[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 164 (Wednesday, August 25, 2004)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Page 52211]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-19490]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 69, No. 164 / Wednesday, August 25, 2004 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 52211]]



DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

International Trade Administration

19 CFR Part 360

[Docket No. 040305083-4083-01]
RIN 0625-AA64


Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis System

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

ACTION: Advanced notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Department is seeking suggestions on whether to extend the 
Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) system and whether, and if 
so how, to improve SIMA, while minimizing any impediments to 
international commerce.

DATES: Written comments and electronic files must be received on or 
before 5 p.m. eastern daylight savings time September 24, 2004. 
Submitters are encouraged to limit written comments (original and five 
copies) to ten pages or less.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to Kelly Parkhill, Director 
for Industry Support and Analysis, Import Administration, Room 3713, 
Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Ave., NW., 
Washington, DC 20230. Electronic files should state ``Comments on 
Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making'' in the subject line and be 
sent to steel_license@ita.doc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kelly Parkhill (202) 482-3791; Julie 
Al-Saadawi (202) 482-1930.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On December 31, 2002, the Department of 
Commerce published its final rule on the implementation of the current 
steel import monitoring system (67 FR 79845). This system was initiated 
in connection with the implementation of safeguard measures with 
respect to certain steel products pursuant to Section 203 of the Trade 
Act of 1974 (67 FR 10593). The effective date of the system was 
February 1, 2003. On December 4, 2003, the President issued a 
proclamation that terminated the safeguard measures, but also directed 
the Secretary of Commerce to continue the system until the earlier of 
March 21, 2005, or such time as the Secretary of Commerce establishes a 
replacement program. On December 9, 2003, the Department of Commerce 
published a notice that the system would continue in effect as 
described in the Proclamation (68 FR 68594).
    The purpose of the Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) 
system is to provide steel producers, steel consumers, importers, and 
the general public with accurate and timely information on imports of 
certain steel products. Currently, the SIMA system requires licenses 
for imports of certain steel products that were formerly covered under 
the President's safeguard action. Details of the current system can be 
found in the final rule published on December 31, 2002 (67 FR 79845).
    In this notice, the Department of Commerce solicits comment from 
the public on the need to continue the current system beyond its 
current expiration date of March 21, 2005, if the Secretary of Commerce 
does not establish a replacement program prior to that date.
    On April 1, 2004, in a joint letter cosigned by top executives from 
38 steel producers, and in subsequent meetings with the Administration, 
the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and the Steel 
Manufacturers Association (SMA) urged the Department to implement an 
enhanced replacement program for the current system. At a minimum, AISI 
and SMA requested that the Department take the initial steps necessary 
to begin any required rule making process by publishing a request for 
public comment in the Federal Register. Interest in the opportunity to 
provide public comment has also been expressed to the Department 
informally by a number of other interested parties including steel 
importers, distributors, service centers and foreign steel producers.
    In this notice, the Department of Commerce is also requesting 
comments on whether to introduce possible enhancements to the system. 
While we welcome suggestions for improving the system, we would 
particularly appreciate public comments on the following items.
    Product Coverage. Commerce is considering whether it should modify 
the scope of the current system to either cover additional products or 
remove certain products from licensing and monitoring.
    Timing of License Application. Currently, the license is required 
at the time of entry summary, although one may apply for a license up 
to two months prior to the expected date of importation. We encourage 
interested persons to comment on both the effectiveness and the burden 
of the current system as well as any alternative options that they 
believe may be more appropriate.
    Possible Modifications to the Import Monitor. We encourage 
interested persons to submit comments or suggestions on changes to the 
import monitor (e.g., presentation of more detailed product 
information, summary information by Customs District, inclusion of 
trend analysis).
    Further information may be obtained by viewing the current system 
at Import Administration's SIMA Web site (http://ia.ita.doc.gov/steel/license/). Interested persons are encouraged to visit the website and 
to test the system. For assistance and a temporary user code, please 
contact the steel licensing team at (202) 482-2105.
    All comments responding to this notice will be a matter of public 
record and available for public inspection and copying at Import 
Administration's Central Records Unit, Room B-099, between the hours of 
8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on business days.
    Classification: This rule has been determined to be significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    Dated: August 18, 2004.
James J. Jochum,
Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.
[FR Doc. 04-19490 Filed 8-24-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P