On October 5, 2018, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published in the Federal Register a request for comments on a proposed information collection request [OMB Control No.: 0694-0141] relating to procedures for submitting rebuttals and surrebuttals requests for exclusions from and objections to the Section 232 national security adjustments of imports of steel and aluminum.

On September 11, 2018, BIS published a second interim final rule, Revisions to the Requirements for Submissions Requesting Exclusions from the Remedies Instituted in Presidential Proclamations Adjusting Imports of Steel into the United States and Adjusting Imports of Aluminum into the United States; and the filing of Objections to Submitted Exclusion Requests for Steel and Aluminum. This second interim final rule that was published by BIS, on behalf of the Secretary, made changes to the two supplements added in the March 19 rule: Supplement No. 1 to Part 705 – Requirements for Submissions Requesting Exclusions from the Remedies Instituted in Presidential Proclamation 9705 of March 8, 2018 Adjusting Imports of Steel Articles into the United States; and to Supplement No. 2 to Part 705 – Requirements for Submissions Requesting Exclusions from the Remedies Instituted in Presidential Proclamation 9704 of March 8, 2018 to Adjusting Imports of Aluminum into the United States.

The proposed collection of information gives US Companies the opportunity to submit rebuttals to objections received on posted exclusion requests and also allows US companies the opportunity to submit surrebuttals for objections they submitted that receive rebuttals under the Section 232 exclusion process.

Adding a rebuttal and surrebuttal process is an important step in further improving the exclusion request and objection process for requesting exclusions from the remedies instituted by the President. These voluntary rebuttals and surrebuttals will allow the US Government to better evaluate whether an exclusion request should be granted based on the information provided in an exclusion request and taking into account any objections to a submitted exclusion 3 request, rebuttals, and surrebuttals. Many commenters on the March 19 rule, referenced above, requested Commerce make this type of a change to ensure that the process was fair and Commerce had all of the relevant information when an objection to an exclusion request received a rebuttal or a surrebuttal was received.

Comments are due December 4, 2018.