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Notice

Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China: Clarification of the Scope of the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Commerce.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Commerce (the Department) has issued numerous scope determinations finding that wood flooring products consisting of only two layers are outside the scope of the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on multilayered wood flooring (MLWF) from the People's Republic of China (PRC). The products subject to these rulings typically (but not exclusively) consist of a single wood veneer layer, or ply, in combination with a base layer of various constructions and materials. Due to the large number of scope ruling requests concerning the aforementioned two-layer MLWF products since the imposition of the Orders, the Department finds it necessary to clarify the scope of the orders. Interested parties are invited to comment on this scope clarification.

DATES:

Effective April 19, 2017.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jesus Saenz or Michael Bowen, AD/CVD Operations, Office VIII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: 202-482-8184 or 202-482-0768, respectively.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The regulations governing the Department's scope determinations are found at 19 CFR 351.225. In past scope determinations,[1] in accordance with 19 CFR 351.225(k)(1), the Department has relied on the description of the merchandise contained in the petitions, the initial investigations, prior scope determinations, and rulings by the ITC to determine that two-layer MLWF products are outside the scope of the Orders.[2]

Scope of the Orders

Multilayered wood flooring is composed of an assembly of two or more layers or plies of wood veneer(s) in combination with a core. The several layers, along with the core, are glued or otherwise bonded together to form a final assembled product. Multilayered wood flooring is often referred to by other terms, e.g., “engineered wood flooring” or “plywood flooring.” Regardless of the particular terminology, all products that meet the description set forth herein are intended for inclusion within the definition of subject merchandise.

All multilayered wood flooring is included within the definition of subject merchandise, without regard to: Dimension (overall thickness, thickness of face ply, thickness of back ply, thickness of core, and thickness of inner plies; width; and length); wood species used for the face, back and inner veneers; core composition; and face grade. Multilayered wood flooring included within the definition of subject merchandise may be unfinished (i.e., without a finally finished surface to protect the face veneer from wear and tear) or “prefinished” (i.e., a coating applied to the face veneer, including, but not exclusively, oil or oil-modified or water-based polyurethanes, ultra-violet light cured polyurethanes, wax, epoxy-ester finishes, moisture-cured urethanes and acid-curing formaldehyde finishes). The veneers may be also soaked in an acrylic-impregnated finish. All multilayered wood flooring is included within the definition of subject merchandise regardless of whether the face (or back) of the product is smooth, wire brushed, distressed by any method or multiple methods, or hand-scraped. In addition, all multilayered wood flooring is included within the definition of subject merchandise regardless of whether or not it is manufactured with any interlocking or connecting mechanism (for example, tongue-and-groove construction or locking joints). All multilayered wood flooring is included within the definition of the subject merchandise regardless of whether the product meets a particular industry or similar standard.

The core of multilayered wood flooring may be composed of a range of materials, including but not limited to hardwood or softwood veneer, particleboard, medium-density fiberboard, high-density fiberboard (“HDF”), stone and/or plastic composite, or strips of lumber placed edge-to-edge.

Multilayered wood flooring products generally, but not exclusively, may be in the form of a strip, plank, or other geometrical patterns (e.g., circular, hexagonal). All multilayered wood flooring products are included within this definition regardless of the actual or nominal dimensions or form of the product. Specifically excluded from the scope are cork flooring and bamboo flooring, regardless of whether any of the sub-surface layers of either flooring are made from wood. Also excluded is laminate flooring. Laminate flooring consists of a top wear layer sheet not made of wood, a decorative paper layer, a core-layer of HDF, and a stabilizing bottom layer.

Imports of the subject merchandise are provided for under the following subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”): 4412.31.0520; 4412.31.0540; 4412.31.0560; 4412.31.0620; 4412.31.0640; 4412.31.0660; 4412.31.2510; 4412.31.2520; 4412.31.2610; 4412.31.2620; 4412.31.3175; 4412.31.4040; 4412.31.4050; 4412.31.4060; 4412.31.4070; 4412.31.4075; 4412.31.4080; 4412.31.4140; 4412.31.4160; 4412.31.4175; 4412.31.5125; 4412.31.5135; 4412.31.5155; 4412.31.5165; 4412.31.5175; 4412.31.5225; 4412.31.6000; 4412.31.9100; 4412.32.0520; 4412.32.0540; 4412.32.0560; Start Printed Page 184214412.32.0565; 4412.32.0570; 4412.32.0640; 4412.32.0665; 4412.32.2510; 4412.32.2520; 4412.32.2525; 4412.32.2530; 4412.32.2610; 4412.32.2625; 4412.32.3125; 4412.32.3135; 4412.32.3155; 4412.32.3165; 4412.32.3175; 4412.32.3185; 4412.32.3225; 4412.32.5600; 4412.32.5700; 4412.39.1000; 4412.39.3000; 4412.39.4011; 4412.39.4012; 4412.39.4019; 4412.39.4031; 4412.39.4032; 4412.39.4039; 4412.39.4051; 4412.39.4052; 4412.39.4059; 4412.39.4061; 4412.39.4062; 4412.39.4069; 4412.39.5010; 4412.39.5030; 4412.39.5050; 4412.94.1030; 4412.94.1050; 4412.94.3105; 4412.94.3111; 4412.94.3121; 4412.94.3131; 4412.94.3141; 4412.94.3160; 4412.94.3171; 4412.94.4100; 4412.94.5100; 4412.94.6000; 4412.94.7000; 4412.94.8000; 4412.94.9000; 4412.94.9500; 4412.99.0600; 4412.99.1020; 4412.99.1030; 4412.99.1040; 4412.99.3110; 4412.99.3120; 4412.99.3130; 4412.99.3140; 4412.99.3150; 4412.99.3160; 4412.99.3170; 4412.99.4100; 4412.99.5100; 4412.99.5105; 4412.99.5115; 4412.99.5710; 4412.99.6000; 4412.99.7000; 4412.99.8000; 4412.99.9000; 4412.99.9500; 4418.71.2000; 4418.71.9000; 4418.72.2000; 4418.72.9500; 4418.74.2000; 4418.74.9000; 4418.75.4000; 4418.75.7000; 4418.79.0100; and 9801.00.2500.

While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the subject merchandise is dispositive.

Clarification of the Scope of the Orders

The Department intends to clarify the scope language by specifying that MLWF products covered by the scope of the Orders are products composed of a minimum of three layers. We intend to revise the first paragraph of the scope of the order as follows:

Multilayered wood flooring is composed of an assembly of two or more layers or plies of wood veneer(s) [3] in combination with a core (i.e. a minimum of three layers). The several layers, along with the core, are glued or otherwise bonded together to form a final assembled product. Multilayered wood flooring is often referred to by other terms, e.g., “engineered wood flooring” or “plywood flooring.” Regardless of the particular terminology, all products that meet the description set forth herein are intended for inclusion within the definition of subject merchandise.

We intend to notify U.S. Customs and Border Protection of this scope clarification.

Submission of Comments

Interested parties wishing to comment on this scope clarification should file comments within ten days of the publication date of this notice. All submissions must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by 5 p.m., Eastern Time on the date comments due. Further, in accordance with 19 CFR 51.303(f)(1)(i),[4] a copy must be served on every party on the Department's scope service list by personal service or first class mail. All comments responding to this notice will be a matter of public record and will be available on ACCESS.

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Dated: April 14, 2017.

Gary Taverman,

Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for AD/CVD Operations.

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Footnotes

1.  See e.g., Department Memorandum, “Final Scope Ruling on the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders on Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China: Request by Dunhua Shengda Wood Industry Co., Ltd. dated December 14, 2016 and Department Memorandum, “Final Scope Ruling on the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders on Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China: Request by Alston, Inc.” dated March 12, 2013.

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2.  See Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Antidumping Duty Order, 76 FR 76690 (December 8, 2011) and Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Order, 76 FR 76693 (December 8, 2011), as amended, Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China: Amended Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders, 77 FR 5484 (February 3, 2012) (collectively, Orders).

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3.  A “veneer” is a thin slice of wood, rotary cut, sliced or sawed from a log, bolt or flitch. Veneer is referred to as a ply when assembled.

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4.  See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

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[FR Doc. 2017-07910 Filed 4-18-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P