[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 11 (Wednesday, January 16, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 3367-3370]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00833]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

International Trade Administration

19 CFR Part 351

[Docket No. 121231747-2747-01]
RIN 0625-AA94


Modification of Regulation Regarding the Extension of Time Limits

AGENCY: Import Administration, International Trade Administration, 
Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce (the Department) proposes to modify 
its regulation concerning the extension of time limits for submissions 
in antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) proceedings. The 
modification, if adopted, will clarify that parties may request an 
extension of time limits before any time limit established under this 
part expires. This modification will also clarify under which 
circumstances the Department will grant untimely- filed requests for 
the extension of time limits.

DATES: To be assured of consideration, comments must be received no 
later than March 18, 2013.

ADDRESSES: All comments must be submitted through the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket No. ITA-2012-
0006, unless the commenter does not have access to the Internet. 
Commenters who do not have access to the Internet may submit the 
original and two copies of each set of comments by mail or hand 
delivery/courier. All

[[Page 3368]]

comments should be addressed to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for 
Import Administration, Room 1870, Department of Commerce, 14th Street 
and Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20230. The comments should 
also be identified by Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) 0625-AA94.
    The Department will consider all comments received before the close 
of the comment period. The Department will not accept comments 
accompanied by a request that part or all of the material be treated 
confidentially because of its business proprietary nature or for any 
other reason. All comments responding to this notice will be a matter 
of public record and will be available for inspection at Import 
Administration's Central Records Unit (Room 7046 of the Herbert C. 
Hoover Building) and online at http://www.regulations.gov and on the 
Department's Web site at http://www.trade.gov/ia/.
    Any questions concerning file formatting, document conversion, 
access on the Internet, or other electronic filing issues should be 
addressed to Andrew Lee Beller, Import Administration Webmaster, at 
(202) 482-0866, email address: webmaster-support@ita.doc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joanna Theiss at (202) 482-5052.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Department proposes to modify 19 CFR 351.302, which provides 
for the extension of time limits for submissions in AD and CVD 
proceedings, and the return of untimely-filed or unsolicited material. 
Currently, 19 CFR 351.302(b) provides that, unless expressly precluded 
by statute, the Secretary may, for good cause, extend any time limit 
established by this part (i.e., Part 351, ``Antidumping and 
Countervailing Duties''). Section 351.302(c) provides that, before the 
applicable time limit specified under Sec.  351.301 expires, a party 
may request an extension pursuant to paragraph (b). Such a request must 
be in writing, filed in accordance with the relevant regulatory 
provision, and state the reasons for the request. The extension must be 
approved in writing. If the Secretary does not extend the time limit, 
section 351.302(d) sets forth the procedures for the rejection of 
untimely-filed or unsolicited material.
    The Department proposes modifying section 351.302(c) to provide 
additional certainty to parties participating in AD and CVD proceedings 
in two important areas. First, the proposed rule will clarify that 
parties may request an extension of any time limit established by this 
part, rather than limiting extension requests to submissions under 
section 351.301, because currently there is no provision in the 
Department's regulations permitting parties to request extensions of 
time limits for submissions other than for those established in section 
351.301. Thus, this modification makes explicit that parties may 
request extensions for any time limit established under Part 351. This 
modification is also consistent with paragraph (b), which provides that 
the Secretary may, for good cause, extend any time limit established 
under this part.
    Further, the Department proposes modifying section 351.302(c) to 
clarify and confirm the specific circumstances under which the 
Department will consider an untimely-filed extension request. The 
current regulation does not account for extension requests filed after 
the time limit; section 351.302(c) merely states that ``before the 
applicable time limit expires * * * a party may request an extension.'' 
The current regulation also does not address a situation in which a 
party files an extension request so close to the time limit that the 
Department does not have the opportunity to respond to the request 
before the time limit has expired. Untimely-filed extension requests 
often result in confusion among the parties, difficulties in the 
Department's organization of its work, and undue expenditure of 
Departmental resources in addressing such requests. This can impede the 
Department's ability to conduct AD and CVD proceedings in a timely and 
orderly manner.
    In the vast majority of situations, there should be no reason why a 
party cannot request an extension prior to the expiration of the 
applicable time limit, and with adequate opportunity for the Department 
to consider the request before the time limit expires. It is the 
Department's view that only in extraordinary circumstances would a 
party not be able to submit the extension request in a timely manner. 
Therefore, the Department proposes modifying 19 CFR 351.302(c) to 
specify that an untimely-filed extension request will not be considered 
unless the party demonstrates that extraordinary circumstances exist. 
Only if the Department determines that the party has demonstrated that 
extraordinary circumstances exist will the Department then consider 
whether the party has demonstrated that good cause exists for allowing 
an extension to the time limit pursuant to section 351.302(b).
    The Department considers that untimely-filed extension requests 
encompass those requests that come in after the applicable time limit 
expires, but the Department requests comment on whether the term 
``untimely'' should also include extension requests that are made very 
close to the applicable time limit. For example, an untimely-filed 
extension request could be defined as one that is received less than 48 
or 24 hours before the applicable time limit expires. The Department 
also requests comment on whether there should be a separate standard 
for extension requests for submissions which are due from multiple 
parties simultaneously, such as case and rebuttal briefs, pursuant to 
section 351.309. The Department requests comment on whether a separate 
standard would be useful, to avoid a circumstance in which, for 
instance, one party requests a last-minute extension to the time limit 
to file its case brief, with the result that it may review other 
parties' timely-filed briefs and thus obtain an advantage over the 
other parties.

Classification

Executive Order 12866

    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA)

    Pursuant to section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the 
Department has prepared the following IRFA to analyze the potential 
impact that this proposed rule, if adopted, would have on small 
entities.

Description of the Reasons Why Action Is Being Considered

    The policy reasons for issuing this proposed rule are discussed in 
the preamble of this document, and not repeated here.

Statement of the Objectives of, and Legal Basis for, the Proposed Rule; 
Identification of all Relevant Federal Rules Which May Duplicate, 
Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule is intended to alter the Import Administration's 
regulations for AD and CVD proceedings; specifically, to modify the 
regulation concerning the extension of time limits. The proposed rule 
would clarify that parties may request the extension of any time limit 
established under this part, as opposed to the current rule, which only 
addresses requests for the extension of time limits specified under 
section 351.301. Further, the proposed rule would establish a standard 
by which the

[[Page 3369]]

Department would consider untimely-filed extension requests because the 
current regulation only addresses extension requests that are filed 
before the applicable time limit for the submission expires.
    The legal basis for this rule is 5 U.S.C. 301; 19 U.S.C. 1202 note; 
19 U.S.C. 1303 note; 19 U.S.C. 1671 et seq.; and 19 U.S.C. 3538. No 
other Federal rules duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this proposed 
rule.

Number and Description of Small Entities Regulated by the Proposed 
Action

    The proposed rules will apply to any interested party, as defined 
in section 771(9) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, requesting 
extension of time limits for the submissions in AD and CVD proceedings. 
This could include any party participating in an AD or CVD proceeding, 
including exporters and producers of merchandise subject to AD and CVD 
proceedings and their affiliates, importers of such merchandise, 
domestic producers of like products, and foreign governments. However, 
it will only apply to those parties that request an extension of time 
limits.
    Exporters and producers of subject merchandise are rarely U.S. 
companies. Some exporters and producers of subject merchandise do have 
U.S. affiliates, some of which may be considered small entities under 
the appropriate Small Business Administration (SBA) small business size 
standard. The Department is not able to estimate the number of domestic 
affiliates of foreign producers or exporters that may be considered 
small entities, but anticipates, based on its experience in these 
proceedings, that the number will not be substantial.
    Importers may be U.S. or foreign companies, and some of these 
entities may be considered small entities under the appropriate SBA 
small business size standard. The Department does not anticipate that 
the proposed rule will impact a substantial number of small importers 
because importers of subject merchandise who are not also producers or 
exporters (or their affiliates) rarely submit material in the course of 
the Department's AD and CVD proceedings, and those that do tend to be 
larger entities.
    Some domestic producers of like products may be considered small 
entities under the appropriate SBA small business size standard. 
Although it is unable to estimate the number of producers that may be 
considered small entities, the Department does not anticipate that the 
number affected by the proposed rule will be substantial. Typically, 
domestic producers that bring a petition or participate actively in an 
AD or CVD proceeding account for a large amount of the domestic 
production within an industry, so it is unlikely that many of these 
domestic producers will be small entities.
    In sum, while recognizing that U.S. affiliates of foreign producers 
or exporters, importers, and domestic producers that submit material in 
AD and CVD proceedings will likely include some small entities, the 
Department, based on its experience with these proceedings and the 
participating parties, does not anticipate that the proposed rule would 
impact a substantial number of small entities.

Description of the Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other 
Compliance Requirements of the Proposed Rule

    The proposed rule will require a party submitting an untimely-filed 
extension request to demonstrate that extraordinary circumstances 
exist. This will not amount to a significant burden. Under normal 
circumstances, a party should be able to submit its extension request 
in a timely manner because an extension request is a straightforward 
and usually concise document, identifying only the material to be 
submitted, the current time limit, the requested extension of that time 
limit, and the reason for the extension request. In other words, there 
is no reason to submit extension requests in an untimely manner except 
under extraordinary circumstances. Thus, if a party files its extension 
request in an untimely manner, the extraordinary circumstances for 
submitting the extension request in an untimely manner will be readily 
available to the party making the untimely extension request.

Description of Any Significant Alternatives to the Proposed Rule That 
Accomplish the Stated Objectives of Applicable Statutes and That 
Minimize any Significant Economic Impact of the Proposed Rule on Small 
Entities

    As required by 5 U.S.C. 603(c), the Department's analysis 
considered significant alternatives. The alternatives which the 
Department considered include: (1) The preferred alternative of 
modifying the rule to establish that parties can request an extension 
of any time limit established under this part, and that an untimely-
filed extension request will not be considered unless the party 
demonstrates that extraordinary circumstances exist; (2) maintaining 
the current rule which does not address extension requests for time 
limits established in provisions other than 19 CFR 351.301 or untimely-
filed extension requests; (3) modifying the rule to establish that 
parties can request an extension of any time limit established under 
this part, and that untimely-filed extension request will not be 
considered unless the party demonstrates that good cause exists; and 
(4) modifying the rule to establish that parties can request an 
extension of any time limit established under this part, and that 
untimely-filed extension requests will not be considered.
    The Department does not anticipate that the first, preferred 
alternative will have a significant economic impact on small entities. 
First, a clarification that parties may request an extension of any 
time limit established under this part, as opposed to only time limits 
established by section 351.301, will avoid confusion as to under which 
provision a party may request an extension. Also, a standard under 
which untimely-filed extension requests will be considered is not 
provided under the current regulation, and so the inclusion of a 
standard will provide clarity to parties appearing before the 
Department. It does not change the type of material which may be 
submitted to the Department, nor does it limit a party's ability to 
request an extension to time limits.
    Under alternative two, the Department determined that maintaining 
the current rule and not addressing extension requests for time limits 
other than those established under section 351.301, and not including a 
standard concerning untimely-filed extension requests, will not serve 
the objective of the proposed rule. If the Department maintained the 
current rule, then there would be no standard under which the 
Department would consider untimely-filed extension requests. This would 
not provide certainty to parties participating in AD and CVD 
proceedings, and would not address the administrative issues which the 
Department has encountered. Thus, although this alternative was 
considered, it was not proposed.
    The Department also considered modifying the rule to clarify that a 
party may request an extension of any time limit established under this 
part and to establish that the Department will not consider an 
untimely-filed extension request unless the party demonstrates that 
good cause exists, described as alternative three. As discussed in the 
consideration of its preferred alternative, the clarification that an 
extension request may be of any time limit established by this part 
serves the objectives of the proposed rule because it makes clear that 
19 CFR 351.302(c) applies to extension requests for any

[[Page 3370]]

time limit established by this part. The Department next considered a 
``good cause'' standard for untimely-filed extension requests. As with 
the Department's preferred alternative, this alternative establishes a 
standard under which untimely-filed extension requests will be 
considered, which is missing from the current rule. The disadvantage to 
this alternative is that the ``good cause'' exists as the standard by 
which the Department considers timely-filed extension requests under 
the current rule. Therefore, a party would have no reason to submit its 
extension request in a timely manner, because the same standard would 
apply as if the extension request were filed in an untimely manner. 
This will not serve the objective of the proposed rule to avoid 
confusion, will perpetuate the current difficulties in the Department's 
organization of its work, and will perpetuate the undue expenditure of 
Departmental resources in addressing extension requests. Thus, it has 
not been proposed.
    The Department also considered modifying the rule to clarify that a 
party may request an extension of any time limit established under this 
part and to establish that the Department will not consider any 
untimely-filed extension requests, described as alternative four. As 
discussed in the consideration of its preferred alternative, the 
clarification that an extension request may be of any time limit 
established by this part serves the objectives of the proposed rule 
because it makes clear that 19 CFR 351.302(c) applies to extension 
requests for any time limit established by this part. This alternative 
would also eliminate the confusion and current difficulties of 
implementing the current rule by eliminating the source of these 
issues. However, the Department does recognize that extraordinary, 
extenuating circumstances can and do arise which may prevent a party 
from submitting a timely-filed extension request, and, therefore, it 
considers this alternative to be too inflexible to permit the 
Department to effectively and fairly administer the unfair trade 
statutes. Thus, it has not been proposed.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not require a collection of information for purposes 
of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980, as amended (44 U.S.C. 3501 et 
seq.).

List of Subjects in 19 CFR Part 351

    Administrative practice and procedure, Antidumping, Business and 
industry, Cheese, Confidential business information, Countervailing 
duties, Freedom of information, Investigations, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: January 9, 2013.
Paul Piquado,
Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.

    For the reasons stated, 19 CFR Part 351 is proposed to be amended 
as follows:

PART 351--ANTIDUMPING AND COUNTERVAILING DUTIES

0
1. The authority citation for 19 CFR part 351 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 19 U.S.C. 1202 note; 19 U.S.C. 1303 
note; 19 U.S.C. 1671 et seq.; and 19 U.S.C. 3538.

0
2. In Sec.  351.302, revise paragraph (c) as follows:


Sec.  351.302  Extension of time limits; return of untimely filed or 
unsolicited material.

* * * * *
    (c) Requests for extension of specific time limit.
    Before the applicable time limit established under this part 
expires, a party may request an extension pursuant to paragraph (b) of 
this section. An untimely filed extension request will not be 
considered unless the party demonstrates that extraordinary 
circumstances exist. The request must be in writing, filed consistent 
with Sec.  351.303, and state the reasons for the request. An extension 
granted to a party must be approved in writing.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2013-00833 Filed 1-15-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P