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Notice

Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon Steel Plate from Ukraine; Preliminary Results of Administrative Review of the Suspension Agreement

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AGENCY:

Import Administration, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

ACTION:

Notice of Preliminary Results of the Administrative Review of the Suspension Agreement on Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon Steel Plate from Ukraine

SUMMARY:

In response to a request from Mittal Steel USA ISG Inc. (Mittal Steel USA), a domestic interested party, the Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the suspension agreement on certain cut-to-length carbon steel plate from Ukraine (the Agreement) for the period November 1, 2004 through October 31, 2005, to review the current status of, and compliance with, the Agreement. For the reasons stated in this notice, the Department preliminarily determines that the Government of Ukraine (GOU) is in compliance with the Agreement. The preliminary results are set forth in the section titled “Preliminary Results of Review,” infra. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results. Parties who submit comments are requested to provide: (1) a statement of the issues, and (2) a brief summary of the arguments.

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EFFECTIVE DATE:

August 9, 2006.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Judith Rudman or Jay Carreiro, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20230, telephone: (202) 482-0192 or (202) 482-3674.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On October 24, 1997, the Department signed an agreement with the Government of Ukraine which suspended the antidumping duty investigation on certain cut-to-length carbon steel plate (CTL plate) from Ukraine. See Suspension of Antidumping Duty Investigation: Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon Steel Plate from Ukraine, 62 FR 61766 (November 19, 1997). In accordance with section 734(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (the Tariff Act), on November 19, 1997, the Department also published its final determination of sales at less than fair value in this case. See Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon Steel Plate From Ukraine, 62 FR 61754 (November 19, 1997).

On November 30, 2005, Mittal Steel USA submitted a request for an administrative review pursuant to Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 70 FR 65883 (November 1, 2005). The Department initiated a review of the Agreement on December 22, 2005. See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews and Request for Revocation in Part (Initiation Notice), 70 FR 76024 (December 22, 2005).

Scope of Review

The products covered by the Agreement include hot-rolled iron and non-alloy steel universal mill plates (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 mm, not in coils and without patterns in relief), of rectangular shape, neither clad, plated nor coated with metal, whether or not painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other nonmetallic substances; and certain iron and non-alloy steel flat-rolled products not in coils, of rectangular shape, hot-rolled, neither clad, plated, nor coated with metal, whether or not painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other nonmetallic substances, 4.75 mm or more in thickness and of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness. Included as subject merchandise in the Agreement are flat-rolled products of nonrectangular cross-section where such cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process (i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling”) for example, products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges. This merchandise is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) under item numbers 7208.40.3030, 7208.40.3060, 7208.51.0030, 7208.51.0045, 7208.51.0060, 7208.52.0000, 7208.53.0000, 7208.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7210.90.9000, 7211.13.0000, 7211.14.0030, 7211.14.0045, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, and 7212.50.0000. Although the HTS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the Agreement is dispositive. Specifically excluded from subject merchandise within the scope of this Agreement is grade X-70 steel plate.

Period of Review

The period of review (POR) is November 1, 2004 through October 31, 2005.

Preliminary Results of Review

Section 751(a)(1)(C) of the Tariff Act specifies that the Department shall “review the current status of, and compliance with, any agreement by reason of which an investigation was suspended.” In this case the Department and the GOU signed the Agreement suspending the antidumping duty investigation on CTL Plate from Ukraine on October 24, 1997. In order to effectively restrict the volume of exports of CTL Plate from Ukraine to the United States, Article VI of the Agreement provides for the implementation by the GOU of certain legal and administrative provisions. Moreover, Article VIII of the Agreement (Monitoring) requires the GOU to “provide to the Department such information as is necessary and appropriate to monitor the implementation of and compliance with the terms of [the] Agreement.” The Department primarily relies upon three tools to administer the Agreement: i) export licenses issued by the GOU, and received by the Department from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP); ii) reference prices, revised quarterly by the Department; and iii) the annual export limits setting a quota on total imports of CTL plate from Ukraine. The GOU must restrict the volume of direct and indirect exports of CTL plate from Ukraine to the United States by means of export licenses. In addition, subject merchandise may not be sold below the quarterly reference prices issued by the Department.

On January 19, 2006 and April 14, 2006, the Department issued questionnaires to the GOU. The GOU submitted its responses on February 27, 2006 and May 12, 2006, respectively. Our review of the information submitted by the GOU indicates that the GOU adhered to the major terms of the Agreement. The GOU implemented the provisions of the Agreement through the passage of Presidential Decrees, Orders of the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade of Ukraine, and Statute of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. See Exhibits 1 through 6 of the February 27, 2006 response.

These legal enactments by the GOU established an export licensing program for all exports of CTL plate to the United States and mandated that merchandise would not be sold below the reference price. Pursuant to section VIII of the Agreement, the GOU conformed to the Agreement's monitoring requirement by timely filing semi-annual reports indicating the volume of sales of CTL plate in the home market and to third countries. The GOU has also timely filed monthly reports on export licenses issued for sales of subject merchandise to the United States. The Agreement also stipulates the GOU must ensure compliance “by any official Ukrainian institution, chamber, or other entities authorized by the [GOU], all producers, exporters, brokers, and traders of CTL plate, and their affiliated parties, as well as independent trading companies/resellers utilized by the Ukrainian producer to make sales to the United States.” The Ukrainian producers conformed to this requirement by inserting a clause in their contracts which prohibited the re-exportation of subject merchandise to the United States without the written permission of the producer and required their customers to include re-exportation cautions in contracts of further resales of the goods.

Our review of the information submitted by the GOU indicates that each of the export licenses governed by the Agreement were at or above the quarterly FOB reference prices stipulated by the Agreement. Furthermore, data supplied by the GOU in its monthly reports, as well as our independent review of import data compiled by CBP, indicates Ukraine did not exceed its annual export limits. Therefore, we preliminarily determine Start Printed Page 45521that the GOU has been in compliance with the Agreement.

Public Comment

An interested party may request a hearing within 30 days of publication of these preliminary results. See 19 CFR 351.310(c). Any hearing, if requested, will be held 37 days after the date of publication, or the first business day thereafter, unless the Department alters the date per 19 CFR 351.310(d). Interested parties may submit case briefs no later than 30 days after the date of publication of these preliminary results of review. See 19 CFR 351.309 (c). Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed no later than 35 days after the date of publication of this notice. See 19 CFR 351.309(d). Parties who submit comments in these proceedings are requested to submit provide: (1) a statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities. Further, parties submitting case briefs and/or rebuttal briefs are requested to provide the Department with an additional copy of the public version of any such briefs on diskette. The Department will issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of our analysis of the issues raised in any written comments or at a hearing, if requested, within 120 days of publication of these preliminary results.

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

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Dated: August 2, 2006.

David M. Spooner,

Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.

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[FR Doc. E6-12998 Filed 8-8-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-S