[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 251 (Tuesday, December 31, 2002)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 79845-79851]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-32745]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

International Trade Administration

19 CFR Part 360

[Docket : 020711168-2325-02]
RIN 0625-AA60


Steel Import Licensing and Surge Monitoring

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: Import Administration (IA) issues this final rule to add new 
regulations implementing the Steel Import Licensing and Surge 
Monitoring program originally outlined in the President's March 5, 
2002, Proclamation about Steel Safeguards. This final rule requires all 
importers of steel products covered under the above mentioned steel 
safeguards proclamation to obtain a license from the Department of 
Commerce prior to completing their Customs import summary 
documentation. To obtain the license, the importer, or the importer's 
broker or agent, will fill out a form supplying certain statistical 
information to Commerce about the steel import. The license number will 
be generated immediately upon submitting the information. That license 
number will be needed to complete the Customs Entry documentation. IA 
will use the statistical information collected from the license forms 
as the basis of its surge monitoring program and early warning system 
to alert the public about changes in the quantities, types, or origins 
of steel imports.
    In addition, IA informs the public of the approval by the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) of the collection-of-information 
requirements contained in this final rule and publishes the OMB control 
numbers for those collections.

DATES: This final rule is effective February 1, 2003. Filers will be 
able to obtain their user identification numbers and apply for licenses 
on or after January 6, 2003.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Julie Al-Saadawi: telephone (202) 482-
1930; fax (202) 501-7952; e-mail steel_license@ita.doc.gov. Additional 
information will also be posted on the import licensing Web site 
(http://www.ia.ita.doc.gov/steel/license/) starting on January 6, 2003.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Import Administration (IA) issues this final 
rule to add new regulations implementing the Steel Import Licensing and 
Surge Monitoring program originally outlined in the President's March 
5, 2002, Proclamation about Steel Safeguards. This final rule requires 
all importers of steel products covered under the above mentioned steel 
safeguards proclamation to obtain a license from the Department of 
Commerce prior to completing their Customs import summary 
documentation. In order to obtain the license, the importer, or the 
importer's broker or agent, must fill out a form supplying certain 
statistical information to Commerce about the steel import. The license 
number will be generated immediately upon submitting the information. 
That license number will be needed to complete the Customs Entry 
documentation. The statistical information collected from the license 
forms will be used as the basis of IA's surge monitoring program and 
early warning system to alert the public about changes in the 
quantities, types, or origins of steel imports. IA will manage the 
information collection under the license system as well as the surge 
monitoring of the steel imports; however, it will be the responsibility 
of the U.S. Customs Service to enforce the licensing requirements at 
U.S. ports of entry. A public version of the surge monitoring system 
will be available on the following Web site: http://www.ia.ita.doc.gov/steel/license/. The proposed rule was published on July 18, 2002 (67 FR 
47338) and it requested comments through August 19, 2002. The rationale 
and authority for the program was provided in the preamble to the 
proposed rule and is not repeated here.
    Comments on Proposed Rules: Comments received during the public 
comment period set forth in the

[[Page 79846]]

proposed rule are considered in this final rule. In all, thirty-one 
comments were received from a range of sources: importers, steel 
producers, ports, brokers, domestic industry, foreign governments, 
associations, consumers, and their counsel. Most comments focused on a 
particular aspect of the licensing program about which the author 
wanted an adjustment, but in general supported the licensing program. 
However, there were groups who simply stated that the filing burden 
outweighs the benefits. The comments are summarized below and listed in 
order of their frequency:
    Comment 1: Customs Entry Number. As proposed, filers would be 
required to report the customs entry number on the license form in 
order to receive a steel import license. The majority of the commenters 
opposed requiring the customs entry number on the license form and 
recommended that filers be allowed to obtain a license without the 
number or that a revision procedure be instituted that permitted filers 
to submit the customs entry number at a later date.
    According to these commenters, in most cases, the customs entry 
number would not be available until late in the importing process. 
Although it is possible for brokers to self-assign customs entry 
numbers prior to importation, in practice, it is relatively uncommon to 
do so much before the goods enter the country. The requirement of the 
customs entry number on the license form would likely result in 
importers obtaining licenses late in the process and in fact, would 
provide little incentive for an importer to obtain a license prior to 
the date the entry summary is filed. Any problems the importer may 
encounter in filing at that time could end up delaying the entry 
summary and the clearance of importation.
    In addition, some commenters noted that entries into Foreign Trade 
Zones (FTZs) are not assigned a customs entry number meaning that 
filers would be unable to obtain a license for covered steel products 
entering an FTZ as set forth in the proposed rule. These commenters 
suggest handling FTZs in a separate manner or using the number assigned 
to the form for FTZ admission and/or status designation (Customs form 
214), instead.
    Response: The proposed requirement for the customs entry number on 
the license was designed to facilitate reconciliation between the 
import licensing system and the databases maintained by the U.S. 
Customs Service and the Census Bureau. Given the various concerns 
raised in the comments we received, providing the customs entry number 
on the license form will be optional, at this time. In addition, making 
the customs entry number optional, along with the separate changes 
pertaining to goods entering an FTZ (see comment 13), resolves the 
anticipated problems with FTZ entries. However, should we determine at 
a later point that the reporting of the customs entry number on the 
license is needed to ensure the accuracy of the licensing system, we 
reserve the right to reinstate this requirement at any time through a 
subsequent rulemaking.
    Comment 2: Administrative Burden and Redundant Data. A number of 
commenters suggested that the complexity of the proposed licensing 
requirement imposes costly administrative burdens on both importers and 
the U.S. government. They also noted that much of the information being 
requested was duplicative of other information requested of them by 
either Customs or Census. These commenters suggested that Customs could 
simply report the data it collects or that Commerce could use currently 
available Customs and Census data to monitor steel imports and respond 
to surges in the importation of safeguard exempt products. Some 
commenters suggested that, instead of the proposed system, Commerce 
issue quarterly licenses or a single annual license per importer.
    Response: As part of the section 201 remedy, the President 
instructed the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Commerce 
to establish a system of import licensing to facilitate the monitoring 
of imports of certain steel products. This was done to ensure that 
import surges, particularly from those countries that were excluded 
from the President's remedies, did not undermine the relief provided by 
the President. Because import surges could quickly undermine the 
effectiveness of the remedy imposed by the President, it was crucial 
that the steel import licensing and monitoring system be able to 
quickly identify steel import trends, preferably by creating a system 
that could report steel imports in as close to ``real time'' as 
possible. Quarterly or annual steel licenses could not reliably meet 
this need.
    There are legal constraints upon the use and dissemination of the 
import data collected by Customs and Census that preclude its use as a 
``real-time'' steel import monitoring program. The import data 
collected by Customs can only be reported publicly through Census 
Bureau statistical releases--in the case of steel, there are two 
monthly releases, an early release of preliminary steel import 
statistics and the official release of final steel import statistics 
that occurs the following month. These two releases occur between three 
and seven weeks after the end of the importing month, as much as seven 
to eleven weeks after some of the goods have entered the country. 
Therefore, in order to facilitate monitoring of the remedy, a separate 
licensing program will be used to gather and disseminate steel import 
data sooner. Although some of the information may be redundant, the 
burden upon the importer and/or filer has been lessened by the 
automatic nature of the system and the relatively small amount of 
easily accessible data being requested. Commerce estimates that, using 
the automatic system, it takes no longer than ten minutes to fill out 
the license form and receive a license number.
    Comment 3: Single Entry vs. Multiple Entry. In the proposed rule, 
Commerce outlined and requested comments on two other possible types of 
steel import licenses--a single license per entry and a multiple entry 
license. As set forth in the proposed rule, the import license would 
cover multiple products if the importer, exporter, manufacturer, and 
the country of origin and exportation were all the same. However, 
separate licenses would be required if any of the above information 
differed with respect to a given set of covered imported steel 
products. Therefore, a single Customs entry could theoretically require 
more than one steel import license. Under the single license per entry, 
one license would cover the entire entry even if there were several 
different importer, exporter or country of origin combinations. Under 
the multiple entry licensing procedure, a given quantity of covered 
steel could be imported over an extended period (e.g., 30 days) and the 
same license number would be reported until the quantity had been 
exhausted or the license expired.
    Numerous conflicting comments were received regarding this issue, 
primarily on the issue of multiple entry licenses. Supporters of these 
two options argued that their greater ease and flexibility lessened the 
burden on the filer. Those commenters opposed to the multiple license 
option cited the difficulty in ensuring the accuracy of these licenses 
and reconciling the license data.
    Response: From our review of the licensing proposals and the 
comments we received, we have determined that the difficulties with 
reconciliation and concerns over the potential inaccuracy of the 
resulting import licensing data raised by both domestic steel producers 
and consumers make a multiple license

[[Page 79847]]

option both infeasible and undesirable. While the single license per 
customs entry option does not suffer from the same concerns about 
inaccuracy, the potential single license per entry systems that we 
examined did not seem to lessen the burden on importers, in fact, for 
those filers importing from a single source, the burden appears to be 
greater. Therefore, Commerce will implement the system outlined in the 
proposed rule but will not implement either of the two alternate 
licensing proposals.
    Comment 4: Correction mechanism. Many domestic and foreign steel 
makers recommended that the DOC create a mechanism by which errors 
entered on the license form can be corrected. These commenters are 
concerned that the reported import volumes could be exaggerated if 
errors, modified shipments, returned merchandise or cancelled shipments 
cannot be corrected in the system. The commenters suggest that such 
changes prior to the filing of the entry summary are not infrequent and 
may result in misleading import data.
    Response: As explained in the proposed rule, for security reasons, 
it is not possible to alter an existing license electronically once it 
has been issued. However, Commerce agrees with the commenters that the 
lack of a correcting mechanism in the system creates the potential for 
misleading import licensing data. Therefore, Commerce has created a 
separate module in the licensing system that allows filers to cancel an 
already issued license. Once the earlier license is cancelled, a new 
license can be obtained using the corrected information. This can be 
done electronically, or if the filer prefers, through a phone/fax 
option with Commerce.
    Comment 5: Greater Reporting of Aggregate Data. According to the 
proposed rules, certain aggregate information collected from the 
license forms would be posted on a steel import surge monitoring Web 
site. This data would be reported at the broader section 201 remedy 
product category level. Propriety data including specific information 
entered on licenses (e.g., names of importers, exporters, 
manufacturers), would not be released to the public. Commerce 
encouraged parties to comment on the level of aggregated data reported 
and whether similar aggregate data on excluded products should be 
reported on the monitoring system Web site.
    Commerce received a wide range of comments on this issue. Some 
commenters stated that a more detailed, HTS-number based level of 
aggregation should be used in the surge monitoring system and that the 
surge monitoring system should include data on excluded products as 
well, either by the special chapter 99 HTS number or at a minimum by 
the section 201 remedy category that they would have fallen into. These 
commenters claimed that the greater level of detail and the data on 
excluded products was necessary for the monitoring system to work 
effectively. It was also suggested that the transparent dissemination 
of comprehensive and detailed information would enhance the abilities 
of companies to adjust to changes in the market, enabling the 
monitoring system to work more efficiently.
    However, a number of companies were concerned that more detailed 
information, including any data on excluded products, no matter how 
aggregated, could reveal protected proprietary information that could 
damage both the competitiveness of the foreign mills and their U.S. 
customers. One commenter suggested that, with respect to some of the 
highly-specific excluded products, there are only a small number of 
foreign companies that produce and sell the products, and that even 
revealing aggregate information could result in the disclosure of 
highly sensitive and confidential data to their competitors.
    Response: From our review of the comments and our discussions with 
the U.S. Customs Service and the Bureau of Census, the two agencies 
that collect and/or disseminate information on imports, we have 
determined that the surge monitoring system as proposed offers the 
greatest possible level of data dissemination to the public that does 
not greatly increase the risk of inadvertently disclosing business 
proprietary information. At this time, Commerce will not report 
separate data on excluded products in its surge monitoring system but 
will continue to monitor such products closely and share such 
information it deems necessary with the appropriate government 
agencies.
    Comment 6: Duration of the Import License. Under the proposed 
rules, the steel import license can be applied for up to 30 days prior 
to the expected date of importation and until the date of filing of the 
entry summary documents. Most commenters argued that the 30-day period 
should be extended. One suggested that the quarterly system would be 
much easier to comply with for the importing community. Others 
recommended that the current filing period should be extended an 
additional 45 to 60 days.
    Several commenters argued that, instead of the proposed system 
which allows filers anytime during the 45 days prior to and including 
the filing of entry summary documents, filers should be required to 
obtain an import license at least 30 days prior to importation. They 
argued that this would allow the Department of Commerce and the U.S. 
Customs Service to verify that the importer is complying with the 
requirements of the import licensing program prior to entry of the 
goods.
    Response: Based on the comments received, we have extended the 
filing period. Filers will now be able to apply for a steel license up 
to 60 days prior to the expected date of importation and until the date 
of filing of the entry summary documents, or in the case of FTZ 
entries, the filing of Customs form 214. The steel import license is 
valid for 75 days; however, import licenses that were valid on the date 
of importation but expired prior to the filing of entry summary 
documents will be accepted.
    As to the suggested change to require that an import license be 
obtained at least 30 days prior to importation, we have determined that 
such a system would not be feasible for several reasons. First, for a 
considerable portion of the steel trade, which comes across the border 
from either Canada or Mexico, the requested license data may not be 
known 30 days prior to importation. Second, should licensed shipments 
arrive before the 30 day period ended, there would be no appropriate 
legal means of denying or delaying the entry. Finally, the decision to 
make the import license a condition of entry summary rather than a 
condition of importation was made consistent with the objective of 
collecting data for surge monitoring purposes rather than inhibiting 
trade. In addition, denying entry to unlicensed steel shipments would 
impose a significant administrative burden on Customs and could snarl 
ports if shiploads of steel were held up because of missing licenses. 
To ensure compliance, Customs will consider entries of covered products 
without a license to be incomplete, subjecting the entry to liquidated 
damages (see 67 FR 51800).
    Comment 7: Port of Entry. Commerce received conflicting comments 
regarding the need to identify and/or report the port of entry. Certain 
commenters argued that filers should not be required to identify the 
expected port of entry on the license because the ultimate port of 
entry may change after the license is issued. Other commenters argued 
that not only should the port of entry be required on the license but 
that

[[Page 79848]]

Commerce should disseminate such information in its public monitoring 
system. This would allow U.S. steel producers to track the regions 
where imported steel may be anticipated to enter, thus assisting the 
industry in quickly identifying and responding to potential surges.
    Response: We continue to believe that the identification of the 
expected port of entry provides needed monitoring information to the 
government and does not impose an unnecessary burden on filers. 
However, because the dissemination of aggregate data on a port of entry 
basis greatly increases the possible inadvertent disclosure of 
proprietary information, Commerce does not intend to publicly release 
such data at this time.
    Comment 8: Access to the System. Several commenters suggested that 
there should be some method to obtain a copy of the license at a later 
date in order to comply with the U.S. Customs Service's record keeping 
requirements. A number of commenters also argued that both the importer 
and the importer's customs broker should have access to the importer's 
data.
    Response: As explained previously, for security purposes, filers 
can only print out the license at the time of filing and are unable to 
retrieve licenses from the system once they are issued. However, in 
response to the comments received, Commerce will generate an email 
version of the license, upon request, to the filer at the email address 
listed in the filer's online registration form. Because of the 
proprietary nature of much of the information contained in the license 
form, Commerce will send the information to the filer only. If that 
person wants to share the license email with others, it can be done at 
their discretion from their computer.
    Comment 9: ``Unknown'' Manufacturer and/or Exporter. The Department 
of Commerce encouraged parties to comment on whether filers should be 
allowed to enter ``unknown'' in the fields for exporter and 
manufacturer name. Commerce received a number of comments on this 
issue, divided into two groups.
    Several commenters argued that a filer, particularly an importer's 
customs broker, might not know the exporter or manufacturer when 
filling out the license and the ability to fill out ``unknown'' in the 
field would allow the license form to go forward. Not allowing for such 
an option could delay the filing of the license or even encourage the 
filling of misleading information.
    Others argued that allowing filers to report ``unknown'' in the 
exporter and manufacturer fields would compromise the veracity of the 
data derived from the licensing form. They argued that the information 
regarding the identity of the manufacturer and the exporter is 
essential to analyzing trends and is not difficult for the filer to 
obtain.
    Response: Based on the comments received, Commerce will require 
filers to identify the exporter but will allow a filer to fill out 
``unknown'' in the manufacturer field on the license form, recognizing 
that certain filers, particularly customs brokers, may not have such 
information readily available. Unlike the manufacturer's name, 
requiring the name of the exporter on the license form should impose 
little burden on the filer. Filers are encouraged to identify the 
manufacturer on the license and should the DOC discover a repeated 
pattern in a company's usage of ``unknown'' manufacturers or exporters, 
the DOC reserves the right to contact the filer regarding the 
difficulty in obtaining such information.
    Comment 10: Identifying NAFTA Origin. Commerce received two 
comments regarding the country of origin designation for NAFTA 
merchandise under the licensing system. The commenters raised concern 
that the different rules for determining country of origin for imports 
from NAFTA countries would cause unnecessary concern about what might 
appear to be increases in imports of goods from NAFTA countries but in 
fact only reflected differing country of origin standards between the 
license system and other import reporting systems. The commenters 
suggested that the licenses allow filers the option of identifying the 
NAFTA-based country of origin designation along with the standard 
country of origin designation for the product.
    Response: The option for reporting a second NAFTA-based country of 
origin designation was strongly opposed by the U.S. Customs Service as 
both confusing and unnecessary since the standard country of origin 
rules were being used for the license system. Commerce understands the 
concerns raised by the commenters but believes that these can be 
addressed as needed when evaluating the import trends.
    Comment 11: Foreign Filers. As proposed, only filers with a ``U.S. 
address'' may register and obtain a user identification number. Several 
commenters suggested that foreign filers and importers of record 
located outside the United States be allowed to register under the 
system.
    Response: Foreign filers are not prohibited from registering to use 
the system as long as they have a U.S. street address; otherwise, they 
will have to find another party with a U.S. street address to file for 
them. Commerce believes this requirement necessary in order to address 
potential problems that may arise with a filer's license.
    Comment 12: Coverage. A number of comments were received regarding 
the coverage of the license system. Several commenters suggested 
expanding coverage to all steel products, not simply those included in 
the section 201 remedy. Others argued that coverage should be more 
limited and that licenses should not be required on excluded products. 
Finally, some commenters argued that with respect to excluded products 
under quota, only those firms that applied for product exclusions, be 
allowed to apply for licenses on those excluded products but that these 
firms should be granted the rights to transfer their claims to a 
particular license if they no longer need to import the product.
    Response: The coverage of the import licensing system will remain 
as set forth in the proposed rules. The licensing system was instituted 
as part of the safeguard measures announced by the President on March 
5, 2002 and was intended to facilitate the administration and 
enforcement of those measures. As such, it is proper that the licensing 
system only apply to those products needed to fulfill that goal--the 
product categories set forth in the President's remedies including 
products from excluded countries and those products subject to product-
specific exclusions.
    As to limitations on licenses for excluded products under quota--
Commerce will not limit licenses on excluded products to those firms 
that requested the product exclusions. Product exclusions are not 
granted to a specific firm or country. Product exclusion quotas are 
filled on a first come, first served basis.
    Comment 13. Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs). As set forth in the 
proposed rule, steel entering into an FTZ would require two licenses, 
one upon entry into the zone and one when the goods leave the zone and 
enter for consumption. Some commenters argued that such a double 
licensing system was overly burdensome, could shift border FTZ trade to 
Canada or Mexico and could lead to over reporting. Others stated that 
the main concern with FTZs was ensuring that steel entering into, and 
ultimately consumed, in an FTZ be accurately accounted for in the surge 
monitoring program and suggested that an alternative to the double 
licensing system might be possible. Another commenter suggested that 
licensing should only be done when the goods

[[Page 79849]]

enter an FTZ as this would address the concerns of most involved with 
the least amount of burden.
    Response: Based on our review of the comments and considerable 
discussion with agencies involved in administering FTZs, we have 
determined that proposed double licensing system for FTZs is overly 
burdensome and unnecessary for the effective administration of the 
licensing system. Licenses will only be required on covered steel 
products entering an FTZ; steel products leaving the zone and entered 
for consumption will not require a license. The import license 
number(s) must be reported on the form for FTZ admission and/or status 
designation (Customs form 214) at the time of filing.
    Comment 14: Temporary Importation Bonds. Commerce received comments 
arguing that temporary importation bond entries--goods entered free of 
duty provided within one year to be re-exported to non-U.S. 
destinations--should not be subject to the proposed licensing system.
    Response: We agree that such entries will not require import 
licenses.
    Comment 15: Informal Entries. Commerce received several comments 
regarding informal entries. One comment suggested expanding the value 
of informal merchandise from $2,000 to $5,000 because such entries 
would still be insignificant, another asked for clarification of the 
limits set forth in the Customs regulations on Chapter 99 steel 
imports, while a third urged that the exemption for informal entries 
not become a means for importers to avoid their import license 
obligations.
    Response: The exemption for informal entries is based on the value 
limits set forth by Customs--expanding it to higher valued merchandise 
is likely to cause unnecessary confusion. As to the value limit for 
Chapter 99 steel products, please see 19 CFR 143.21(a) and (h) for the 
specific limits applicable to those goods.
    Comment 16: Additional Products in License Form. Two commenters 
suggested that the license form should allow space for more products--
at a minimum, the license should have room for up to six products.
    Response: We agree. Commerce has modified the form to allow for up 
to six products and an additional page can be requested.
    Comment 17: Usurpation of USTR Authority. One commenter argued that 
the surge monitoring system as proposed by Commerce usurps USTR's 
authority to change a developing country's exempt status by 
presupposing certain measurements in its presentation of data.
    Response: The design of the steel import licensing and surge 
monitoring system in no way usurps USTR's authority to determine a 
developing country's exempt status. Nor does it presuppose certain 
outcomes in its presentation of data. The data is being presented in a 
manner consistent with the President's remedies and the categories set 
forth by the ITC. Tables, charts and comparison data have been designed 
to assist the user and do not mandate how USTR uses the data in its 
import analysis. As directed by the President, Commerce and Treasury 
developed the import licensing system to assist USTR in its analysis of 
developing country import trends. This system was designed with input 
from USTR and other government agencies, and like all such proposed 
rulemaking went through an interagency clearance process that included 
USTR.

Classification

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation certified to the Chief Counsel for 
Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, 
if adopted, will not have a significant impact on a substantial number 
of small entities as that term is defined in the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act, 5 U.S.C. Sec.  601 et seq. A summary of the factual basis for this 
certification is below.
    This proposed rule will not have a significant impact on a 
substantial number of companies. In most cases, it is anticipated that 
it will be brokerage companies that apply for the steel import 
licenses. Most brokerage companies that are currently involved in 
filing required documentation for importing goods into the U.S. 
specifically, Customs documentation, are accustomed to Customs' 
automated systems. Today, more than 99% of the Customs filings are 
handled electronically. Therefore, the web-based nature of this simple 
license form should not be a significant obstacle to any firm in 
completing this new requirement. There is no cost to register for a 
company-specific user code and no cost to file for the license. Each 
license form is expected to take at most roughly 10 minutes to complete 
using much of the same information the brokers will use to complete 
their Customs Entry Summary Documentation. This is the only additional 
requirement on the importer's broker to fulfill U.S. entry requirements 
to import each covered steel product shipment.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule contains collection-of-information requirements 
subject to review and approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act 
(PRA). These requirements have been approved by OMB (OMB No.: 0625-
0245; Expiration Date: 09/30/05). Public reporting for this collection 
of information is estimated to be 10 minutes per response, including 
the time for reviewing instructions, and completing and reviewing the 
collection of information. All responses to this collection of 
information are voluntary, and will be provided confidentially to the 
extent allowed by law. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no 
person is required to respond to nor shall a person be subject to a 
penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject 
to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that 
collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. 
Send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this 
collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this 
burden, to: Reports Clearance Officer, Room 4001, International Trade 
Administration, Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution Avenue, 
NW., Washington, DC 20230.

Executive Order 12866

    It has been determined that this rule is not significant for 
purposes of EO 12866.

Executive Order 12866

    This rule does not contain policies with federalism implications as 
that term is defined in EO 13132.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, add part 360 to read as 
follows:

PART 360--STEEL IMPORT LICENSING AND SURGE MONITORING SYSTEM

Sec.
360.101 Steel import licensing system.
360.102 Online registration.
360.103 Automatic issuance of import licenses.
360.104 Steel import surge monitoring system.
360.105 Duration of the steel import licensing program.
360.106 Fees.
360.107 Hours of operation.
360.108 Loss of electronic licensing privileges.

    Authority: 19 U.S.C. 2251, 2253.


Sec.  360.101  Steel import licensing system.

    (a) In general. (1) The steel import licensing system includes both 
the

[[Page 79850]]

online registration system and the automatic steel import license 
issuance system. All imports of steel products listed in the 
President's March 5, 2002, section 201 relief determination, including 
those products subject to country exemptions or product exclusions, are 
subject to the import licensing requirements. Information gathered from 
these licenses will be used to ensure that the purpose of the 201 
relief is not undermined, with certain aggregate information reported 
publicly under the surge monitoring program. An interagency group will 
assist USTR with the analysis of the data collected beyond the data 
posted on the surge monitoring program.
    (2) A single license may cover multiple products as long as certain 
information on the license (e.g., importer, exporter, manufacturer and 
country of origin) remains the same. However, separate licenses for 
steel entered under a single entry will be required if the information 
differs. As a result, a single Customs entry may require more than one 
steel import license. The applicable license(s) must cover the total 
quantity of steel entered and should cover the same information 
provided on the Customs entry summary.
    (b) Entries for consumption. All entries for consumption of covered 
steel products, other than the exception for ``informal entries'' 
listed in paragraph (d) of this section, will require an import license 
prior to the filing of Customs entry summary documents. The license 
number(s) must be reported on the entry summary (Customs Form 7501) at 
the time of filing. There is no requirement to present physical copies 
of the license forms at the time of entry summary; however, copies must 
be maintained in accordance with Customs' normal requirements. Entry 
summaries submitted without the required license number(s) will be 
considered incomplete and will be subject to liquidated damages for 
violation of the bond condition requiring timely completion of entry.
    (c) Foreign Trade Zone entries. All shipments of covered steel 
products into FTZs, known as FTZ admissions, will require an import 
license prior to the filing of FTZ admission documents. The license 
number(s) must be reported on the application for FTZ admission and/or 
status designation (Customs form 214) at the time of filing. There is 
no requirement to present physical copies of the license forms at the 
time of FTZ admission; however, copies must be maintained in accordance 
with Customs' normal requirements. FTZ admission documents submitted 
without the required license number(s) will not be considered complete 
and will be subject to liquidated damages for violation of the bond 
condition requiring timely completion of admission. A further steel 
license will not be required for shipments from zones into the commerce 
of the United States.
    (d) Informal entries. No import license shall be required on 
informal entries of covered steel products, such as merchandise valued 
at less than $2,000. This exemption applies to informal entries only, 
imports of steel valued at less than $2,000 that are part of a formal 
entry will require a license. For additional information, refer to 19 
CFR 143.21 through 143.28.
    (e) Other non-consumption entries. Import licenses are not required 
on temporary importation bond (TIB) entries, transportation and 
exportation (T&E) entries or entries into a bonded warehouse. Covered 
steel products withdrawn for consumption from a bonded warehouse will 
require a license at the entry summary.


Sec.  360.102  Online registration.

    (a) In general. (1) Any importer, importing company, customs broker 
or importer's agent with a U.S. street address may register and obtain 
the user identification number necessary to log on to the automatic 
steel import license issuance system. Foreign companies may obtain a 
user identification number if they have a U.S. address through which 
they may be reached; PO boxes will not be accepted. A user 
identification will be issued within two business days. Companies will 
be able to register online through the import licensing and monitoring 
Web site. However, should a company prefer to apply for a user 
identification number non-electronically, a phone/fax option will be 
available at Commerce during regular business hours.
    (2) This user identification number will be required in order to 
log on to the steel import license issuance system. A single user 
identification number will be issued to an importing company, brokerage 
house or importer's agent. Operating units within the company (e.g., 
individual branches, divisions or employees) will all use the same 
company user identification code. The steel import license issuance 
system will be designed to allow multiple users of a single 
identification number from different locations within the company to 
enter information simultaneously.
    (b) Information required to obtain a user identification number. In 
order to obtain a user identification number, the importer, importing 
company, customs broker or importer's agent will be required to provide 
general information. This information will include: the filer company 
name, employer identification number (EIN) or Customs ID number (where 
no EIN is available), U.S. street address, phone number, contact 
information and email address for both the company headquarters and any 
branch offices that will be applying for steel licenses. This 
information will not be released by Commerce, except as required by 
U.S. law.


Sec.  360.103  Automatic issuance of import licenses.

    (a) In general. Steel import licenses will be issued to registered 
importers, customs brokers or their agents through an automatic steel 
import licensing system. The licenses will be issued automatically 
after the completion of the form.
    (b) Customs entry number. Filers are not required to report a 
Customs entry number to obtain an import license but are encouraged to 
do so if the Customs entry number is known at the time of filing for 
the license.
    (c) Information required to obtain an import license. (1) The 
following information is required to be reported in order to obtain an 
import license (if using the automatic licensing system, some of this 
information will be provided automatically from information submitted 
as part of the registration process):
    i. Filer company name and address;
    ii. Filer contact name, phone number, fax number and email address;
    iii. Entry type (i.e., Consumption, FTZ)
    iv. Importer name;
    v. Exporter name;
    vi. Manufacturer name (filer may state ``unknown'');
    vii. Country of origin;
    viii. Country of exportation;
    ix. Expected date of export;
    x. Expected date of import;
    xi. Expected port of entry;
    xii. Current HTS number (from Chapters 72, 73, or 99);
    xiii. Original HTS number in Chapter 72 or 73 (if HTS number in 12 
above is a Chapter 99 product);
    xiv. Quantity (in kilograms); and
    xv. Customs value (U.S. $).
    (2) Certain fields will be automatically filled out by the 
automatic license system based on information submitted by the filer 
(e.g., product category, unit value). Filers should review these fields 
to help confirm the accuracy of the submitted data.
    (3) Upon completion of the form, the importer, customs broker or 
the importer's agent will certify as to the

[[Page 79851]]

accuracy and completeness of the information and submit the form 
electronically. After refreshing the page, the system will 
automatically issue a steel import license number. The refreshed form 
containing the submitted information and the newly issued license 
number will appear on the screen (the ``license form''). Filers can 
print the license form themselves only at that time. For security 
purposes, users will not be able to retrieve licenses themselves from 
the license system at a later date for reprinting. If needed, copies of 
completed license forms can be requested from Commerce during normal 
business hours.
    (d) Duration of the steel import license. The steel import license 
can be applied for up to 60 days prior to the expected date of 
importation and until the date of filing of the entry summary 
documents, or in the case of FTZ entries, the filing of Customs form 
214. The steel import license is valid for 75 days; however, import 
licenses that were valid on the date of importation but expired prior 
to the filing of entry summary documents will be accepted.
    (e) Correcting submitted license information. Due to data security 
issues, it will not be possible to alter an existing license 
electronically once it has been issued. However, prior to the date of 
entry summary, filers will be able to cancel previously issued licenses 
and file for a new license with the correct information. If the filer 
prefers to have Commerce personnel change the license, there will be a 
phone/fax option.


Sec.  360.104  Steel import surge monitoring system.

    (a) In general. (1) Throughout the duration of the licensing 
system, Commerce will maintain a surge monitoring Web site that will 
report certain aggregate information on imports of section 201 product 
categories obtained from the steel licenses. Aggregate data will be 
reported on a monthly basis by country of origin and section 201 
product category and will include import quantity (metric tons), import 
Customs value ($U.S.), and average unit value ($/metric ton). The 
monitoring Web site will also present a range of historical data for 
comparison purposes.
    (2) Reported monthly import data will be refreshed each week with 
new data on licenses issued during the previous week. This data will 
also be adjusted periodically for cancelled or unused steel import 
licenses, as appropriate.
    (b) Excluded products. At this time, Commerce will not be 
separately reporting aggregate data on excluded products. However, this 
information will be available for review by the appropriate government 
agencies.


Sec.  360.105  Duration of the steel import licensing program.

    The licensing program will be in effect for the duration of the 
safeguard measures only. Licenses will be required on all subject 
imports entered during this period, even if the entry summary documents 
are not filed until after the expiration of the measures. The licenses 
will be valid for 10 business days after the expiration of the 
safeguard measures to allow for the final filing of required Customs 
documentation. Information collected under this system will not be kept 
longer than the period of time legally required beyond the expiration 
of these remedies.


Sec.  360.106  Fees.

    No fees will be charged for obtaining a user identification number, 
issuing a steel import license or accessing the steel import surge 
monitoring system.


Sec.  360.107  Hours of operation.

    The automatic licensing system will generally be accessible 24 
hours a day, 7 days a week but may be down at selected times for server 
maintenance. If the system is down for an extended period of time, 
parties will be able to obtain licenses from Commerce directly via fax 
during regular business hours. Should the system be inaccessible for an 
extended period of time, Commerce would advise Customs to consider this 
as part of mitigation on any liquidated damage claims that may be 
issued.


Sec.  360.108  Loss of electronic licensing privileges.

    Should Commerce determine that a filer consistently files 
inaccurate licensing information or otherwise abuses the licensing 
system, Commerce may revoke its electronic licensing privileges. The 
filer will then only be able to obtain a license directly from 
Commerce. Because of the additional time need to review such forms, 
Commerce may require up to 10 working days to process such forms. 
Delays in filing caused by the removal of a filer's electronic filing 
privilege will not be considered a mitigating factor by the U.S. 
Customs Service.

    Dated: December 20, 2002.
Bernard T. Carreau,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.
[FR Doc. 02-32745 Filed 12-30-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P