On Sept. 12, 2011 the Department of Commerce (DOC) released a notice announcing that it will revoke the antidumping duty orders on ball bearings and parts thereof from France, Germany and Italy, effective Sept. 15, 2011. Once the revocation takes effect, antidumping duty deposits will no longer be required on entries of ball bearings from these countries. As a result, for the first time in more than 20 years, there are currently no antidumping duty deposits required for any imported ball bearings.

Results of the Third Sunset Review

As long as an antidumping duty order remains in effect, the DOC and the International Trade Commission (ITC) conduct a “sunset” review of the order once every five years. On Aug. 1, 2011, the DOC and the ITC initiated the third sunset review of the orders on ball bearings from France, Germany and Italy. The DOC and ITC did not initiate a third sunset review of the orders on ball bearings from Japan and the United Kingdom because the orders against those two countries have already been revoked as a result of litigation arising from the second sunset review.

As a first step in the sunset review process, domestic producers were required to file a letter with the DOC by Aug. 16, 2011, stating whether they intend to participate in the sunset review. According to the DOC, no domestic producer filed the required letter by the applicable deadline. As a result, the DOC has determined that it will revoke the orders effective Sept. 15, 2011.

Because the effective date is in the future, the DOC will continue to collect cash deposits and suspend liquidation on entries entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption before the Sept. 15, 2011 effective date. The DOC will also continue with the pending administrative reviews covering the May 1, 2009-April 30, 2010, and May 1, 2010-April 30, 2011, periods. Finally, the DOC will conduct an administrative review for entries made during the period of May 1, 2011 through Sept. 14, 2011, if requested by an interested party.

What Does It Mean?

The primary impact of the revocation is the elimination of antidumping duties on bearings from France, Germany and Italy. At this point, however, the domestic producers have not revealed why they chose not participate in the third sunset review. Although we see several possible interpretations for this latest development, it is unclear what effect this may have on future actions by the domestic industry. Drinker Biddle will continue to closely monitor these developments and advise of any future events that may impact ball bearing importations.