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Notice

Canned Pineapple Fruit from Thailand: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review

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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:

In response to a timely request, the Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on canned pineapple fruit (CPF) from Thailand for the period of review (POR) July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007. The review covers one respondent, Vita Food Factory (1989) Ltd. (Vita).

The Department preliminarily determines that Vita made sales to the United States at less than normal value (NV). If these preliminary results are adopted in the final results of this administrative review, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess antidumping duties on entries of Vita's merchandise during the POR. The preliminary results are listed Start Printed Page 45696below in the section titled “Preliminary Results of Review.”

EFFECTIVE DATE:

August 6, 2008.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Myrna Lobo or Douglas Kirby, AD/CVD Operations, Office 6, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-2371 or (202) 482-3782, respectively.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The Department published the antidumping duty order on CPF from Thailand on July 18, 1995. See Notice of Antidumping Duty Order and Amended Final Determination: Canned Pineapple Fruit from Thailand, 60 FR 36775 (July 18, 1995) (Antidumping Duty Order). On July 3, 2007, the Department published in the Federal Register a notice of “Opportunity to Request Administrative Review” of the antidumping duty order on CPF from Thailand. See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 72 FR 36420 (July 3, 2007). On April 21, 2008, the Department published a revocation of this order effective October 31, 2007. See Canned Pineapple Fruit from Thailand: Notice of Final Results of Changed Circumstances Review of the Antidumping Duty Order and Revocation of Antidumping Duty Order, 73 FR 21311 (April 21, 2008).

The Department received a request for review from Vita, by the July 31, 2007 deadline and therefore, on August 20, 2007, the Department published in the Federal Register the notice of initiation of the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on CPF from Thailand for Vita. See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews and Requests for Revocation in Part, 72 FR 48613 (August 20, 2007).

On September 13, 2007, the Department issued sections A through E of the questionnaire to Vita.1 Vita submitted its sections A through D responses on October 22, 2007. The Department issued a supplemental questionnaire on January 8, 2008, and Vita responded on January 18, 2008.

On March 30, 2008, the Department, in accordance with section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(2), extended the deadline for the preliminary results of this antidumping duty administrative review by 120 days from April 1, 2008 until no later than July 30, 2008. See Canned Pineapple Fruit from Thailand: Extension of Time Limit for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 73 FR 12704 (March 10, 2008).

Period of Review

This review covers the period July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007.

Scope of the Order

The product covered by this order is CPF, defined as pineapple processed and/or prepared into various product forms, including rings, pieces, chunks, tidbits, and crushed pineapple, that is packed and cooked in metal cans with either pineapple juice or sugar syrup added. CPF is currently classifiable under subheadings 2008.20.0010 and 2008.20.0090 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). HTSUS 2008.20.0010 covers CPF packed in a sugar-based syrup; HTSUS 2008.20.0090 covers CPF packed without added sugar (i.e., juice-packed). Although these HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and for customs purposes, the written description of the scope is dispositive. There have been no scope rulings for the subject order.

Less than Fair Value Analysis

To determine whether sales of subject merchandise to the United States were made at less than NV, we compared the export price (EP) to NV, as described in the “U.S. Price” and “Normal Value” sections of this notice in accordance with section 777A(d)(2) of the Act.

Product Comparisons

In accordance with section 771(16)(A) of the Act, we considered all products produced by respondents that are covered by the description in the “Scope of the Order” section, above, and that were sold in the comparison market during the POR, to be foreign like products for purposes of determining appropriate product comparisons to U.S. sales. In accordance with sections 771(16)(B) and (C) of the Act, where there were no sales of identical merchandise in the comparison market to compare to U.S. sales, we compared U.S. sales to the most similar foreign like product on the basis of the characteristics listed in Appendix V of the Department's antidumping questionnaires.

Date of Sale

It is the Department's practice to use invoice date as the date of sale. However, 19 CFR 351.401(i) states that the Secretary may use a date other than the invoice date if the Secretary is satisfied that the material terms of the sale were established on some other date. See Allied Tube and Conduit Corp. v. United States, 127 F. Supp. 2d 207, 217-219 (CIT 2000). Vita reported invoice date as the date of sale for all sales in both the comparison and U.S. markets. After analyzing Vita's responses and the sample sales documents provided, we preliminarily determine that invoice date is the appropriate date of sale for all sales under review.

U.S. Price

In accordance with section 772(a) of the Act, we use EP when the subject merchandise was 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 in the United States or to an unaffiliated purchaser for exportation to the United States, and constructed export price (CEP) was not otherwise warranted by the facts on the record. As discussed below, we conclude that all of Vita's U.S. sales are EP sales.

Vita identified all of its U.S. sales as EP sales in its questionnaire responses. The Department based the price of each of Vita's U.S. sales of subject merchandise on EP, as defined in section 772(a) of the Act, because the merchandise was sold prior to importation, to unaffiliated purchasers in the United States, or to unaffiliated purchasers for exportation to the United States and the use of CEP was not otherwise warranted based on the facts on the record. In accordance with section 772 (a) and (c) of the Act, we calculated EP using the prices Vita charged for packed subject merchandise shipped FOB. We made deductions for movement expenses, including, where applicable, charges for transportation, terminal handling, container stuffing, bill of lading preparation, customs clearance, and legal and port fees documentation. See Analysis Memorandum for Vita Food Factory (1989) Co., Ltd., (Vita Preliminary Analysis Memorandum) dated concurrently with this notice.Start Printed Page 45697

Normal Value

In accordance with section 773(a)(1)(B)(i) of the Act, we have based NV on the price at which the foreign like product was first sold for consumption in the comparison market, in the usual commercial quantities, in the ordinary course of trade, and, to the extent practicable, at the same level of trade (LOT) as the EP sale. See “Level of Trade” section below. After testing comparison market viability and whether comparison market sales were at below-cost prices, we calculated NV for Vita as discussed in the following sections.

Home Market Viability

In accordance with section 773(a)(1)(C) of the Act, in order to determine whether there was 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 normally should be greater than or equal to five percent of the aggregate volume of U.S. sales), we compared the aggregate volume of home market sales of the foreign like product to the aggregate volume of its U.S. sales of subject merchandise. See also 19 CFR 351.404(b).

Because the aggregate volume of Vita's home market sales of foreign like product is less than five percent of the aggregate volume of its U.S. sales of subject merchandise, we based NV on sales of the foreign like product in a country other than Vita's home market. See section 773(a)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act. Specifically, we based NV for Vita on sales of the foreign like product in Germany due to the fact that Vita exported the largest amount of CPF (by quantity) to Germany during the POR, and did not sell merchandise more similar to that sold to the U.S. to any other third country market.

Cost of Production (COP) Analysis

In the most recently completed administrative review of the antidumping duty order on CPF from Thailand, the Department determined that Vita sold foreign-like product in its comparison market at prices below the cost of producing the product and excluded such sales from the calculation of NV. See Canned Pineapple Fruit from Thailand: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 72 FR 44490 (August 8, 2007) (11th Review Preliminary Results) unchanged in Canned Pineapple Fruit from Thailand: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 73 FR 5792 (January 31, 2008) (11th Review Final Results). Therefore, in accordance with section 773(b)(2)(A)(ii) of the Act, the Department determined that there are reasonable grounds to believe or suspect that during the current POR, Vita sold the foreign like product at prices below the cost of producing the product and instituted a below cost inquiry as to Vita's sales in the comparison market.

Test of Comparison Market Sales Price

We compared sales of the foreign like product in the home market with model-specific COP values in the POR. In accordance with section 773(b)(3) of the Act, we calculated COP based on the sum of the costs of materials and fabrication employed in producing the foreign like product, plus selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, and financial expenses and packing. In our sales-below-cost analysis, we used comparison market sales and COP information provided by Vita in its questionnaire responses. See Vita's October 22, 2007 section D questionnaire response.

Results of COP Test

We compared the weighted-average COPs to comparison market sales of the foreign like-product, consistent with section 773(b) of the Act, in order to determine whether these sales had been made at prices below the COP. See also 19 CFR 351.404(b). In determining whether to disregard comparison market sales made at prices below the COP, we examined whether such sales were made (1) within an extended period of time in substantial quantities, and (2) at prices which permitted the recovery of all costs within a reasonable period of time in the normal course of trade, in accordance with sections 773(b)(1)(A) and (B) of the Act. On a product-specific basis, we compared the COP to comparison market prices, less any movement charges, discounts and rebates, and direct and indirect selling expenses. See Treatment of Adjustments and Selling Expenses in Calculating the Cost of Production (“COP”) and Constructed Value (“CV”) Import Policy Bulletin (March 25, 1994) on file in the CRU, which can also be accessed directly on the Web at http://ia.ita.doc.gov.

Pursuant to section 773(b)(2)(C) of the Act, where fewer than 20 percent of a respondent's sales of a given model were at prices less than the COP, we did not disregard any below-cost sales of that model because the below-cost sales were not made in substantial quantities within an extended period of time.2 Where 20 percent or more of a respondent's sales of a given model were at prices less than the COP, we disregarded the below-cost sales when: (1) they were made in substantial quantities within an extended period of time, in accordance with sections 773(b)(2)(B) and (C) of the Act and; (2) based on our comparison of prices to average COPs in the POR, we determined that the below-cost prices would not permit the recovery of costs within a reasonable period of time, in accordance with section 773(b)(2)(D) of the Act.

Price-to-Price Comparisons

For those product comparisons for which there were comparison market sales of like product in the ordinary course of trade, we based NV on comparison market prices to affiliated (when made at prices determined to be arms-length) or unaffiliated parties, in accordance with section 773(a)(1)(A) and (B) of the Act. We made adjustments for differences in cost attributable to differences in physical characteristics of the merchandise, pursuant to section 773(a)(6)(C)(ii) of the Act and 19 CRF 351.411 as well as for differences in direct selling expenses, in accordance with 773(a)(6)(C)(iii) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.410. We relied on our model match criteria in order to match U.S. sales of subject merchandise to comparison sales of the foreign like product based on the reported physical characteristics of the subject merchandise. Where there were no sales of identical merchandise in the comparison 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 questionnaire. See section 771(16) of the Act.

When comparing Vita comparison market sales to its EP sales, the Department calculated Vita's NV (shipped FOB) based on its gross unit price to customers in Germany. Pursuant to section 773(a)(6)(B)(ii) of the Act, we made deductions for movement expenses (i.e., inland freight, Start Printed Page 45698ocean freight and warehousing), when appropriate. In accordance with sections 773(a)(6)(A) and (B) of the Act, we deducted comparison market packing costs and added U.S. packing costs. In accordance with section 773(a)(6)(C)(iii) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.410(c), we deducted comparison market direct selling expenses (i.e., credit, warranty) and added U.S. direct selling expenses. We made the appropriate adjustment for commissions paid in the home market pursuant to 773(a)(6)(C)(iii) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.410(c). We made adjustments, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.410(e), for indirect selling expenses incurred on comparison market or U.S. sales where commissions were granted on sales in one market but not in the other, the “commission offset.” Specifically, where commissions are incurred in one market, but not in the other, we will limit the amount of such allowance to the amount of either the selling expenses incurred in the one market or the commissions allowed in the other market, whichever is less. We made the appropriate adjustment for commissions paid in the home market pursuant to 773(a)(6)(C)(iii) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.410(c).

Vita reported that it paid its customer in the U.S. market a commission on sales to the United States during the POR. Based on the information on the record, specifically that the commissions were paid to the U.S. customer rather than to an agent asking on behalf of Vita, we have determined these payments to be reductions in price, and therefore, more appropriately considered them as discounts. Accordingly, we have treated them as discounts in our calculations. See Vita Preliminary Analysis Memorandum.

Price to Constructed Value Comparisons

In accordance with section 773(a)(4) of the Act, we used constructed value (CV) as the basis for NV when we could not determine NV because there were no above-cost contemporaneous sales of identical or similar merchandise in the comparison market. We calculated CV in accordance with section 773(e) of the Act, including the cost of materials and fabrication, SG&A expenses, and profit. In accordance with section 773(e)(2)(A) of the 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 comparison market. Where NV is based on CV, we determine the NV LOT based on the LOT of the sales from which we derive selling expenses, SG&A expenses, and profit for CV, where possible.

We used CV as the basis for NV for sales for which there were no usable contemporaneous sales of the foreign like product in the comparison market, in accordance with section 773(a)(4) of the Act. We calculated CV in accordance with section 773(e) of the Act. We added reported materials, labor, and factory overhead costs to derive the cost of manufacture (COM), in accordance with section 773(e)(1) of the Act. We then added interest expenses, SG&A expenses, profit, and U.S. packing expenses to derive the CV (and added U.S. credit expenses for comparison to EP), in accordance with sections 773(e)(2) and (3) of the Act. We calculated profit based on the total value of sales and total COP reported by Vita in its questionnaire response, in accordance with section 773(e)(2)(A) of the Act. Finally, we deducted comparison market credit expenses from CV and added U.S. credit to calculate the foreign unit price in dollars (FUPDOL), pursuant to section 773(e)(2)(A) of the Act.

Level Of Trade

Section 773(a)(1)(B)(i) of the Act states that, to the extent practicable, the Department will calculate NV based on sales at the same LOT as the EP or CEP sale. Sales are made at different LOTs if they are made at different marketing stages (or their equivalent). See 19 CFR 351.412(c)(2). Substantial differences in selling activities are a necessary, but not sufficient condition for determining that there is a difference in the stages of marketing. Id.; see also Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon Steel Plate From South Africa, 62 FR 61731, 61732 (November 19, 1997) (South African Plate Final). In order to determine whether the comparison sales were at different stages in the marketing process than the U.S. sales, we reviewed the distribution system in each market (i.e., the chain of distribution),3 including selling functions,4 class of customer (customer category), and the level of selling expenses for each type of sale.

Pursuant to section 773(a)(1)(B)(i) of the Act, in identifying levels of trade for EP and comparison market sales (i.e., NV based on either home market or third-country prices), we consider the starting prices before any adjustments. With respect to CEP sales, the Department removes the selling activities set forth in section 772(d) of the Act from the CEP starting price prior to performing its LOT analysis. See Micron Technology, Inc. v. United States, 243 F.3d 1301, 1315 (Fed. Cir. 2001). As such, for CEP sales, the U.S. LOT is based on the starting price of the sales, as adjusted under section 772(d) of the Act.

When the Department is unable to match U.S. sales to sales of the foreign like product in the comparison market at the same LOT as the EP or CEP sale, the Department may compare the U.S. sale to sales at a different LOT in the comparison market. Vita reported that the selling activities for its respective comparison market and U.S. market channels were made at the same level of trade. After conducting an analysis of Vita's sales channels and selling activities, the Department preliminarily determines that no level of trade adjustment is necessary for Vita, consistent with what Vita reported in its respective questionnaire responses. For further details on the Department's LOT analysis, see Vita Preliminary Analysis Memorandum.

Currency Conversion

In accordance with section 773A of the Act, we made currency conversions based on the official exchange rates in effect on the dates of the U.S. sales as certified by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. See also 19 CFR 351.415.

Preliminary Results of Review

As a result of this review, we preliminarily find that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist:

Manufacturer/ExporterMargin
Vita Food Factory (1989) Ltd.2.48 %

Cash Deposits

Pursuant to section 751(d)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.222(i)(2)(i), the Department revoked this order and notified U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to discontinue suspension of liquidation and collection of cash deposits on entries of the subject Start Printed Page 45699merchandise entered or withdrawn from warehouse on or after October 31, 2007, the effective date of revocation of this AD order. See Canned Pineapple Fruit from Thailand: Notice of Final Results of Changed Circumstances Review of the Antidumping Duty Order and Revocation of Antidumping Duty Order, 73 FR 21311 (April 21, 2008). Therefore, cash deposits of estimated antidumping duties are no longer required.

Duty Assessment

Upon publication of the final results of this review, the Department shall determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1), the Department calculates an assessment rate for each importer of the subject merchandise for each respondent. In accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1), we will calculate importer-specific assessment rates on the basis of the ratio of the total amount of antidumping duties calculated for the examined sales and the total entered value of the examined sales. These rates will be assessed uniformly on all entries of the respective importers made during the POR if these preliminary results are adopted in the final results of review. The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions directly to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of the final results of this review.

The Department clarified its “automatic assessment” regulation on May 6, 2003. See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003) (Assessment Policy Notice). This clarification will apply to entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by companies included in the final results of review for which the reviewed companies did not know that the merchandise it sold to the intermediary (e.g., a reseller, trading company, or exporter) was destined for the United States. In such instances, we will instruct CBP to liquidate unreviewed entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediary involved in the transaction. See Assessment Policy Notice for a full discussion of this clarification.

Public Comment

Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.224(b), the Department will disclose to any party to the proceeding the calculations performed in connection with these preliminary results within five days after the date of public announcement of this notice. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309, interested parties may submit written comments in response to these preliminary results. Unless extended by the Department, case briefs are to be submitted within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to arguments raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the time limit for filing case briefs. Parties who submit arguments 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. See 19 CFR 309(c)(2). Case and rebuttal briefs must be served on interested parties in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303(f).

Also, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing or to participate if one is requested must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Import Administration within 30 days of the publication of this notice. Requests should contain 1) the party's name, address and telephone number; 2) the number of participants; and, 3) a list of issues to be raised. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case briefs. Unless the Secretary specifies otherwise, the hearing, if requested, will be held two days after the date for submission of rebuttal briefs. Parties will be notified of the time and location.

The Department will issue the final results of this administrative review within 120 days after the publication of this notice, unless extended. See section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act; 19 CFR 351.213(h).

Notification to Importers

This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) 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.

The preliminary results of this administrative review and this notice are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

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Dated: July 29, 2008.

David M. Spooner,

Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.

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Footnotes

1.  Section A of the questionnaire requests general information concerning a company's corporate structure and business practices, the merchandise under investigation that it sells, and the manner in which it sells that merchandise in all of its markets. Section B requests a complete listing of all home market sales, or, if the home market is not viable, of sales in the most appropriate third-country market (this section is not applicable to respondents in non-market economy cases). Section C requests a complete listing of U.S. sales. Section D requests information on the cost of production of the foreign like product and the constructed value of the merchandise under investigation. Section E requests information on further manufacturing.

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2.  Section 773(b)(2)(ii)(B-C) of the Act defines extended period of time as a period that is normally 1 year, but not less than 6 months, and substantial quantities as sales made at prices below the cost of production that have been made in substantial quantities if (i) the volume of such sales represents 20 percent or more of the volume of sales under consideration for the determination of normal value, or (ii) the weighted average per unit price of the sales under consideration for the determination of normal value is less than the weighted average per unit cost of production for such sales.

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3.  The marketing process in the United States and in the comparison markets begins with the producer and extends to the sale to the final user or consumer. The chain of distribution between the two may have many or few links, and the respondents' sales occur somewhere along this chain. In performing this evaluation, we considered the narrative responses of the respondent to properly determine where in the chain of distribution the sale occurs.

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4.  Selling functions associated with a particular chain of distribution help us to evaluate the level(s) of trade in a particular market. For purposes of these preliminary results, we have organized the common selling functions into four major categories: sales process and marketing support, technical service, freight and delivery, and inventory maintenance.

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[FR Doc. E8-18027 Filed 8-5-08; 8:45 am]

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