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US clamp down on duty-busting refrigerant imports from India

Customs authorities are to clamp down on imports to the USA of HFC refrigerants from India that are said to be circumventing existing antidumping duties on imports from China.

The US Department of Commerce has announced an affirmative preliminary antidumping duty circumvention ruling involving exports of the refrigerant blends R404A, R407A, R407C, R410A, R507A from China that are processed in India using both Chinese and Indian components, and then exported to the United States. This action circumvents the antidumping order imposed in 2016 on imports of HFC blends from China.

The Department of Commerce also announced an affirmative preliminary antidumping duty circumvention ruling involving exports of R32, R125, R143a from China for further processing into blends in the United States.

US Customs and Border Protection has been instructed to suspend liquidation and to require a cash deposit of estimated duties on unliquidated entries of HFC blends from India which contain components from China, and on unliquidated entries of HFC components R32, R125, and R143a from China.

This means that duty payments may be back-dated to recent shipments. Duties paid at the time of entry into the US are referred to as “deposits” because they are not considered customs’ final assessment of duties owed. Generally, the shipment remains “unliquidated” for a period of 314 days after the date of entry.

The applicable cash deposit rate for HFC blends from India blended with Chinese HFC components will be 216.37%. For HFC components from China, the Department of Commerce says it will instruct customs to collect cash deposits in accordance with those rates prevailing at the time of entry, depending upon the exporter in question. These rates will apply to any future imports and unliquidated entries since June 18, 2019, the date which the Department go Commerce first initiated circumvention inquiries.

These inquiries were initiated in response to allegations of circumvention made last year by the American HFC Coalition, a group thought to have been formed around 2015 and made up of leading US refrigerant suppliers and other interested parties.

Anti-dumping duties were imposed in 2016 on the HFC refrigerant blends R404A, R407A, R407C, R410A, and R507A from China, but not on their individual components. The American HFC Coalition alleged that since 2016, importers had begun blending Chinese HFC components, including R125, R32, R134a and R143a, in third countries and in the United States. It claimed that importers had also begun importing blends that do not meet ASHRAE specifications and completing those blends in the United States by adding small amounts of HFC components to bring the blends into specification. Cooling Post

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