[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 232 (Monday, December 5, 2005)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 72373-72376]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-23627]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

International Trade Administration

19 CFR Part 360

[Docket No.: 040305083-5249-03]
RIN 0625-AA64


Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis System

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce publishes this action to make final 
an interim final rule that extended and expanded the Steel Import 
Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) system until March 21, 2009. This action 
also expands the list of covered items to include all basic steel mill 
products, but it also removes certain downstream steel products, which 
were formerly covered products (certain fittings and flanges, certain 
cold formed shapes, and certain bars). The purpose of the SIMA system 
is to provide statistical data on steel imports entering the United 
States seven weeks earlier than is otherwise publicly available. The 
data collected on the licenses are made available to the public in an 
aggregated form weekly after Commerce review.

DATES: This final rule is effective December 5, 2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on the SIMA system, 
please contact Kelly Parkhill (202) 482-3791; Julie Al-Saadawi (202) 
482-1930.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The SIMA system (formerly referred to as 
Steel Monitoring and Analysis system) was originally outlined in the 
President's March 5, 2002, Proclamation about Steel Safeguards, which 
also placed tariffs temporarily on many steel imports and provided the 
steel industry time to restructure. The monitoring system outlined in 
the President's Proclamation required all importers of steel products 
to obtain a license from the Department of Commerce prior to completing 
their Customs import summary documentation. The original intent was to 
provide a monitoring tool to ensure that the effectiveness of the 
safeguard was not undermined by large quantities of imports originating 
from countries that were excluded from the tariffs. On December 4, 
2003, the President issued a proclamation that terminated the steel 
safeguard measures, but directed the Secretary of Commerce to continue 
the monitoring 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 stating 
that the system would continue in effect as described in the 
Proclamation until March 21, 2005 (68 FR 68594).
    On August 25, 2004, the Department published an advanced notice of 
proposed rulemaking soliciting comments from the public on whether to 
continue the monitoring system beyond March 21, 2005 (69 FR 52211) and, 
if extended, whether the system should be modified in any way. The 
Department received a number of submissions from a wide range of 
interested parties, including steel producers, steel consumers, steel 
suppliers, and importers as well as Congressional and foreign 
interests. On March 11, 2005, the Department published an interim final 
rule responding to these comments from the public and implementing a 
slightly expanded version of SIMA until March 21, 2009. The Department 
received forty-two submissions from a wide range of interested parties. 
Please refer to the SIMA system's Web site to read the comments on the 
Interim Rule and for further information about the SIMA system: http://ia.ita.doc.gov/steel/license/.

Final Rule

    The purpose of the SIMA system is to collect timely detailed 
statistics on steel imports and to provide stakeholders with 
information about import trends in this sector. The SIMA system 
aggregates detailed import statistics it collects from internet-
generated licenses and makes the data available for public analysis on 
a weekly basis. The data gathering

[[Page 72374]]

procedure through the online licensing system remains the same as it 
was described in the interim final rule. While the import monitor will 
continue to display aggregate statistical tables and graphs of U.S. 
steel imports combining data from the Census Bureau with data collected 
from the licensing system, it will be altered somewhat in response to 
comments received. However, these modifications do not require 
regulatory action and have no impact on the interim regulations, which 
will be finalized without changes.
    As stated in the interim final rule, the Department extended the 
SIMA system for a period of four years beginning March 21, 2005 (see 19 
CFR 360). The Department has also expanded the coverage of the system 
to include all basic steel mill products and will release aggregate 
licensing data at the 6-digit Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) product 
level detail on the monitoring Web site.
    In response to a number of comments received, the Department plans 
to make some changes in the monitoring section. The Department intends 
to add certain downstream steel products, identified during the comment 
period. These additional products will be available on the SIMA import 
monitoring Web site and will cover publicly available data only. The 
Department also intends to include export data and possibly domestic 
shipment data, which would provide an indicator of apparent consumption 
of steel in the United States. In addition, the Department plans to 
provide import data broken out by carbon, alloy, and stainless grades.

Comments

    Submissions received during the public comment period established 
in the interim final rule have been considered in preparing this final 
rule. Forty-two submissions were received from a wide range of sources: 
members of Congress, consumers, producers, and importers. Nearly all of 
the comments were supportive of extension and expansion of the SIMA 
system to steel mill products and agreed that it is a critical tool 
that helps the industry to closely monitor steel imports. The comments 
are summarized below and listed in order of their frequency:
    Comment 1: Expansion of the SIMA system to include various 
downstream steel products--The majority of the submitted comments 
supported expansion of the SIMA system to include downstream steel 
products, particularly downstream steel wire products such as steel 
wire strand and rope and cables (HTS 7312), barbed wire (HTS 7313), 
steel wire cloth, grill, netting, and fencing (HTS 7314), steel wire 
nails and staples (HTS 7317), steel springs (HTS 7320), and steel wire 
garment hangers (HTS 7326.20.0020). A small number of commenters stated 
that butt-weld fittings and flanges should be covered in the new SIMA 
system and that the Department should provide import data broken out by 
carbon, alloy, and stainless grades.
    Response 1: The Department will not expand coverage of the SIMA 
system to require licensing for the requested downstream steel 
products. Although the Department recognizes that certain segments of 
the steel industry are interested in the Department's licensing and 
monitoring of these downstream steel products, the sheer volume of 
entries associated with many of these downstream steel products (nails 
and staples, springs, fittings and flanges and wire hangers) greatly 
increases the burden of the system on the trading community and could 
potentially overwhelm the SIMA system. However, in response to the 
comments received, the Department intends to include publicly available 
import data for these products in a separate section of the SIMA 
monitoring system. The Department also intends to provide import data 
broken out by carbon, alloy, and stainless steel grades.
    Comment 2: Additional Data on Steel Exports and Shipments--The 
Department received a comment in one of the early comment periods that 
requests the Department to provide statistics on steel availability. 
The commenter wants to see shipment data and export data in addition to 
imports. By including all three concepts, the commenter argues, the 
SIMA system would paint a better picture of the available steel supply 
in the U.S. than relying only on imports.
    Response 2: In addition to import data, the Department intends to 
provide certain publicly available steel export data in the SIMA 
monitoring system. The Department is also exploring the possibility of 
reporting domestic shipment data to provide an indicator of U.S. 
apparent consumption. These changes to the SIMA system do not involve 
regulatory changes and do not affect the interim regulations.
    Comment 3: Reporting Level--A number of the submissions requested 
that the level of product detail presented in the monitor should be at 
the 10-digit HTS level. The commenters voiced concerns over reporting 
at the 6-digit HTS level stating that the product's features and use 
are often not revealed at the 6-digit HTS levels. Several commenters 
also suggested that the Department should aggregate data by port of 
entry.
    Response 3: The Department will continue to report aggregate data 
at the 6-digit HTS level only. The Department does not intend to 
publish data in any greater product detail than at the 6-digit HTS 
level because of the possibility of inadvertent release of proprietary 
information. The Department does not intend to release aggregate port 
of entry data for the same reason. However, the Department will publish 
historical percentage allocations for 6-digit HTS codes to the 
aggregate steel categories to assist users in their analysis of the 
data.
    Comment 4: Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ)-A number of commenters 
requested that the steel licensing requirement should remain a 
requirement at the time of admission to a FTZ and not upon Customs 
entry into the U.S. Customs territory.
    Response 4: The Department will continue to require a license from 
importers who bring steel to an FTZ only when it is first entered into 
the FTZ. The Department acknowledges the difficulty of identifying 
specific steel components upon exit of the steel product from the FTZ 
into the U.S. economy.
    Comment 5: Blanket License--A few commenters stated that the 
current system should allow blanket licenses.
    Response 5: The Department does not intend to make blanket licenses 
available. The Department is pleased to report that the data collected 
from the licensing system matches closely the Census data when it is 
published several weeks after the SIMA release. If the Department were 
to allow users to file blanket licenses, it would be difficult to 
reconcile other data with the licensing data and the accuracy of the 
monitoring system would deteriorate.
    Comment 6: Text file of raw data--A number of commenters requested 
that the Department release data in a text format that includes both 
quantity and value data.
    Response 6: The Department intends to publish a 6-column text file 
on its Web site and update it weekly. This text file would be composed 
of country, HTS code, quantity, value, price, and month of importation.
    On June 9, 2005, the product coverage of the SIMA system expanded 
to include all basic steel mill products (which are listed in full in 
the annex). At the same time certain downstream steel products, which 
were formerly covered products (certain fittings and flanges, certain 
cold formed shapes, and certain bars) were removed from the licensing 
requirement. Please refer to the SIMA Web site for a full listing of

[[Page 72375]]

the detailed product code changes and requirements.
    For the reasons discussed above, the interim rule (19 CFR 360) 
published on March 11, 2005 (70 FR 12133) is finalized without changes.

Classification

Executive Order 12866

    This rule has been determined to be significant for purposes of 
Executive Order 12866.

Executive Order 13132

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

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Because notice and opportunity for comment are not required 
pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other law, the analytical requirements 
of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are 
inapplicable. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not 
required and has not been prepared.

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: 06/30/2008). Public reporting for this 
collection of information is estimated to be less than 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 any person be subject to a penalty for failure 
to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork 
Reduction Act unless that collection displays a currently valid OMB 
Control Number.

    Dated: November 28, 2005.
Peter Lichtenbaum,
Acting Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade.

Annex: SIMA System Product Coverage--Basic Steel Mill Products. 
Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) Codes Listed Below

Ingots and Steel for Castings

7206100000, 7206900000, 7218100000, 7224100005, 7224100075

Blooms, Billets and Slabs

7207110000, 7207120010, 7207120050, 7207190030, 7207190090, 
7207200025, 7207200045, 7207200075, 7207200090, 7218910015, 
7218910030, 7218910060, 7218990015, 7218990030, 7218990045, 
7218990060, 7218990090, 7224900005, 7224900045, 7224900055, 
7224900065, 7224900075

Wire Rods

7213913000, 7213913010, 7213913011, 7213913015, 7213913090, 
7213913091, 7213913092, 7213914500, 7213914510, 7213914590, 
7213916000, 7213916010, 7213916090, 7213990030, 7213990031, 
7213990038, 7213990090, 7221000015, 7221000030

Structural Shapes Heavy

7216310000, 7216320000, 7216330030, 7216330060, 7216330090, 
7216400010, 7216400050, 7216500000, 7216990000, 7216990010, 
7216990090, 7222403025, 7222403045, 7228703020, 7228703040

Steel Piling

7301100000

Plates Cut Lengths

7208403030, 7208403060, 7208510030, 7208510045, 7208510060, 
7208520000, 7210901000, 7211130000, 7211140030, 7211140045, 
7219210005, 7219210020, 7219210040, 7219210050, 7219210060, 
7219220005, 7219220010, 7219220015, 7219220020, 7219220025, 
7219220030, 7219220035, 7219220040, 7219220045, 7219220060, 
7219220070, 7219220075, 7219220080, 7219310050, 7220110000, 
7225403005, 7225403050, 7225506000, 7226915000

Plates in Coils

7208101500, 7208103000, 7208253000, 7208256000, 7208360030, 
7208360060, 7208370030, 7208370060, 7211140090, 7219110000, 
7219110030, 7219110060, 7219120002, 7219120006, 7219120021, 
7219120026, 7219120045, 7219120051, 7219120056, 7219120066, 
7219120071, 7219120081, 7219310010, 7225303005, 7225303050

Rails Standard

7302101010, 7302101035, 7302105020

Rails All Other

7302101015, 7302101025, 7302101045, 7302101055

Railroad Accessories

7302200000, 7302400000, 7302901000

Bars--Hot Rolled

7213200000, 7213200010, 7213200080, 7213990060, 7214100000, 
7214300000, 7214300010, 7214300080, 7214910015, 7214910060, 
7214910090, 7214990015, 7214990030, 7214990045, 7214990060, 
7214990075, 7214990090, 7215901000, 7221000005, 7221000045, 
7221000075, 7222110005, 7222110050, 7222190005, 7222190050, 
7227200000, 7227200010, 7227200020, 7227200090, 7227200095, 
7227906005, 7227906050, 7227906051, 7227906053, 7227906058, 
7227906059, 7228201000, 7228308005, 7228308050, 7228400000, 
7228606000, 7228800000, 7228703010, 7228703041, 7228703081

Bars--Light Shapes

7216100010, 7216100050, 7216210000, 7216220000, 7222403065, 
7222403085, 7228703060, 7228703080

Bars--Reinforcing

7213100000, 7214200000

Bars--Cold Finished

7215100000, 7215100010, 7215100080, 7215500015, 7215500060, 
7215500090, 7215903000, 7215905000, 7222200005, 7222200045, 
7222200075, 7222300000, 7228205000, 7228505005, 7228505050, 
7228608000

Tool Steel

7224100045, 7224900015, 7224900025, 7224900035, 7225200000, 
7225301000, 7225305030, 7225305060, 7225401015, 7225401090, 
7225405030, 7225405060, 7225501030, 7225501060, 7226200000, 
7226910500, 7226911530, 7226911560, 7226912530, 7226912560, 
7226921030, 7226921060, 7226923030, 7226923060, 7227100000, 
7227901030, 7227901060, 7227902030, 7227902060, 7228100010, 
7228100030, 7228100060, 7228302000, 7228304000, 7228306000, 
7228501010, 7228501020, 7228501040, 7228501060, 7228501080, 
7228601030, 7228601060, 7229100000

Standard Pipe

7304390016, 7304390020, 7304390024, 7304390036, 7304390048, 
7304390062, 7304390076, 7304390080, 7304598010, 7304598015, 
7304598030, 7304598045, 7304598060, 7304598080, 7306305025, 
7306305028, 7306305032, 7306305040, 7306305055, 7306305085, 
7306305090

Oil Country Goods

7304213000, 7304216030, 7304216045, 7304216060, 7304291010, 
7304291020, 7304291030, 7304291040, 7304291050, 7304291060, 
7304291080, 7304292010, 7304292020, 7304292030, 7304292040, 
7304292050, 7304292060, 7304292080, 7304293010, 7304293020, 
7304293030, 7304293040, 7304293050, 7304293060, 7304293080, 
7304294010, 7304294020, 7304294030, 7304294040, 7304294050, 
7304294060, 7304294080, 7304295015, 7304295030, 7304295045, 
7304295060, 7304295075, 7304296015, 7304296030, 7304296045, 
7304296060, 7304296075, 7305202000, 7305204000, 7305206000, 
7305208000, 7306201030, 7306201090, 7306202000, 7306203000, 
7306204000, 7306206010, 7306206050, 7306208010, 7306208050

Line Pipe

7304101020, 7304101030, 7304101045, 7304101060, 7304101080, 
7304105020, 7304105050, 7304105080, 7305111030, 7305111060, 
7305115000, 7305121030, 7305121060, 7305125000, 7305191030, 
7305191060, 7305195000, 7306101010, 7306101013, 7306101014, 
7306101015, 7306101019, 7306101050, 7306101053, 7306101054, 
7306101055, 7306101059, 7306105010, 7306105013, 7306105014, 
7306105015, 7306105019, 7306105050, 7306105053, 7306105054, 
7306105055, 7306105059

[[Page 72376]]

Mechanical Tubing

7304313000, 7304316050, 7304390028, 7304390032, 7304390040, 
7304390044, 7304390052, 7304390056, 7304390068, 7304390072, 
7304511000, 7304515060, 7304591000, 7304596000, 7304598020, 
7304598025, 7304598035, 7304598040, 7304598050, 7304598055, 
7304598065, 7304598070, 7304905000, 7304907000, 7306301000, 
7306305015, 7306305020, 7306305035, 7306501000, 7306505030, 
7306505050, 7306505070, 7306605000, 7306607060

Pressure Tubing

7304316010, 7304390002, 7304390004, 7304390006, 7304390008, 
7304515015, 7304515045, 7304592030, 7304592040, 7304592045, 
7304592055, 7304592060, 7304592070, 7304592080, 7306305010, 
7306505010

Stainless Pipe & Tubing

7304413005, 7304413015, 7304413045, 7304416005,7304416015, 
7304416045, 7304490005, 7304490015, 7304490045, 7304490060, 
7306401010, 7306401015, 7306401090, 7306405005, 7306405015, 
7306405040, 7306405042, 7306405044, 7306405062, 7306405064, 
7306405080, 7306405085, 7306405090, 7306607030

Pipe & Tubing Nonclassified

7304515005, 7305901000, 7305905000, 7306901000, 7306905000

Structural Pipe & Tubing

7304901000, 7304903000, 7305312000, 7305314000, 7305316000, 
7306303000, 7306503000, 7306601000, 7306603000

Pipe for Piling

7305391000, 7305395000

Wire Drawn

7217101000, 7217102000, 7217103000, 7217104030, 7217104090, 
7217105030, 7217105090, 7217106000, 7217107000, 7217108010, 
7217108020, 7217108025, 7217108030, 7217108045, 7217108060, 
7217108075, 7217108090, 7217109000, 7217201500, 7217203000, 
7217204510, 7217204520, 7217204530, 7217204540, 7217204550, 
7217204560, 7217204570, 7217204580, 7217206000, 7217207500, 
7217301530, 7217301560, 7217303000, 7217304504, 7217304510, 
7217304511, 7217304520, 7217304530, 7217304540, 7217304541, 
7217304550, 7217304560, 7217304590, 7217306000, 7217307500, 
7217905030, 7217905060, 7217905090, 7223001015, 7223001030, 
7223001045, 7223001060, 7223001075, 7223005000, 7223009000, 
7229200000, 7229200010, 7229200015, 7229200090, 7229901000, 
7229905006, 7229905008, 7229905015, 7229905016, 7229905030, 
7229905031, 7229905050, 7229905051, 7229909000

Black Plate

7209182510, 7209182520, 7209182550, 7209182580

Tin Plate

7210110000, 7210120000, 7212100000

Tin Free Steel

7210500000

Sheets Hot Rolled

7208106000, 7208260030, 7208260060, 7208270030, 7208270060, 
7208380015, 7208380030, 7208380090, 7208390015, 7208390030, 
7208390090, 7208406030, 7208406060, 7208530000, 7208540000, 
7208900000, 7219130002, 7219130031, 7219130051, 7219130071, 
7219130081, 7219140030, 7219140065, 7219140090, 7219230030, 
7219230060, 7219240030, 7219240060, 7225307000, 7225407000

Sheets Cold Rolled

7209150000, 7209160030, 7209160060, 7209160070, 7209160090, 
7209160091, 7209170030, 7209170060, 7209170070, 7209170090, 
7209170091, 7209181530, 7209181560, 7209186000, 7209186020, 
7209186090, 7209250000, 7209260000, 7209270000, 7209280000, 
7209900000, 7210703000, 7219320005, 7219320020, 7219320025, 
7219320035, 7219320036, 7219320038, 7219320042, 7219320044, 
7219320045, 7219320060, 7219330005, 7219330020, 7219330025, 
7219330035, 7219330036, 7219330038, 7219330042, 7219330044, 
7219330045, 7219330070, 7219330080, 7219340005, 7219340020, 
7219340025, 7219340030, 7219340035, 7219340050, 7219350005, 
7219350015, 7219350030, 7219350035, 7219350050, 7219900010, 
7219900020, 7219900025, 7219900060, 7219900080, 7225507000, 
7225508010, 7225508015, 7225508085, 7225990010, 7225990090

Sheets & Strip Galv Hot Dipped

7210410000, 7210490030, 7210490090, 7210706060, 7212301030, 
7212301090, 7212303000, 7212305000, 7225920000, 7226940000

Sheets & Strip Galv Electrolytic

7210300030, 7210300060, 7210706030, 7212200000, 7225910000, 
7226930000

Sheets & Strip All Other Metallic CTD

7210200000, 7210610000, 7210690000, 7210706090, 7210906000, 
7210909000, 7212500000, 7212600000

Sheets & Strip--Electrical

7225110000, 7225190000, 7226111000, 7226119030, 7226119060, 
7226191000, 7226199000

Strip--Hot Rolled

7211191500, 7211192000, 7211193000, 7211194500, 7211196000, 
7211197530, 7211197560, 7211197590, 7220121000, 7220125000, 
7226917000, 7226918000

Strip--Cold Rolled

7211231500, 7211232000, 7211233000, 7211234500, 7211236030, 
7211236060, 7211236075, 7211236085, 7211292030, 7211292090, 
7211294500, 7211296030, 7211296080, 7211900000, 7212401000, 
7212405000, 7220201010, 7220201015, 7220201060, 7220201080, 
7220206005, 7220206010,7220206015, 7220206060, 7220206080, 
7220207005, 7220207010, 7220207015, 7220207060, 7220207080, 
7220208000, 7220209030, 7220209060, 7220900010, 7220900015, 
7220900060, 7220900080, 7226925000, 7226927005, 7226927050, 
7226928005, 7226928050, 7226990000

[FR Doc. 05-23627 Filed 12-2-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P