. packing costs. We calculated the COP component of CV and weight-averaged the CVs reported for identical products produced in both the conventional hot-rolling mill and direct sheet plant as described above in the “Cost of Production Analysis” section of this notice. In accordance with section 773(e)(2)(A) of the Tariff Act, we based SG&A expenses and profit on the amounts incurred and realized by the respondent in connection with the production and sale of the foreign like product in the ordinary course of trade, for consumption in the foreign country. For selling expenses, we used the actual weighted-average home market direct and indirect selling expenses.

E. Price-to-Price Comparisons

We calculated NV based on prices to unaffiliated customers or prices to affiliated customers we determined to be at arm's length. We adjusted gross unit price for billing adjustments, discounts, rebates, freight revenue, and certain minor processing expenses, where appropriate. We made deductions, where appropriate, for foreign inland freight and warehousing, pursuant to section 773(a)(6)(B) of the Tariff Act. In addition, we made adjustments for differences in cost attributable to differences in physical characteristics of the merchandise (i.e., difmer) pursuant to section 773(a)(6)(C)(ii) of the Tariff Act and 19 CFR 351.411, as well as for differences in circumstances of sale (COS) in accordance with section 773(a)(6)(C)(iii) of the Tariff Act and 19 CFR 351.410. We made COS adjustments for imputed credit expenses (offset by interest revenue), warranty expenses, and credit insurance. Finally, we deducted home market packing costs and added U.S. packing costs in accordance with sections 773(a)(6)(A) and (B) of the Tariff Act.

F. Price-to-CV Comparisons

In accordance with section 773(a)(4) of the Tariff Act, we based NV on CV if we were unable to find a home market match of such or similar merchandise. Where appropriate, we made adjustments to CV in accordance with section 773(a)(8) of the Tariff Act. Where we compared CV to CEP, we deducted from CV the weighted-average home market direct selling expenses.

Currency Conversion

We made currency conversions into U.S. dollars based on the exchange rates in effect on the dates of the U.S. sales as certified by the Federal Reserve Bank, in accordance with section 773A(a) of the Tariff Act.

Preliminary Results of Review

As a result of our review, we preliminarily determine the weighted-average dumping margin for the period May 3, 2001, through October 31, 2002, to be as follows:

Manufacturer/exporterMargin (percent)
Corus Staal BV (Corus Staal)5.34

The Department will disclose calculations performed in connection with these preliminary results of review within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Interested parties may submit case briefs and/or written comments no later than 30 days after the date of publication of these preliminary results of review. Rebuttal briefs and rebuttals to written comments, limited to issues raised in the case briefs and comments, may be filed no later than 35 days after the date of publication of this notice. Parties who submit argument in these proceedings are requested to submit with the argument: (1) A statement of the issue, (2) a brief summary of the argument, and (3) a table of authorities. An interested party may request a hearing within 30 days of publication. See CFR 351.310(c). Any hearing, if requested, will be held 37 days after the date of Start Printed Page 68348publication, or the first business day thereafter, unless the Department alters the date per 19 CFR 351.310(d). The Department will issue the final results of these preliminary results, including the results of our analysis of the issues raised in any such written comments or at a hearing, within 120 days of publication of these preliminary results.

Assessment Rates

Upon completion of this administrative review, the Department will determine, and Customs shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. As a result of the Court of International Trade's decision in Corus Staal BV et al v. United States, Consol. Court No. 02-00003, Slip Op. 03-127 (CIT September 29, 2003), we will not assess duties on merchandise that entered between October 30, 2001 and November 28, 2001, inclusive. For more information, see Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products From The Netherlands: Notice of Final Court Decision and Suspension of Liquidation, 68 FR 60912 (October 24, 2003). Thus, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1), we will calculate an importer-specific ad valorem assessment rate for merchandise based on the ratio of the total amount of antidumping duties calculated for the examined sales made during the POR to the total customs value of the sales used to calculate those duties less the total customs value of the sales of merchandise that entered between October 30, 2001, and November 28, 2001, inclusive. This rate will be assessed uniformly on all entries of that particular importer made during the periods May 3, 2001, through October 29, 2001, and November 29, 2001, through October 31, 2002. The Department will issue appropriate assessment instructions directly to Customs within 15 days of publication of the final results of review.

Furthermore, the following deposit requirements will be effective upon completion of the final results of this administrative review for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of the final results of this administrative review, as provided by section 751(a)(1) of the Tariff Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for the reviewed company will be the rate established in the final results of the administrative review (except that no deposit will be required if the rate is zero or de minimis, i.e., less than 0.5 percent); (2) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, or the original investigation, but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be that established for the most recent period for the manufacturer of the merchandise; and (3) if neither the exporter nor the manufacturer is a firm covered in this review, any previous reviews, or the LTFV investigation, the cash deposit rate will be 2.59 percent, the “all others” rate established in the LTFV investigation. See Antidumping Duty Order: Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products from the Netherlands, 67 FR 59565 (November 29, 2001).

This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

We are issuing and publishing this notice in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Tariff Act.

Start Signature

Dated: December 1, 2003.

James J. Jochum,

Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  Nucor filed its request for administrative review on November 26, 2002, while Bethlehem Steel Corporation, National Steel Corporation, and United States Steel Corporation filed their request for review on November 27, 2002.

Back to Citation

2.  Namascor also resold some of the foreign like product to Vlietjonge.

Back to Citation

3.  CSUSA receives an income from Corus Staal for these services, which are provided by employees of CAI; CAI, in turn, bills CSUSA on a monthly basis. See the March 28, 2003, SQR at A-5 and A-6.

Back to Citation

4.  We also eliminated the distinction between conventional hot-rolled mill and direct sheet plant products in Corus Staal's home market and U.S. sales databases.

Back to Citation

[FR Doc. 03-30391 Filed 12-5-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P