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Notice of Initiation and Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review: Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Import Administration, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

SUMMARY:

Western Forest Products Inc. (WFP) has requested a changed circumstances review of the antidumping duty order on certain Start Printed Page 37328softwood lumber products from Canada pursuant to section 751(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act) and 19 CFR 351.216(b). The Department of Commerce (the Department) is initiating this changed circumstances review and issuing this notice of preliminary results pursuant to 19 CFR 351.221(c)(3)(ii). We have preliminarily determined that WFP and its subsidiaries, WFP Products Limited, WFP Western Lumber Ltd., and WFP Lumber Sales Limited (collectively, “the WFP Entities”), are the successor-in-interest to Doman Industries Limited, Doman Forest Products Limited, and Doman Western Lumber Ltd. (collectively, “the Doman Entities”).

EFFECTIVE DATE:

June 29, 2005.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Constance Handley or David Neubacher, AD/CVD Operations, Office 1, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0631 or (202) 482-5823, respectively.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On January 24, 2005, the Department issued the amended final results of the antidumping duty administrative review on certain softwood lumber products from Canada. See Notice of Amended Final Results Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Certain Softwood Lumber Products From Canada, 70 FR 3358 (January 24, 2005). On May 27, 2005, WFP requested that the Department initiate and conduct an expedited changed circumstances review, in accordance with section 351.216 of the Department's regulations, to confirm that WFP and its subsidiaries are the successor-in-interest to the Doman Entities. In its request, WFP stated that the Doman Entities reorganized and transferred all of their assets to a new operating group known as WFP on July 27, 2004, and provided supporting documentation.

Scope of the Order

The products covered by this order are softwood lumber, flooring and siding (softwood lumber products). Softwood lumber products include all products classified under headings 4407.1000, 4409.1010, 4409.1090, and 4409.1020, respectively, of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), and any softwood lumber, flooring and siding described below. These softwood lumber products include:

(1) coniferous wood, sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled, whether or not planed, sanded or finger-jointed, of a thickness exceeding six millimeters;

(2) coniferous wood siding (including strips and friezes for parquet flooring, not assembled) continuously shaped (tongued, grooved, rabbeted, chamfered, v-jointed, beaded, molded, rounded or the like) along any of its edges or faces, whether or not planed, sanded or finger-jointed;

(3) other coniferous wood (including strips and friezes for parquet flooring, not assembled) continuously shaped (tongued, grooved, rabbeted, chamfered, v-jointed, beaded, molded, rounded or the like) along any of its edges or faces (other than wood moldings and wood dowel rods) whether or not planed, sanded or finger-jointed; and

(4) coniferous wood flooring (including strips and friezes for parquet flooring, not assembled) continuously shaped (tongued, grooved, rabbeted, chamfered, v-jointed, beaded, molded, rounded or the like) along any of its edges or faces, whether or not planed, sanded or finger-jointed.

Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise under investigation is dispositive. Preliminary scope exclusions and clarifications were published in three separate Federal Register notices.

Softwood lumber products excluded from the scope:

  • trusses and truss kits, properly classified under HTSUS 4418.90
  • I-joist beams
  • assembled box spring frames
  • pallets and pallet kits, properly classified under HTSUS 4415.20
  • garage doors
  • edge-glued wood, properly classified under HTSUS 4421.90.97.40 (formerly HTSUS 4421.90.98.40)
  • properly classified complete door frames
  • properly classified complete window frames
  • properly classified furniture

Softwood lumber products excluded from the scope only if they meet certain requirements:

  • Stringers (pallet components used for runners): if they have at least two notches on the side, positioned at equal distance from the center, to properly accommodate forklift blades, properly classified under HTSUS 4421.90.97.40 (formerly HTSUS 4421.90.98.40).
  • Box-spring frame kits: if they contain the following wooden pieces - two side rails, two end (or top) rails and varying numbers of slats. The side rails and the end rails should be radius-cut at both ends. The kits should be individually packaged, they should contain the exact number of wooden components needed to make a particular box spring frame, with no further processing required. None of the components exceeds 1″ in actual thickness or 83″ in length.
  • Radius-cut box-spring-frame components, not exceeding 1″ in actual thickness or 83″ in length, ready for assembly without further processing. The radius cuts must be present on both ends of the boards and must be substantial cuts so as to completely round one corner.
  • Fence pickets requiring no further processing and properly classified under HTSUS 4421.90.70, 1″ or less in actual thickness, up to 8″ wide, 6′ or less in length, and have finials or decorative cuttings that clearly identify them as fence pickets. In the case of dog-eared fence pickets, the corners of the boards should be cut off so as to remove pieces of wood in the shape of isosceles right angle triangles with sides measuring 3/4 inch or more.
  • U.S. origin lumber shipped to Canada for minor processing and imported into the United States, is excluded from the scope of this order if the following conditions are met: 1) the processing occurring in Canada is limited to kiln-drying, planing to create smooth-to-size board, and sanding, and 2) the importer establishes to U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) satisfaction that the lumber is of U.S. origin.1
  • Softwood lumber products contained in single family home packages or kits,2 regardless of tariff classification, are excluded from the scope of the orders if the following criteria are met:

1. The imported home package or kit constitutes a full package of the number of wooden pieces specified in the plan, design or blueprint necessary to produce a home of at Start Printed Page 37329least 700 square feet produced to a specified plan, design or blueprint;

2. The package or kit must contain all necessary internal and external doors and windows, nails, screws, glue, subfloor, sheathing, beams, posts, connectors and, if included in purchase contract, decking, trim, drywall and roof shingles specified in the plan, design or blueprint;

3. Prior to importation, the package or kit must be sold to a retailer of complete home packages or kits pursuant to a valid purchase contract referencing the particular home design plan or blueprint, and signed by a customer not affiliated with the importer;

4. The whole package must be imported under a single consolidated entry when permitted by CBP, whether or not on a single or multiple trucks, rail cars or other vehicles, which shall be on the same day except when the home is over 2,000 square feet;

5. The following documentation must be included with the entry documents:

  • a copy of the appropriate home design, plan, or blueprint matching the entry;
  • a purchase contract from a retailer of home kits or packages signed by a customer not affiliated with the importer;
  • a listing of inventory of all parts of the package or kit being entered that conforms to the home design package being entered;
  • in the case of multiple shipments on the same contract, all items listed immediately above which are included in the present shipment shall be identified as well.

We have determined that the excluded products listed above are outside the scope of this order provided the specified conditions are met. Lumber products that CBP may classify as stringers, radius cut box-spring-frame components, and fence pickets, not conforming to the above requirements, as well as truss components, pallet components, and door and window frame parts, are covered under the scope of this order and may be classified under HTSUS subheadings 4418.90.40.90, 4421.90.70.40, and 4421.90.98.40. Due to changes in the 2002 HTSUS whereby subheading 4418.90.40.90 and 4421.90.98.40 were changed to 4418.90.45.90 and 4421.90.97.40, respectively, we are adding these subheadings as well.

In addition, this scope language has been further clarified to now specify that all softwood lumber products entered from Canada claiming non-subject status based on U.S. country of origin will be treated as non-subject U.S.-origin merchandise under the antidumping and countervailing duty orders, provided that these softwood lumber products meet the following condition: upon entry, the importer, exporter, Canadian processor and/or original U.S. producer establish to CBP's satisfaction that the softwood lumber entered and documented as U.S.-origin softwood lumber was first produced in the United States as a lumber product satisfying the physical parameters of the softwood lumber scope.3 The presumption of non-subject status can, however, be rebutted by evidence demonstrating that the merchandise was substantially transformed in Canada.

Initiation and Preliminary Results

Pursuant to section 751(b)(1) of the Act, the Department will conduct a changed circumstances review upon receipt of information concerning, or a request from an interested party for a review of, an antidumping duty order which shows changed circumstances sufficient to warrant a review of the order. As indicated in the Background section, we have received information indicating that the Doman Entities transferred all of their assets to a new operating group of companies known as WFP. This constitutes changed circumstances warranting a review of the order. Therefore, in accordance with section 751(b)(1) of the Act, we are initiating a changed circumstances review based upon the information contained in WFP's submission.

Section 351.221(c)(3)(ii) of the regulations permits the Department to combine the notice of initiation of a changed circumstances review and the notice of preliminary results if the Department concludes that expedited action is warranted. In this instance, because we have on the record the information necessary to make a preliminary finding, we find that expedited action is warranted and have combined the notice of initiation and the notice of preliminary results.

In making successor-in-interest determinations, the Department examines several factors including, but not limited to, changes in: (1) management; (2) production facilities; (3) supplier relationships; and (4) customer base. See, e.g., Polychloroprene Rubber from Japan: Final Results of Changed Circumstances Review, 67 FR 58 (January 2, 2002) citing, Brass Sheet and Strip from Canada: Notice of Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 57 FR 20460 (May 13, 1992). While no single factor, or combination of factors, will necessarily prove dispositive, the Department will generally consider the new company to be the successor to its predecessor company if the resulting operations are essentially the same as the predecessor company. Id. citing, Industrial Phosphoric Acid from Israel; Final Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review, 59 FR 6944, 6945 (February 14, 1994). Thus, if the evidence demonstrates that, with respect to the production and sale of the subject merchandise, the new company operates as the same business entity as its predecessor, the Department will assign the new company the cash-deposit rate of its predecessor.

In its May 27, 2005, submission, WFP states that the Doman Entities reorganized and transferred all of their assets to the WFP Entities, and that WFP and its subsidiaries are the identical companies to the Doman Entities. As such, WFP states that the companies' management, production facilities and customer/supplier relationships have not changed. To support its claims, WFP submitted numerous documents, including: (1) the Doman Entities' Plan of Compromise and Arrangement; (2) the Doman Entities' Asset Transfer Agreement; (3) copies of Certificate of Amendment documents amending the names of the Doman Entities to WFP Entities; (4) copies of share certificates showing Doman Entities shares transferred to WFP; (5) corporate structure chart of Doman before the pre-plan implementation and current structure chart of WFP; (6) WFP's overview presentation on its current business structure and operations given at the 2005 CIBC World Markets Conference and; (7) customer lists for the pre- and post-plan implementation period.

Based on the information submitted by WFP, we preliminarily find that WFP and its subsidiaries are the successor-in-interest to the Doman Entities. Based on the evidence reviewed, we find that WFP and its subsidiaries operate as the same business entities as the Doman Entities and that the companies' senior management, production facilities, supplier relationships, and customers have not changed. Thus, we preliminarily find that WFP and its subsidiaries should receive the same antidumping duty cash-deposit rate (i.e., 3.78 percent) with respect to the subject merchandise as the Doman Entities, its predecessor companies.

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However, because cash deposits are only estimates of the amount of antidumping duties that will be due, changes in cash deposit rates are not made retroactive. If WFP believes that the deposits paid exceed the actual amount of dumping, it is entitled to request an administrative review during the anniversary month of the publication of the order of those entries to determine the proper assessment rate and receive a refund of any excess deposits. See Certain Hot-Rolled Lead and Bismuth Carbon Steel Products From the United Kingdom: Final Results of Changed-Circumstances Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 64 FR 66880 (November 30, 1999). As a result, if these preliminary results are adopted in our final results of this changed circumstances review, we will instruct CBP to suspend shipments of subject merchandise made by the WFP Entities at the Doman Entities' cash deposit rate (i.e., 3.78 percent). Until that time, the cash deposit rate assigned to WFP's entries is the rate in effect at the time of entry (i.e., the “all others” rate).

Public Comment

Any interested party may request a hearing within 30 days of publication of this notice. See 19 CFR 351.310(c). A hearing, if requested, will be held 44 days after the date of publication of this notice, or the first working day thereafter. Interested parties may submit case briefs and/or written comments not later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs and rebuttals to written comments, which must be limited to issues raised in such briefs or comments, may be filed not later than 37 days after the date of publication of this notice. Parties who submit arguments 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.

Consistent with section 351.216(e) of the Department's regulations, we will issue the final results of this changed circumstances review no later than 270 days after the date on which this review was initiated, or within 45 days if all parties agree to our preliminary finding. We are issuing and publishing this finding and notice in accordance with sections 751(b)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and section 351.216 of the Department's regulations.

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Dated: June 23, 2005.

Joseph A. Spetrini,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.

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Footnotes

1.  For further clarification pertaining to this exclusion, see the additional language concluding the scope description below.

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2.  To ensure administrability, we clarified the language of this exclusion to require an importer certification and to permit single or multiple entries on multiple days, as well as instructing importers to retain and make available for inspection specific documentation in support of each entry.

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3.  See the scope clarification message (3034202), dated February 3, 2003, to CBP, regarding treatment of U.S.-origin lumber on file in the Central Records Unit, Room B-099 of the main Commerce Building.

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[FR Doc. E5-3394 Filed 6-28-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-S