[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 219 (Tuesday, November 13, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 67593-67595]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-27539]



International Trade Administration

19 CFR Part 360

[Docket Number 121016549-2549-01]
RIN 0625-AA93

Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis System

AGENCY: Import Administration, International Trade Administration, 

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce publishes this proposed rule to 
request public comments on proposed modifications to the regulations 
for the Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) System that would 
extend the system until March 2017. This extension would continue the 
Department's ability to track as early as possible certain steel mill 
imports into the United States and make the import data publicly 
available approximately seven weeks in advance of the full public trade 
data release by the Bureau of the Census. Having access to full 
information about imports provides the public with greater knowledge to 
evaluate current market conditions.

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before 5 p.m. EST, December 13, 
Submission of Comments
    As specified above, to be assured of consideration, comments must 
be received no later than 30 days after the publication of this notice 
in the Federal Register. All comments must be submitted through the 
Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, into Docket 
Number ITA-2012-0005, unless the commenter does not have access to the 
Internet. Commenters that do not have access to the Internet may submit 
the original and two copies of each set of comments by mail or hand 
delivery/courier. Please address the written comments to the Secretary 
of Commerce, Attention: Steven Presing, Director for Industry Support 
and Analysis, Import Administration, Room 2845, Import Administration, 
U.S. Department of Commerce, Constitution Avenue and 14th Street NW., 
Washington, DC 20230. The Department will not accept comments 
accompanied by a request that part or all of the material be treated 
confidentially because of its business proprietary nature or for any 
other reason. All comments responding to this notice will be a matter 
of public record and will be available for inspection at Import 
Administration's Central Records Unit (Room 7046 of the Herbert C. 
Hoover Building) and on the Department's Web site at http://www.trade.gov/ia/.
    Any questions concerning file formatting, document conversion, 
access on the Internet, or other electronic filing issues should be 
addressed to Andrew Lee Beller, Import Administration Webmaster, at 
(202) 482-0866, email address: [email protected].
    All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, 
etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly 
accessible. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in 
Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. 
All Federal Register notices regarding the SIMA system can be accessed 
at http://ia.ita.doc.gov/steel/license/SIMA-FR-Notices.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on the SIMA system, 
please contact Steven Presing (202) 482-1672 or Julie Al-Saadawi (202) 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On March 2, 2002, the Bush Administration 
authorized the implementation of a steel

[[Page 67594]]

import licensing and monitoring program by issuing Proclamation 7529, 
which placed temporary tariffs on many steel imports and provided the 
steel industry time to restructure. The monitoring system outlined in 
Proclamation 7529 required all importers of steel products to obtain a 
license from the Department of Commerce prior to completing Customs 
entry summary documentation. This monitoring tool ensured that the 
effectiveness of the safeguard was not undermined by large quantities 
of imports originating from countries that were excluded from the 
tariffs. Pursuant to Proclamation 7529, on December 31, 2002, the 
Department of Commerce issued final regulations setting forth the 
``Steel Import Licensing and Surge Monitoring Program'' (67 FR 79845).
    In Proclamation 7741 of December 4, 2003 (68 FR 68483), the 
President terminated the steel safeguard measures but directed the 
Secretary of Commerce to continue the steel import licensing and 
monitoring system until the earlier of March 21, 2005, or such time as 
the Secretary of Commerce established a replacement monitoring program. 
On December 9, 2003 (68 FR 68594), the Department published a notice 
stating that the monitoring system would continue to be in effect as 
described in Proclamation 7741 until March 21, 2005. Prior to the March 
21, 2005, termination date, the Department of Commerce determined that 
there continued to be a need to collect import data, and published an 
interim rule (70 FR 12136, March 11, 2005) revising part 360 to 
slightly expand the monitoring program, and a final rule (70 FR 72373, 
December 5, 2005) continuing the program through March 21, 2009; at 
this time the system became known as SIMA. On March 18, 2009, the 
Department of Commerce published a final rule (74 FR 11474) in the 
Federal Register to continue the SIMA system and extend the program 
until March 21, 2013, unless further extended upon review and 
notification in the Federal Register.
    This proposed rule would extend the implementation of the current 
SIMA system until March 21, 2017. This extension would continue the 
Department's ability to track certain steel mill imports into the 
United States and make the import data publicly available approximately 
seven weeks in advance of the full trade data release.
    The purpose of the SIMA system is to provide steel producers, steel 
consumers, importers, and the general public with accurate and timely 
information on anticipated imports of certain steel products into the 
United States. Steel import licenses, issued through the online SIMA 
licensing system, are required by U.S. Customs and Border Protection 
for filing entry paperwork for imports of certain steel mill products 
into the United States. Import data collected through the issuance of 
the licenses are aggregated weekly and posted on the publicly available 
Steel Mill Import Monitor. Details of the current system and monitor 
can be found at http://ia.ita.doc.gov/steel/license/.
    The Department proposes to extend the SIMA system beyond its 
current expiration date for an additional period of four years, until 
March 21, 2017 (see 19 CFR part 360). SIMA's renewal is coming at a 
time when the cyclical nature of the global steel industry is of 
critical concern to the domestic markets. As an import sensitive 
industry, the industry strongly supports this licensing system as it 
allows the market to monitor import fluctuations, especially those that 
may be unfairly traded, as early as possible.
    All comments responding to this notice will be a matter of public 
record and available for public inspection and copying on 
www.Regulations.gov and at Import Administration's Central Records 
Unit, Room 7046, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on business 


    Regulatory Flexibility Act. The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the 
Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of 
the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, 
would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities as that term is defined in the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. A summary of the factual basis for this 
certification is below.
    This proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of companies. This rule, if implemented, would 
extend the current SIMA system until March 21, 2017. The entities that 
would be impacted by this rule are importers and brokerage companies 
who import steel mill products. These entities would be required to 
obtain steel import licenses through the online SIMA licensing system 
for filing entry paperwork required by the U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection for U.S. imports of steel mill products. Based on statistics 
derived from current license applications, of the approximately 1,600 
licenses issued each day, Commerce estimates that fewer than two 
percent of the licenses would be filed by importers and brokerage 
companies that would be considered small entities.
    Based on the current usage of SIMA, Commerce does not anticipate 
that the extension of the SIMA system will have a significant economic 
impact. Companies are already familiar with the licensing of certain 
steel products under the current system. In most cases, brokerage 
companies will apply for the license on behalf of the steel importers. 
Most brokerage companies that are currently involved in filing 
documentation for importing goods into the United States are accustomed 
to Customs and Border Protection's automated entry filing systems. 
Today, more than 99% of the Customs filings are handled electronically. 
Therefore, the web-based, automated nature of this simple license 
application should not be a significant obstacle to any firm in 
completing this requirement. However, should an importer or brokerage 
company need to register for an account or apply for a license non-
electronically, a fax/phone option will be available at Commerce during 
regular business hours. There is no cost to register for a company-
specific steel license account and no cost to file for the license. 
Each license form is expected to take less than 10 minutes to complete 
and collects much of the same information required on the Customs entry 
summary documentation. The steel import license is the only additional 
U.S. entry requirement that the importers or their representatives must 
fulfill in order to import each covered steel product shipment.
    Although Commerce does not charge for licenses, Commerce estimates 
that the likely aggregate license costs incurred by small entities in 
terms of the time to apply for licenses as a result of this proposed 
rule would be fewer than two percent, or an estimated $37,151.00, of 
the estimated total $1,857,560.00 cost to all steel importers to 
process the on-line automatic licenses. These calculations were based 
on an hourly pay rate of $20.00 multiplied by the estimated 92,878 
total annual burden hours. Based on the current patterns of license 
applications, the vast majority of the licenses are applied for by 
large companies. The approximate cost of a single license is less than 
10 minutes of the fillers time and this is reduced if applicants use 
templates or the electronic data interface for multiple licenses.
    This proposed rule contains collection-of-information requirements 
subject to review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction

[[Page 67595]]

Act (PRA). These requirements have been approved by OMB (OMB No.: 0625-
0245; Expiration Date: 12/31/2014). 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.
    Paperwork Reduction Act Data:
    OMB Number: 0625-0245.
    ITA Number: ITA-4141P.
    Type of Review: Regular Submission.
    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.
    Estimated Number of Registered Users: 3,500.
    Estimated Time per Response: Less than 10 minutes.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 92,878 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Costs: $0.00.
    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.

Executive Order 12866

    This rule has been determined to be not 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.

List of Subjects in 19 CFR Part 360

    Administrative practice and procedure, Business and industry, 
Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Steel.

    For reasons discussed in the preamble, we propose amending 19 CFR 
360 as follows:


    1. The authority citation for part 360 continues to read as 

     Authority: 13 U.S.C. 301(a) and 302.

    2. Section 360.105 is revised to read as follows.

Sec.  360.105  Duration of the steel import licensing requirement.

    The licensing program will be in effect through March 21, 2017, but 
may be extended upon review and notification in the Federal Register 
prior to this expiration date. Licenses will be required for all 
subject imports entered during this period, even if the entry summary 
documents are not filed until after the expiration of this program. The 
licenses will be valid for 10 business days after the expiration of 
this program to allow for the final filing of required Customs 

    Dated: November 2, 2012.
Francisco J. Sanchez,
Under Secretary for International Trade.
[FR Doc. 2012-27539 Filed 11-9-12; 8:45 am]