[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 183 (Friday, September 20, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 57790-57796]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-22853]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

International Trade Administration

19 CFR Part 351

[Docket No. 121231747-3659-01]
RIN 0625-AA94


Extension of Time Limits

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce (the Department) is modifying its 
regulation concerning the extension of time limits for submissions in 
antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) proceedings. The 
modification clarifies that parties may request an extension of time 
limits before any time limit established under Part 351 expires. This 
modification also requires that an extension request must be made in a 
separate, stand-alone submission, and clarifies the circumstances under 
which the Department will grant untimely-filed requests for the 
extension of time limits.

DATES: Effective date: October 21, 2013. Applicability date: This rule 
will apply to all segments initiated on or after October 21, 2013.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    On January 16, 2013, the Department published a proposed 
modification of its regulation at 19 CFR 351.302, which concerns the 
extension of time limits for submissions in AD and CVD proceedings. See 
Modification of Regulation Regarding the Extension of Time Limits, 78 
FR 3367 (January 16, 2013) (Proposed Rule). The Department

[[Page 57791]]

received several comments on the Proposed Rule and has addressed those 
comments below. The Proposed Rule, comments received, and this final 
rule can be accessed using the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.Regulations.gov under Docket Number ITA-2012-0006. After analyzing 
and carefully considering all of the comments that the Department 
received in response to the Proposed Rule, the Department has adopted 
the modification with certain changes, and is amending its regulations 
accordingly.

Explanation of Regulatory Provision and Final Modification

    Prior to this modification, 19 CFR 351.302(c) provided that a party 
may request an extension before the applicable time limit specified 
under section 351.301 expires. The prior rule provides that a request 
for an extension must be in writing, filed in accordance with the 
relevant regulatory provision, and state the reasons for the request. 
If the Secretary does not exercise his discretion to extend the time 
limit, which must be approved in writing, section 351.302(d) sets forth 
the procedures for the rejection of untimely-filed or unsolicited 
material.
    The Department is modifying section 351.302(c) to provide 
additional certainty to parties participating in AD and CVD proceedings 
in two important areas. First, the final rule will clarify that parties 
may request an extension of any time limit established by Part 351, 
rather than limiting extension requests to time limits for submissions 
established under section 351.301. Prior to this modification, the 
Department's regulations did not permit 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 section 351.302(b), which 
provides that the Secretary may, for good cause, extend any time limit 
established under this part.
    Further, the Department is modifying section 351.302(c) to clarify 
and confirm the specific circumstances under which the Department will 
consider untimely-filed extension requests. Prior to this modification, 
the regulation did not account for extension requests filed after the 
time limit; section 351.302(c) merely stated that ``before the 
applicable time limit expires . . . a party may request an extension.'' 
In the vast majority of situations, parties should be able to request 
an extension early enough to provide an adequate opportunity for the 
Department to consider the request before the time limit expires. The 
Department is therefore 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 of the time limit pursuant to section 351.302(b).
    Prior to the modification, the Department frequently encountered 
the situation in which a party filed an extension request so close to 
the time limit that the Department did not have the opportunity to 
respond to the request before the time limit expires. These last-minute 
extension requests often resulted in confusion among the parties, 
difficulties in the Department's organization of its work, and undue 
expenditures of Departmental resources, which impeded the Department's 
ability to conduct AD and CVD proceedings in a timely and orderly 
manner. After consideration of the comments, and as discussed below, 
the Department considers that an extension request is untimely if it is 
filed after the applicable time limit expires. The Department has also 
determined that there will be a separate standard for requests for the 
extension of time limits for submissions that are due from multiple 
parties simultaneously, such as case and rebuttal briefs, pursuant to 
section 351.309. The Department finds that this separate standard is 
useful to avoid a circumstance in which, for instance, one party 
requests a last-minute extension of 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. Thus, the 
Department is modifying 19 CFR 351.302(c) to specify that an extension 
request will be considered untimely if it is received after the 
applicable time limit expires or as otherwise specified by the 
Secretary. These modifications will diminish the cumulative impact of 
last-minute extension requests on the parties and the Department.

Response to Comments on the Proposed Rule

    The Department received five comments on its Proposed Rule. Below 
is a summary of the comments, grouped by issue category, followed by 
the Department's response.

1. Extension Requests for All Time Limits Established by Part 351

    All commenters support modifying 19 CFR 351.302(c) to clarify that 
parties may request an extension of any time limit established by Part 
351 (``Antidumping and Countervailing Duties''), rather than limiting 
extension requests to submissions under section 351.301 as in the prior 
rule. One commenter noted that this modification codifies existing 
practice.
    Response: The Department agrees. The final rule specifies that 
parties may request an extension of any time limit established by Part 
351.

2. Untimely Extension Requests in General

    In the Proposed Rule, the Department requested comment on whether 
the term ``untimely'' should 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. One commenter 
suggests that the term ``untimely'' includes any request that is filed 
less than 24 hours before the applicable time limit expires. Another 
commenter suggests that the term ``untimely'' includes any time limit 
that is filed less than 48 hours before the applicable time limit 
expires. Another commenter argues that a time limit, after which time 
the extension request is untimely, can be arbitrary, given the 
variances in the amount of time the Department sets for submissions and 
the types of submissions. For example, a specific cut-off point for 
requesting extensions may be unreasonable for a submission that has a 
three-day time limit. Citing such concerns, several commenters argue 
that the term ``untimely'' should be defined as an extension request 
which is received after the applicable time limit expires. One 
commenter alleges that the Department warns parties not to file 
extension requests ``too early.''
    Response: A standard that defines ``untimely'' as 24 or 48 hours 
before the time limit expires could be unreasonable or difficult to 
administer because of submissions with short time limits and the effect 
of intervening weekends or holidays on the 24- or 48-hour time period. 
Therefore, we have determined that the term ``untimely'' in the final 
rule is defined as an extension request that is received after the 
applicable time limit expires. This standard will apply to submissions 
that are not due from multiple parties simultaneously or, if the same 
time limit

[[Page 57792]]

applies to multiple parties, there is no advantage to be obtained in 
being able to review other parties' submissions before the party files 
its own submission. Examples include questionnaire responses, 
supplemental questionnaire responses, and separate rate certifications 
and applications.
    Concerning when the time limit expires, if a submission is due on 
Monday, December 2, 2013, for example, the submission must be received 
by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on that date.\1\ If a party requests an 
extension of that time limit, the party's extension request must be 
received before 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 2, 2013, or it will be 
considered untimely. On the other hand, if the Department specifies 
that a submission is due on Monday, December 2, 2013, at 12:00 noon, 
the party's extension request must be received before 12:00 noon on 
Monday, December 2, 2013, or it will be considered untimely.
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    \1\ See 19 CFR 351.303(b).
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    Parties should be aware that the likelihood of the Department 
granting an extension will decrease the closer the extension request is 
filed to the applicable time limit because the Department must have 
time to consider the extension request and decide on its disposition. 
Parties should not assume that they will receive an extension of a time 
limit if they have not received a response from the Department. For 
submissions that are due at 5:00 p.m., if the Department is not able to 
notify the party requesting the extension of the disposition of the 
request by 5:00 p.m., then the submission would be due by the opening 
of business (8:30 a.m.) on the next work day. See 19 CFR 351.103(b).
    The Department intends to adhere strictly to 19 CFR 351.302(c), 
which provides that the Department must approve extension requests in 
writing. However, for requests that are filed very close to the time 
limit, the Department may issue a verbal response to a party's 
extension request before the applicable time limit expires and issue a 
written response as soon as practicable. Concerning one commenter's 
anecdote that Department officials have warned against filing extension 
requests ``too early,'' the Department notes that the earlier an 
extension request is filed, the more likely the Department may consider 
the extension request, decide on its disposition, and inform the 
requesting party of its decision before the time limit expires. This 
will provide certainty and reduce confusion for the parties.

3. Untimely Extension Requests for Submissions That Are Due From 
Multiple Parties Simultaneously

    In the Proposed Rule, the Department also requested comment on 
whether there should be a separate standard for extension requests for 
submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, such as 
case and rebuttal briefs, pursuant to section 351.309. The commenter 
that suggested that extension requests should be filed 48 hours before 
the applicable time limit expires to be considered timely also suggests 
that, for submissions that are due from multiple parties 
simultaneously, the extension requests should be filed 48 hours before 
the applicable time limit expires to be considered timely. One 
commenter suggests that a requirement that extension requests be filed 
48 hours before the time limit expires would be difficult for rebuttal 
briefs, which often have a five-day time limit. Another commenter 
argued that extension requests for case and rebuttal briefs may be 
considered untimely if they are filed less than 48 hours before the 
applicable time limit expires because these time limits are set well in 
advance of the deadlines.
    Response: As with the second issue, above, the commenters have 
identified reasonable concerns with the Department's establishment of a 
time limit for the extension request which precedes the scheduled time 
limit for the submission. We understand these concerns, but find that a 
separate, earlier time limit for extension requests for submissions 
that are due from multiple parties simultaneously is appropriate to 
avoid situations in which one party requests a last-minute extension of 
the time limit to file its case brief, for instance, with the result 
that it may review other parties' timely-filed briefs and thus obtain 
an advantage over the other parties. Although the Department used case 
and rebuttal briefs as examples of the types of submissions that would 
be subject to this standard in the Proposed Rule, this standard will 
apply to submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously 
where one party may obtain an advantage by reviewing other parties' 
submissions before the party files its own submission. Examples 
include: (1) Case and rebuttal briefs, filed pursuant to 19 CFR 
351.309; (2) factual information to value factors under section 
351.408(c), or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under section 
351.511(a)(2), filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3) and rebuttal, 
clarification and correction filed pursuant to 19 CFR 
351.301(c)(3)(iv); (3) comments concerning the selection of a surrogate 
country and surrogate values and rebuttal; (4) comments concerning U.S. 
Customs and Border Protection data; and (5) quantity and value 
questionnaires.
    The Department has adopted a standard under which an extension 
request will be considered untimely if it is not filed by 10:00 a.m. on 
the due date. For example, if a submission is due on Monday, December 
2, 2013, and a party requests an extension of that time limit, the 
party's extension request must be received before 10:00 a.m. on Monday, 
December 2, 2013, or it will be considered untimely. With a uniform 
10:00 a.m. deadline, the Department will not be required to decide 
repeatedly whether an extension request is untimely. It will also 
provide adequate opportunity for the Department to decide on the 
disposition of the extension request, and, if the Department grants the 
extension request, to inform all parties subject to the time limit that 
the time limit has been extended. This will ensure that all parties 
subject to the time limit are made aware of the extension before the 
time limit expires, and to plan accordingly.
    Under certain circumstances, the Department may elect to specify a 
different time by which extension requests will be considered untimely. 
For example, if a submission is due on Friday, December 6, 2013, at 
12:00 noon, the Department may determine that extension requests must 
be received by 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 5, 2013, or they will be 
considered untimely. In that case, the Department will inform parties 
in the letter or memorandum setting forth the time limit that extension 
requests must be received by 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 5, 2013, 
or they will be considered untimely. In addition, the Department 
intends to set the time by which extension requests will be considered 
untimely for the submission of quantity and value questionnaires on a 
case-by-case basis.

4. Extraordinary Circumstances

    With the exception of one commenter that thought that a ``good 
cause'' standard should apply to untimely-filed extension requests, the 
commenters agree with an ``extraordinary circumstances'' standard for 
untimely-filed extension requests, which is higher than ``good cause.'' 
The comments suggested definitions, such as a situation that did not 
exist, or about which the requestor was unaware, prior to the beginning 
of the untimely period,

[[Page 57793]]

and generally requested clarity as to what constitutes an extraordinary 
circumstance, such as whether technical difficulties with IA ACCESS 
constitute extraordinary circumstances.
    Response: We have not adopted the commenter's proposal that an 
untimely-filed extension request will not be considered unless the 
party demonstrates that good cause exists. In most situations, a party 
should be able to request an extension before the applicable time limit 
expires, because a party should be aware of the circumstances requiring 
an extension. In addition, the standard under which the Department 
evaluates timely-filed extension requests is ``good cause.'' See 19 CFR 
351.302(b). It would be counterproductive to set the same standard for 
untimely extension requests because parties would have no incentive for 
filing timely extension requests. Concerning the definition of 
extraordinary circumstances, the Department has determined that an 
extraordinary circumstance is an unexpected event that: (1) Could not 
have been prevented if reasonable measures had been taken and (2) 
precludes a party or its representative from timely filing an extension 
request through all reasonable means. For any untimely-filed extension 
request, it is the party's responsibility to demonstrate that 
extraordinary circumstances exist, and the Department will make a 
determination whether extraordinary circumstances exist based on the 
specific facts, taking into account whether reasonable means could have 
been used to file a timely request or if reasonable measures could have 
been taken to prevent the unexpected event from occurring. Examples of 
extraordinary circumstances include a natural disaster, riot, war, 
force majeure, or medical emergency. Examples that are unlikely to be 
considered extraordinary circumstances include insufficient resources, 
inattentiveness, or the inability of a party's representative to access 
the Internet on the day on which the submission was due.
    Concerning whether problems with IA ACCESS constitute 
``extraordinary circumstances,'' a technical failure of IA ACCESS 
generally is not an extraordinary circumstance. If IA ACCESS is 
``unable to accept filings continuously or intermittently over the 
course of any period of time greater than one hour between 12:00 noon 
and 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time or for any duration of time between 4:31 
p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, then a person may manually file the 
document in the APO/Dockets Unit.'' 19 CFR 351.303(b)(2)(ii)(B). The IA 
ACCESS Handbook states that ``any electronic submissions that are 
postponed due to a technical failure of the IA ACCESS system may not be 
made without having first obtained an extension of the due date from 
the applicable AD/CVD Office.'' See Handbook on Electronic Filing 
Procedures, available at: https://iaaccess.trade.gov/help/Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf. Thus, in 
general, a technical failure of IA ACCESS will not be considered an 
extraordinary circumstance. However, in certain, limited situations, 
the Department may find that a technical failure of IA ACCESS is an 
extraordinary circumstance if, for instance, the party and its 
representative are located outside of the DC metropolitan area and IA 
ACCESS is continuously unavailable before the submission is due.

5. Notice of Extension Request

    Two commenters suggest that parties to a proceeding should be given 
notice before a party makes an extension request. One commenter 
suggests requiring the party seeking the request to notify the other 
parties that it is requesting an extension as is often done in 
practice; another commenter suggests that, if a party requests an 
extension less than 48 hours before the applicable time limit expires, 
the party must seek consent from the other parties before requesting an 
extension. One commenter argued that all extension requests should be 
filed separately from other submissions to put the other parties to a 
proceeding on notice.
    Response: The Department has not adopted the proposals concerning 
notice of extension requests because it is the responsibility of the 
Department to set and manage the schedule of the segment of the 
proceeding, not that of the parties to the proceeding. The Department 
also finds that it would be difficult to monitor whether the party 
requesting the extension had notified the other parties before 
requesting an extension and this could delay the Department's 
disposition of the extension request. Concerning the suggestion that 
extension requests should be filed separately, the Department agrees. 
An extension request which is filed independently of factual 
information or argument is likely to come to the Department's attention 
more quickly, thus increasing the chance that the Department will be 
able to efficiently respond to the extension request. We have adopted 
this proposal and have modified 19 CFR 351.302(c) to require that an 
extension request be filed in a separate, stand-alone submission.

6. Changes to 19 CFR 351.301

    One commenter argues that any changes to 19 CFR 351.302 must be 
considered in light of a complete overhaul of 19 CFR 351.301. The 
commenter argues that there are numerous problems with the Department's 
time limits, such as initial questionnaire responses that are due less 
than thirty days from the date of receipt of the questionnaire, ``in 
contravention of {World Trade Organization (WTO){time}  protocols.'' 
The commenter argues that the Department should provide additional time 
for the submission of supplemental questionnaire responses, and case 
and rebuttal briefs. The commenter urges the Department to write better 
questions and to limit overlapping deadlines for submissions. The 
commenter argues that some time limits are unreasonably short, so 
requiring a party to file an extension request 72 hours before the 
applicable time limit expires may not be reasonable under any 
circumstances. The commenter is concerned that the number of extension 
requests may increase.
    Response: The Department has not adopted this proposal. The 
Department is not modifying section 351.301 or section 351.309, and in 
fact, section 351.301 was recently modified, after notice and comment, 
to improve the Department's procedures concerning the submission of 
factual information. See Definition of Factual Information and Time 
Limits for Submission of Factual Information, 78 FR 21246 (April 10, 
2013). As to the commenter's argument that the Department's time limits 
provide less than thirty days for the submission of factual information 
in questionnaire responses in contravention of ``WTO protocols,'' the 
commenter is incorrect: section 351.301(c)(1)(i) provides that initial 
questionnaire responses are due 30 days from the date of the initial 
questionnaire; only if the questionnaire is divided into separate 
sections is the time limit for individual sections shortened. This is 
consistent with the WTO AD and Subsidies and Countervailing Measures 
Agreements. Finally, the Proposed Rule did not suggest that an 
extension request may be considered untimely if it were received 72 
hours before the applicable time limit expired; rather, the Department 
requested comment on whether an extension request may be considered 
untimely if it were received either 24 or 48 hours before the 
applicable time limit expired. The Department does not

[[Page 57794]]

agree with the commenter's concern that extension requests will 
increase as a result of the final rule.

7. No Extensions for Certain Submissions

    One commenter suggests that the Department refuse to consider 
extension requests after the time limit expires for certain important 
issues that are controlled by one party, such as market viability 
claims, cost allegations, major input allegations and upstream subsidy 
allegations. See 19 CFR 351.301(c)(2).
    Response: The Department has not adopted this proposal. The 
Department has the discretion to extend any time limit established 
under Part 351 for good cause, and will not limit its discretion.

Changes From the Proposed Rule

    In the final rule, the Department has added ``in a separate, stand-
alone submission'' to 19 CFR 351.302(c). The Department has added 19 
CFR 351.302(c)(1), to specify that an extension request will be 
considered untimely if it is received after the applicable time limit 
expires or as otherwise specified by the Secretary, and 19 CFR 
351.302(c)(2), to define ``extraordinary circumstance.''

Classification

Executive Order 12866

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

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    The Department has prepared the following Final Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis.

1. A Statement of the Need for, and Objectives of, the Rule

    This final rule is intended to alter the Department's regulation 
for AD and CVD proceedings; specifically, to modify the regulation 
concerning the extension of time limits. The final rule would clarify 
that parties may request the extension of any time limit established 
under Part 351, as opposed to the prior rule, which only addresses 
requests for the extension of time limits specified under section 
351.301.
    The final rule would also establish an ``extraordinary 
circumstances'' standard by which the Department would consider 
untimely filed extension requests because the prior rule only addresses 
extension requests that are filed before the applicable time limit for 
the submission expires. The final rule also establishes that an 
extension request must be filed in a separate, stand-alone submission.
    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 rule.

2. A Statement of Significant Issues Raised by the Public Comments in 
Response to the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, a Statement of 
the Assessment of the Agency of Such Issues, and a Statement of Any 
Changes in the Proposed Rule as a Result of Such Comments

    The Department received no comments concerning the Initial 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis.

3. The Response of the Agency to Any Comments Filed by the Chief 
Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA) in 
Response to the Proposed Rule, and a Detailed Statement of Any Change 
Made to the Proposed Rule in the Final Rule as a Result of the Comments

    The Department received no comments from the Chief Counsel for 
Advocacy of the SBA.

4. A Description of and an Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to 
Which the Rule Will Apply or an Explanation of Why No Such Estimate Is 
Available

    The final rule 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 in an AD or CVD proceeding.
    Exporters and producers of subject merchandise are rarely U.S. 
companies. Some producers and exporters of subject merchandise do have 
U.S. affiliates, some of which may be considered small entities under 
the appropriate SBA small business size standard. The Department is not 
able to estimate the number of U.S. affiliates of foreign exporters and 
producers 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 final rule will impact a substantial number of small importers 
because importers of subject merchandise who are not also producers and 
exporters (or their affiliates) rarely submit factual information 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 final rule will be substantial. Frequently, 
domestic producers that bring a petition account for a large amount of 
the domestic production within an industry, so it is unlikely that 
these domestic producers will be small entities.
    In sum, while recognizing that exporter and producer affiliates, 
importers, and domestic producers that submit information 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 final rule would impact a 
substantial number of small entities.

5. A Description of the Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other 
Compliance Requirements of the Final Rule

    The final 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.

[[Page 57795]]

6. A Description of the Steps the Agency Has Taken To Minimize the 
Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities Consistent With the 
Stated Objectives of Applicable Statutes, Including a Statement of the 
Factual, Policy, and Legal Reasons for Selecting the Alternative 
Adopted in the Final Rule and Why Each of the Other Significant 
Alternatives to the Rule Considered by the Agency Which Affect the 
Impact on Small Entities Was Rejected

    The Department has taken steps to minimize the significant economic 
impact on small entities. As discussed above, all parties may request 
an extension pursuant to section 351.302, and the Department will 
continue to grant extensions of time limits to the extent that they are 
warranted and deadlines for the segment permit. Further, the Department 
considered significant alternatives to the final rule. The alternatives 
are:
    (1) Maintaining the current rule, which does not address extension 
requests for time limits established in provisions other than Sec.  
351.301, or untimely-filed extension requests;
    (2) 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 unless the 
party demonstrates that good cause exists;
    (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 requests will not be considered; and
    (4) Modifying the standard for ``untimely'' to require extension 
requests to be filed 24 or 48 hours before the time limit expires.
    The Department does not anticipate that the first alternative will 
have a significant economic impact on small entities. 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 that the Department has encountered with 
untimely-filed extension requests. Thus, although this alternative was 
considered, it was not chosen.
    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 two. As discussed in the 
consideration of its preferred alternative, the clarification that a 
party may request an extension request 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.
    The Department next considered a ``good cause'' standard for 
untimely-filed extension requests. As with the ``extraordinary 
circumstances'' standard included in the final rule, 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 already 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, this alternative was not chosen.
    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 three. The 
clarification that an extension request may be of any time limit 
established by Part 351 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 Part 351. 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 AD and CVD laws. Thus, it has not been chosen.
    Modifying the standard for ``untimely'' submissions does not impose 
any significant burden on the parties in AD or CVD proceedings. 
However, there are some concerns with this approach, including: (a) the 
effect on the 24- or 48-hour period if there is an intervening weekend 
and/or holiday; and (b) submissions with short time limits. If the 
Department were to adopt this alternative, it would need to establish 
criteria to address these issues. For example, if the time limit is 
less than five days, then the extension request is untimely if it is 
filed less than eight hours before the time limit expires. The 
Department recognizes that the 24- or 48-hour policy has the potential 
to create some of the same problems regarding weekends and holidays as 
the current rule, and in the case of rebuttal briefs and other 
submissions with short deadlines, it could prove difficult to comply 
with. Thus, it has not been chosen.

Small Business Compliance Guide

    In accordance with Section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory 
Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, the agency has published a guide to 
assist small entities in complying with the rule.

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: September 13, 2013.
Paul Piquado,
Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.
    For the reasons stated, 19 CFR Part 351 is 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.

* * * * *

[[Page 57796]]

    (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 an extraordinary circumstance exists. The 
request must be in writing, in a separate, stand-alone submission, 
filed consistent with Sec.  351.303, and state the reasons for the 
request. An extension granted to a party must be approved in writing.
    (1) An extension request will be considered untimely if it is 
received after the applicable time limit expires or as otherwise 
specified by the Secretary.
    (2) An extraordinary circumstance is an unexpected event that:
    (i) Could not have been prevented if reasonable measures had been 
taken, and
    (ii) Precludes a party or its representative from timely filing an 
extension request through all reasonable means.

[FR Doc. 2013-22853 Filed 9-19-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P