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Notice

Certain Metal Lockers and Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Amended Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

SUMMARY:

On December 14, 2020, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) published in the Federal Register the preliminary determination of the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of certain metal lockers and parts thereof (metal lockers) from the People's Republic of China (China). Commerce is amending the scope of the preliminary determination.

DATES:

Applicable March 4, 2021.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Alex Cipolla, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4956.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On December 14, 2020, Commerce published in the Federal Register the preliminary determination in the CVD investigation of metal lockers from China.[1] On February 2, 2021, Commerce placed on the record of this investigation a preliminary decision memorandum addressing all comments received in this proceeding and the companion antidumping proceeding regarding the scope of the investigations.[2] In accordance with the comments discussed in the memorandum, we made certain changes to the scope of these investigations. The changes include certain exclusions and clarifications of the scope language. The revised scope is printed in its entirety below.

Scope of the Investigation

The scope of this investigation covers certain metal lockers, with or without doors, and parts thereof (metal lockers). The subject metal lockers are secure metal storage devices less than 27 inches wide and less than 27 inches deep, whether floor standing, installed onto a base or wall-mounted. In a multiple locker assembly (whether a welded locker unit, otherwise assembled locker unit or knocked down unit or kit), the width measurement shall be based on the width of an individual locker not the overall unit dimensions. All measurements in this scope are based on actual measurements taken on the outside dimensions of the single-locker unit. The height is the vertical measurement from the bottom to the top of the unit. The width is the horizontal (side to side) measurement of the front of the unit, and the front of the unit is the face with the door or doors or the opening for internal access of the unit if configured without a door. The depth is the measurement from the front to the back of the unit. The subject certain metal lockers typically include the bodies (back, side, shelf, top and bottom panels), door frames with or without doors which can be integrated into the sides or made separately, and doors.

The subject metal lockers typically are made of flat-rolled metal, metal mesh and/or expanded metal, which includes but is not limited to alloy or non-alloy steel (whether or not galvanized or otherwise metallically coated for corrosion resistance), stainless steel, or aluminum, but the doors may also include transparent polycarbonate, Plexiglas or similar transparent material or any combination thereof. Metal mesh refers to both wire mesh and expanded metal mesh. Wire mesh is a wire product in which the horizontal and transverse wires are welded at the cross-section in a grid pattern. Expanded metal mesh is made by slitting and stretching metal sheets to make a screen of diamond or other shaped openings.

Where the product has doors, the doors are typically configured with or for a handle or other device or other means that permit the use of a mechanical or electronic lock or locking mechanism, including, but not limited to: a combination lock, a padlock, a key lock (including cylinder locks) lever or knob lock, electronic key pad, or other electronic or wireless lock. The handle and locking mechanism, if included, need not be integrated into one another. The subject locker may or may not also enter with the lock or locking device included or installed. The doors or body panels may also include vents (including wire mesh or expanded metal mesh vents) or perforations. The bodies, body components and doors are typically powder coated, otherwise painted or epoxy coated or may be unpainted. The subject merchandise includes metal lockers imported either as welded or otherwise assembled units (ready for installation or use) or as knocked down units or kits (requiring assembly prior to installation or use).

The subject lockers may be shipped as individual or multiple locker units preassembled, welded, or combined into banks or tiers for ease of installation or as sets of component parts, bulk packed (i.e., all backs in one package, crate, rack, carton or container and sides in another package, crate, rack, carton or container) or any combination thereof. The knocked down lockers are shipped unassembled requiring a supplier, contractor or end-user to assemble the individual lockers and locker banks prior to installation.

The scope also includes all parts and components of lockers made from flat-rolled metal or expanded metal (e.g., doors, frames, shelves, tops, bottoms, backs, side panels, etc.) as well as accessories that are attached to the lockers when installed (including, but not limited to, slope tops, bases, expansion filler panels, dividers, recess trim, decorative end panels, and end caps) that may be imported together with lockers or other locker components or on their own. The particular accessories listed for illustrative purposes are defined as follows:

a. Slope tops: Slope tops are slanted metal panels or units that fit on the tops of the lockers and that slope from back to front to prevent the accumulation of dust and debris on top of the locker and to discourage the use of the tops of lockers as storage areas. Slope tops come in various configurations including, but not limited to, unit slope tops (in place of flat tops), slope hoods made of a back, top and end pieces which fit over multiple units and convert flat tops to a sloping tops, and slope top kits that convert flat tops to sloping tops and include tops, backs and ends.

b. Bases: Locker bases are panels made from flat-rolled metal that either conceal the legs of the locker unit, or for lockers without legs, provide a toe space in the front of the locker and conceal the flanges for floor anchoring.

c. Expansion filler panel: Expansion filler panels or fillers are metal panels that attach to locker units to cover columns, pipes or other obstacles in a row of lockers or fill in gaps between the locker and the wall. Fillers may also include metal panels that are used on the sides or the top of the lockers to fill gaps.

d. Dividers: Dividers are metal panels that divide the space within a locker unit into different storage areas.

e. Recess trim: Recess trim is a narrow metal trim that bridges the gap between lockers and walls or soffits when lockers are recessed into a wall.

f. Decorative end panels: End panels fit onto the exposed ends of locker units to cover holes, bolts, nuts, screws and other fasteners. They typically are painted to match the lockers.

g. End caps: End caps fit onto the exposed ends of locker units to cover holes, bolts, nuts, screws and other fasteners.

The scope also includes all hardware for assembly and installation of the lockers and locker banks that are imported with or shipped, invoiced, or sold with the imported locker or locker system except the lock.

Excluded from the scope are wire mesh lockers. Wire mesh lockers are Start Printed Page 12613those with each of the following characteristics:

(1) At least three sides, including the door, made from wire mesh;

(2) the width and depth each exceed 25 inches; and

(3) the height exceeds 90 inches.

Also excluded are lockers with bodies made entirely of plastic, wood, or any nonmetallic material.

Also excluded are exchange lockers with multiple individual locking doors mounted on one master locking door to access multiple units. Excluded exchange lockers have multiple individual storage spaces, typically arranged in tiers, with access doors for each of the multiple individual storage space mounted on a single frame that can be swung open to allow access to all of the individual storage spaces at once. For example, uniform or garment exchange lockers are designed for the distinct function of securely and hygienically exchanging clean and soiled uniforms. Thus, excluded exchange lockers are a multi-access point locker whereas covered lockers are a single access point locker for personal storage. The excluded exchange lockers include assembled exchange lockers and those that enter in `knock down' form in which all of the parts and components to assemble a completed exchange locker unit are packaged together. Parts for exchange lockers that are imported separately from the exchange lockers in `knock down' form are not excluded.

Also excluded are metal lockers that are imported with an installed electronic, internet-enabled locking device that permits communication or connection between the locker's locking device and other internet connected devices.

Also excluded are locks and hardware and accessories for assembly and installation of the lockers, locker banks and storage systems that are separately imported in bulk and are not incorporated into a locker, locker system or knocked down kit at the time of importation. Such excluded hardware and accessories include but are not limited to locks and bulk imported rivets, nuts, bolts, hinges, door handles, door/frame latching components, and coat hooks. Accessories of sheet metal, including but not limited to end panels, bases, dividers and sloping tops, are not excluded accessories.

Mobile tool chest attachments that meet the physical description above are covered by the scope of this investigation, unless such attachments are covered by the scope of the orders on certain tool chests and cabinets from China. If the orders on certain tool chests and cabinets from China are revoked, the mobile tool chest attachments from China will be covered by the scope of this investigation.

The scope also excludes metal safes with each of the following characteristics: (1) Pry resistant, concealed hinges; (2) body walls and doors of steel that are at least 17 gauge (0.05625 inch or 1.42874 mm thick); and (3) an integrated locking mechanism that includes at least two round steel bolts 0.75 inch (19 mm) or larger in diameter; or three bolts 0.70 inch (17.78 mm) or more in diameter; or four or more bolts at least 0.60 inch (15.24 mm) or more in diameter, that project from the door into the body or frame of the safe when in the locked position.

The scope also excludes gun safes meeting each of the following requirements:

(1) Shall be able to fully contain firearms and provide for their secure storage.

(2) Shall have a locking system consisting of at minimum a mechanical or electronic combination lock. The mechanical or electronic combination lock utilized by the safe shall have at least 10,000 possible combinations consisting of a minimum three numbers, letters, or symbols. The lock shall be protected by a casehardened (Rc 60+) drill-resistant steel plate, or drill-resistant material of equivalent strength.

(3) Boltwork shall consist of a minimum of three steel locking bolts of at least 1/2 inch thickness that intrude from the door of the safe into the body of the safe or from the body of the safe into the door of the safe, which are operated by a separate handle and secured by the lock.

(4) The exterior walls shall be constructed of a minimum 12-gauge thick steel for a single-walled safe, or the sum of the steel walls shall add up to at least 0.100 inches for safes with walls made from two pieces of flat-rolled steel.

(5) Doors shall be constructed of a minimum one layer of 7-gauge steel plate reinforced construction or at least two layers of a minimum 12-gauge steel compound construction.

(6) Door hinges shall be protected to prevent the removal of the door. Protective features include, but are not limited to: Hinges not exposed to the outside, interlocking door designs, dead bars, jeweler's lugs and active or inactive locking bolts.

The scope also excludes metal storage devices that (1) have two or more exterior exposed drawers regardless of the height of the unit, or (2) are no more than 30 inches tall and have at least one exterior exposed drawer.

Also excluded from the scope are free standing metal cabinets less than 30 inches tall with a single opening, single door and an installed tabletop.

The scope also excludes metal storage devices less than 27 inches wide and deep that (1) have two doors hinged on the right and left side of the door frame respectively covering a single opening and that open from the middle toward the outer frame; or (2) are free standing or wall-mounted, single-opening units 20 inches or less high with a single door.

The subject certain metal lockers are classified under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheading 9403.20.0078. Parts of subject certain metal lockers are classified under HTS subheading 9403.90.8041. In addition, subject certain metal lockers may also enter under HTS subheading 9403.20.0050. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and Customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this investigation is dispositive.

Suspension of Liquidation

Pursuant to the Preliminary CVD Determination, Commerce previously suspended liquidation of metal lockers from China entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after December 14, 2020 (the publication of the Preliminary CVD Determination in the Federal Register). Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend liquidation of subject merchandise as defined by the revised scope language included above, entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication of this notice in the Federal Register , and to continue to require a cash deposit, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.205(d).

Liquidation of Suspended Entries

As a result of Commerce's amended preliminary determination, certain products are now excluded from the scope of the investigation. For suspended entries of excluded products, that were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after December 14, 2020 (the date on which suspension of liquidation first began), we will instruct CBP to discontinue the suspension of liquidation and liquidate such entries without regard to countervailing duties (i.e., refund all cash deposits).

Public Comment

Commerce has set a separate deadline for scope comments for both the Start Printed Page 12614antidumping and CVD proceedings.[3] The current deadline for case briefs regarding scope issues is March 15, 2021,[4] and the current deadline for rebuttal briefs regarding scope issues is March 22, 2021. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2), parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this investigation are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.

International Trade Commission Notification

In accordance with section 703(f) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), Commerce will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of its amended preliminary determination. If Commerce's final determination is affirmative, the ITC will make its final determination before the later of 120 days after the date of this preliminary determination or 45 days after Commerce's final determination.

Notification to Interested Parties

This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 703(f) and 777(i) of the Act.

Start Signature

Dated: February 26, 2021.

Christian Marsh,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

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Footnotes

1.  See Certain Metal Lockers and Parts Thereof from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, and Alignment of Final Determination with Final Antidumping Duty Determination, 85 FR 80771 (December 14, 2020) (Preliminary CVD Determination).

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2.  See Memorandum, “Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Investigations of Certain Metal Lockers and Parts Thereof from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Scope Decision Memorandum,” dated February 2, 2021 (Prelim Scope Memo).

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3.  See Prelim Scope Memo at 6.

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4.  The actual deadline falls on March 13, 2021, which is a Saturday. Commerce's practice dictates that where a deadline falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the appropriate deadline is the next business day. See Notice of Clarification: Application of “Next Business Day” Rule for Administrative Determination Deadlines Pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930, as Amended, 70 FR 24533 (May 10, 2005).

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[FR Doc. 2021-04481 Filed 3-3-21; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P