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Notice

Certain Tow-Behind Lawn Groomers and Certain Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Order

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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:

Based on affirmative final determinations by the Department of Commerce (the Department) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), the Department is issuing a countervailing duty order on certain tow-behind lawn groomers and certain parts thereof (lawn groomers) from the People's Republic of China (PRC).

DATES:

Effective Date: August 3, 2009.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Gene Calvert or Jun Jack Zhao, 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) 482-3586 and (202) 482-1396, respectively.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

In accordance with section 705(d) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), on June 19, 2009, the Department published its final determination in the countervailing duty investigation of lawn groomers from the PRC. See Certain Tow-Behind Lawn Groomers and Certain Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, 74 FR 29180 (June 19, 2009).

On July 27, 2009, the ITC notified the Department of its final determination, pursuant to section 705(b)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, that an industry in the United States is materially injured by reason of subsidized imports of subject merchandise from the PRC. See Certain Tow-Behind Lawn Groomers from China, USITC Pub. 4090, Investigation Nos. 701-TA-457 and 731-TA-1153 (Final) (July 2009).

Scope of the Order

The scope of this order covers certain non-motorized tow behind lawn groomers, manufactured from any material, and certain parts thereof. Lawn groomers are defined as lawn sweepers, aerators, dethatchers, and spreaders. Unless specifically excluded, lawn groomers that are designed to perform at least one of the functions listed above are included in the scope of this order, even if the lawn groomer is designed to perform additional non-subject functions (e.g., mowing).

All lawn groomers are designed to incorporate a hitch, of any configuration, which allows the product to be towed behind a vehicle. Lawn groomers that are designed to incorporate both a hitch and a push handle, of any type, are also covered by the scope of this order. The hitch and handle may be permanently attached or removable, and they may be attached on opposite sides or on the same side of the lawn groomer. Lawn groomers designed to incorporate a hitch, but where the hitch is not attached to the lawn groomer, are also included in the scope of the order.

Lawn sweepers consist of a frame, as well as a series of brushes attached to an axle or shaft which allows the brushing component to rotate. Lawn sweepers also include a container (which is a receptacle into which debris swept from the lawn or turf is deposited) supported by the frame. Aerators consist of a frame, as well as Start Printed Page 38400an aerating component that is attached to an axle or shaft which allows the aerating component to rotate. The aerating component is made up of a set of knives fixed to a plate (known as a “plug aerator”), a series of discs with protruding spikes (a “spike aerator”), or any other configuration, that are designed to create holes or cavities in a lawn or turf surface. Dethatchers consist of a frame, as well as a series of tines designed to remove material (e.g., dead grass or leaves) or other debris from the lawn or turf. The dethatcher tines are attached to and suspended from the frame. Lawn spreaders consist of a frame, as well as a hopper (i.e., a container of any size, shape, or material) that holds a media to be spread on the lawn or turf. The media can be distributed by means of a rotating spreader plate that broadcasts the media (broadcast spreader), a rotating agitator that allows the media to be released at a consistent rate (drop spreader), or any other configuration.

Lawn dethatchers with a net fully-assembled weight (i.e., without packing, additional weights, or accessories) of 100 pounds or less are covered by the scope of the order. Other lawn groomers—sweepers, aerators, and spreaders—with a net fully-assembled weight (i.e., without packing, additional weights, or accessories) of 200 pounds or less are covered by the scope of the order.

Also included in the scope of the order are modular units, consisting of a chassis that is designed to incorporate a hitch, where the hitch may or may not be included, which allows modules that perform sweeping, aerating, dethatching, or spreading operations to be interchanged. Modular units—when imported with one or more lawn grooming modules—with a fully assembled net weight (i.e., without packing, additional weights, or accessories) of 200 pounds or less when including a single module, are included in the scope of the order. Modular unit chassis, imported without a lawn grooming module and with a fully assembled net weight (i.e., without packing, additional weights, or accessories) of 125 pounds or less, are also covered by the scope of the order. When imported separately, modules that are designed to perform subject lawn grooming functions (i.e., sweeping, aerating, dethatching, or spreading), with a fully assembled net weight (i.e., without packing, additional weights, or accessories) of 75 pounds or less, and that are imported with or without a hitch, are also covered by the scope.

Lawn groomers, assembled or unassembled, are covered by this order. For purposes of this order, “unassembled lawn groomers” consist of either (1) all parts necessary to make a fully assembled lawn groomer, or (2) any combination of parts, constituting a less than complete, unassembled lawn groomer, with a minimum of two of the following “major components”:

(1) An assembled or unassembled brush housing designed to be used in a lawn sweeper, where a brush housing is defined as a component housing the brush assembly, and consisting of a wrapper which covers the brush assembly and two end plates attached to the wrapper;

(2) A sweeper brush;

(3) An aerator or dethatcher weight tray, or similar component designed to allow weights of any sort to be added to the unit;

(4) A spreader hopper;

(5) A rotating spreader plate or agitator, or other component designed for distributing media in a lawn spreader;

(6) Dethatcher tines;

(7) Aerator spikes, plugs, or other aerating component; or

(8) A hitch, defined as a complete hitch assembly comprising of at least the following two major hitch components, tubing and a hitch plate regardless of the absence of minor components such as pin or fasteners. Individual hitch component parts, such as tubing, hitch plates, pins or fasteners are not covered by the scope.

The major components or parts of lawn groomers that are individually covered by this order under the term “certain parts thereof” are: (1) Brush housings, where the wrapper and end plates incorporating the brush assembly may be individual pieces or a single piece; and (2) weight trays, or similar components designed to allow weights of any sort to be added to a dethatcher or an aerator unit.

The scope of this order specifically excludes the following: (1) Agricultural implements designed to work (e.g., churn, burrow, till, etc.) soil, such as cultivators, harrows, and plows; (2) lawn or farm carts and wagons that do not groom lawns; (3) grooming products incorporating a motor or an engine for the purpose of operating and/or propelling the lawn groomer; (4) lawn groomers that are designed to be hand held or are designed to be attached directly to the frame of a vehicle, rather than towed; (5) “push” lawn grooming products that incorporate a push handle rather than a hitch, and which are designed solely to be manually operated; (6) dethatchers with a net assembled weight (i.e., without packing, additional weights, or accessories) of more than 100 pounds, or lawn groomers—sweepers, aerators, and spreaders—with a net fully-assembled weight (i.e., without packing, additional weights, or accessories) of more than 200 pounds; and (7) lawn rollers designed to flatten grass and turf, including lawn rollers which incorporate an aerator component (e.g., “drum-style” spike aerators).

The lawn groomers that are the subject of this order are currently classifiable in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) statistical reporting numbers 8432.40.0000, 8432.80.0000, 8432.80.0010, 8432.90.0030, 8432.90.0080, 8479.89.9896, 8479.89.9897, 8479.90.9496, and 9603.50.0000. These HTSUS provisions are given for reference and customs purposes only, and the description of merchandise is dispositive for determining the scope of the product included in this order.

Countervailing Duty Order

On July 27, 2009, the ITC notified the Department of its final determination, pursuant to section 705(b)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, that an industry in the United States is materially injured as a result of subsidized imports of lawn groomers from the PRC. As a result of the ITC's final determination, in accordance with section 706(a) of the Act, the Department will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, countervailing duties on all unliquidated entries of lawn groomers from the PRC entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after November 24, 2008, the date on which the Department published its preliminary affirmative countervailing duty determination in the Federal Register, and before March 24, 2009, the date on which the Department instructed CBP to discontinue the suspension of liquidation in accordance with section 703(d) of the Act. See Certain Tow-Behind Lawn Groomers and Certain Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Alignment of Final Countervailing Duty Determination With Final Antidumping Duty Determination, 73 FR 70971 (November 24, 2008). Section 703(d) of the Act states that the suspension of liquidation pursuant to a preliminary determination may not remain in effect for more than four months. Entries of lawn groomers made on or after March 24, 2009, and prior to the date of publication of the ITC's final determination in the Federal Register, are not liable for the assessment of Start Printed Page 38401countervailing duties, due to the Department's discontinuation, effective March 24, 2009, of the suspension of liquidation.

In accordance with section 706 of the Act, the Department will direct CBP to reinstitute the suspension of liquidation for lawn groomers from the PRC, effective the date of publication of the ITC's notice of final determination in the Federal Register, and to assess, upon further advice by the Department pursuant to section 706(a)(1) of the Act, countervailing duties for each entry of the subject merchandise in an amount based on the net countervailable subsidy rates for the subject merchandise, except for subject merchandise entered by Princeway Furniture (Dong Guan) Co., Ltd. and Princeway Limited, whose net subsidy rate is de minimis and, hence, is excluded from this order. This exclusion will apply only to subject merchandise both produced and exported by Princeway Furniture (Dong Guan) Co., Ltd. and Princeway Limited. On or after the date of publication of the ITC's final injury determination in the Federal Register, CBP must require,[1] at the same time as importers would normally deposit estimated duties on this merchandise, a cash deposit equal to the rates noted below:

Exporter/manufacturerNet subsidy rate (percent)
Princeway Furniture (Dong Guan) Co., Ltd. and Princeway Limitedaa 0.56
Jiashan Superpower Tools Co., Ltd.13.30
Maxchief Investments Ltd.264.98
Qingdao EA Huabang Instrument Co., Ltd.264.98
Qingdao Hundai Tools Co., Ltd.264.98
Qingdao Taifa Group Co., Ltd.264.98
World Factory, Inc.264.98
All Others13.30
aDe minimis.

This notice constitutes the countervailing duty order with respect to lawn groomers from the PRC pursuant to section 706(a) of the Act. Interested parties may contact the Department's Central Records Unit, Room 1117 of the main Commerce building, for copies of an updated list of countervailing duty orders currently in effect.

This countervailing duty order is issued and published in accordance with sections 705(c)(2), 706(a) and 777(i)(1) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.211.

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Dated: July 29, 2009.

Ronald K. Lorentzen,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.

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Footnotes

1.  With the exception of Princeway Furniture (Dong Guan) Co., and Princeway Limited whose net subsidy was de minimis, and, hence, is excluded from this order. This exclusion will apply only to subject merchandise both produced and exported by Princeway Furniture (Dong Guan) Co., Ltd. and Princeway Limited.

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[FR Doc. E9-18595 Filed 7-31-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P