[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 116 (Monday, June 19, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 27799-27801]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-12674]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

International Trade Administration

[A-570-970; C-570-971]


Multilayered Wood Flooring From the People's Republic of China: 
Final Clarification of the Scope of the Antidumping and Countervailing 
Duty Orders

AGENCY: Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, 
Department of Commerce.

SUMMARY: On April 19, 2017, the Department of Commerce (Department) 
published a proposed clarification of the scope of the antidumping and 
countervailing duty orders on multilayered wood flooring (wood 
flooring) from the People's Republic of China (PRC). Based on comments 
from interested parties, the Department has further clarified the scope 
of this order.

DATES: Effective June 19, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jesus Saenz or Michael Bowen, AD/CVD 
Operations, Office VIII, Enforcement and Compliance, International 
Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution 
Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: 202-482-8184 or 202-482-
0768, respectively.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The regulations governing the Department's scope determinations are 
found at 19 CFR 351.225. In past scope determinations,\1\ in accordance 
with 19 CFR 351.225(k)(1), the Department has relied on the scope 
language, along with descriptions of the merchandise contained in the 
petitions, the initial investigations, prior scope determinations, and 
rulings by the International Trade Commission (ITC) to determine that 
two-layer wood flooring products are outside the scope of the 
Orders.\2\
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    \1\ See e.g., Department Memorandum, ``Final Scope Ruling on the 
Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders on Multilayered Wood 
Flooring from the People's Republic of China: Request by Dunhua 
Shengda Wood Industry Co., Ltd., dated December 14, 2016; and 
Department Memorandum, ``Final Scope Ruling on the Antidumping and 
Countervailing Duty Orders on Multilayered Wood Flooring from the 
People's Republic of China: Request by Alston, Inc.,'' dated March 
12, 2013.
    \2\ See Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of 
China: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value 
and Antidumping Duty Order, 76 FR 76690 (December 8, 2011) and 
Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China: 
Countervailing Duty Order, 76 FR 76693 (December 8, 2011), as 
amended, Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of 
China: Amended Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders, 77 FR 
5484 (February 3, 2012) (collectively, Orders).
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    On April 19, 2017, the Department published the Proposed Scope 
Clarification \3\ to provide notice that the Department intends to 
clarify the scope of the Orders due to the large number of scope ruling 
requests concerning wood flooring products consisting of only two 
layers. Interested parties were invited to comment on the intended 
clarification.
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    \3\ See Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of 
China: Clarification of the Scope of the Antidumping and 
Countervailing Duty Orders, 82 FR 18420 (April 19, 2017) (Proposed 
Scope Clarification).
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Comments on the Proposed Scope Clarification

    The Department received two comment submissions from two groups of 
interested parties during the comment period.\4\ The first group agrees 
that the Department has received a large number of scope ruling 
requests concerning two-layer wood flooring products, and notes that 
the requests are being filed not because the order language is 
ambiguous, but, rather, because of concern that U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection (CBP) officials may not always distinguish between two-ply 
and subject merchandise.\5\ This group, therefore, does not believe 
that the Proposed Scope Clarification will necessarily eliminate the 
number of scope ruling requests received by the Department, and 
proposes, as an alternative, that the Department work more closely with 
CBP to ensure CBP knows the difference between subject and non-subject 
merchandise.\6\ Nonetheless, to the extent the clarification language 
is merely meant to reiterate the scope rulings that have already been 
issued, and is not intended to change the scope of the Orders, this 
group does not object.\7\
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    \4\ See Letter from Anhui Boya Bamboo &Wood Products Co., Ltd., 
et al., ``Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of 
China: Comments on Scope Clarification'', dated May 1, 2017 (Anhui 
Boya Bamboo & Wood Products Co., Ltd., et al., Comments); and Letter 
from Zhejiang Dandongwu GreenHome Wood Co., Ltd., et. al., 
``Multilayered Wood Flooring form the People's Republic of China: 
Comments on the Department's Proposed Scope Clarification, dated May 
1, 2017 (Zheijiang Dadongwu GreenHome Wood Co., Ltd., et al., 
Comments).
    \5\ Anhui Boya Bamboo & Wood Products Co., Ltd., et al., 
Comments at 1.
    \6\ Id. at 1-2.
    \7\ Id. at 2.
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    The second group agrees with the Proposed Scope Clarification and 
deems the language necessary to reflect more definitively that two-
layer wood flooring products are excluded from the scope of the Orders, 
as it will expedite

[[Page 27800]]

handling of entries by CBP and eliminate the need for further scope 
rulings.\8\ This group also proposes that the Department insert 
additional clarifying language to the exclusion section of the existing 
written scope description in order to emphasize the exclusion of two-
layer wood flooring products from the scope of the Orders as follows: 
``Also excluded is wood flooring composed of two layers. Two layered 
flooring typically consists of a single wood veneer, or ply, in 
combination with a base layer of various constructions and materials, 
which may include wood.'' \9\
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    \8\ Zheijiang Dadongwu GreenHome Wood Co., Ltd., et al., 
Comments at 2.
    \9\ Id. at 2-3.
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    No other parties, including the petitioner, commented on the 
Proposed Scope Clarification.

Final Scope Clarification

    The Proposed Scope Clarification is meant to clarify the 
Department's interpretation of the scope of the Orders, as provided in 
numerous past scope determinations, that the wood flooring products 
covered by the Orders are composed of a minimum of three layers. This 
clarification is not intended to change the scope of wood flooring 
products covered by the Orders, but is merely meant to clarify and 
inform the public and CBP that the Department has consistently 
interpreted the scope of the Orders to cover wood flooring products 
composed of a minimum of three layers. Further, this clarification will 
expedite CBP's processing of entries of both subject and non-subject 
wood flooring products, and reduce the need for further scope rulings 
with respect to two-layer wood flooring products.
    However, in light of the comments received, and to further 
reiterate that the clarification is not intended to change the scope of 
wood flooring products covered by the Orders, but is merely meant to 
clarify the Department's interpretation, for purposes of this final 
scope clarification we are including an interpretive note as a footnote 
to the scope language, rather than add clarifying language to the scope 
itself. See Scope of the Orders section below at note 11. We are 
adopting this clarification for all segments of the proceeding under 
the Orders for which a determination is made on or after the effective 
date of this notice. We intend to notify CBP of this final scope 
clarification.
    Lastly, although certain parties propose changing the existing 
scope by adding language specifically excluding two-layered flooring, 
we have not adopted this change. We find that the changes adopted 
herein are sufficient to accomplish the goals of the clarification, and 
that further language regarding a specific exclusion for two-layered 
flooring is not necessary.

Scope of the Orders

    Multilayered wood flooring is composed of an assembly of two or 
more layers or plies of wood veneer(s) \10\ in combination with a 
core.\11\ The several layers, along with the core, are glued or 
otherwise bonded together to form a final assembled product. 
Multilayered wood flooring is often referred to by other terms, e.g., 
``engineered wood flooring'' or ``plywood flooring.'' Regardless of the 
particular terminology, all products that meet the description set 
forth herein are intended for inclusion within the definition of 
subject merchandise.
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    \10\ A ``veneer'' is a thin slice of wood, rotary cut, sliced or 
sawed from a log, bolt or flitch. Veneer is referred to as a ply 
when assembled.
    \11\ Department of Commerce Interpretive Note: The Department 
interprets this language to refer to wood flooring products with a 
minimum of three layers.
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    All multilayered wood flooring is included within the definition of 
subject merchandise, without regard to: Dimension (overall thickness, 
thickness of face ply, thickness of back ply, thickness of core, and 
thickness of inner plies; width; and length); wood species used for the 
face, back and inner veneers; core composition; and face grade. 
Multilayered wood flooring included within the definition of subject 
merchandise may be unfinished (i.e., without a finally finished surface 
to protect the face veneer from wear and tear) or ``prefinished'' 
(i.e., a coating applied to the face veneer, including, but not 
exclusively, oil or oil-modified or water-based polyurethanes, ultra-
violet light cured polyurethanes, wax, epoxy-ester finishes, moisture-
cured urethanes and acid-curing formaldehyde finishes). The veneers may 
be also soaked in an acrylic-impregnated finish. All multilayered wood 
flooring is included within the definition of subject merchandise 
regardless of whether the face (or back) of the product is smooth, wire 
brushed, distressed by any method or multiple methods, or hand-scraped. 
In addition, all multilayered wood flooring is included within the 
definition of subject merchandise regardless of whether or not it is 
manufactured with any interlocking or connecting mechanism (for 
example, tongue-and-groove construction or locking joints). All 
multilayered wood flooring is included within the definition of the 
subject merchandise regardless of whether the product meets a 
particular industry or similar standard.
    The core of multilayered wood flooring may be composed of a range 
of materials, including but not limited to hardwood or softwood veneer, 
particleboard, medium-density fiberboard, high-density fiberboard 
(``HDF''), stone and/or plastic composite, or strips of lumber placed 
edge-to-edge.
    Multilayered wood flooring products generally, but not exclusively, 
may be in the form of a strip, plank, or other geometrical patterns 
(e.g., circular, hexagonal). All multilayered wood flooring products 
are included within this definition regardless of the actual or nominal 
dimensions or form of the product. Specifically excluded from the scope 
are cork flooring and bamboo flooring, regardless of whether any of the 
sub-surface layers of either flooring are made from wood. Also excluded 
is laminate flooring. Laminate flooring consists of a top wear layer 
sheet not made of wood, a decorative paper layer, a core-layer of HDF, 
and a stabilizing bottom layer.
    Imports of the subject merchandise are provided for under the 
following subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United 
States (``HTSUS''): 4412.31.0520; 4412.31.0540; 4412.31.0560; 
4412.31.0620; 4412.31.0640; 4412.31.0660; 4412.31.2510; 4412.31.2520; 
4412.31.2610; 4412.31.2620; 4412.31.3175; 4412.31.4040; 4412.31.4050; 
4412.31.4060; 4412.31.4070; 4412.31.4075; 4412.31.4080; 4412.31.4140; 
4412.31.4160; 4412.31.4175; 4412.31.5125; 4412.31.5135; 4412.31.5155; 
4412.31.5165; 4412.31.5175; 4412.31.5225; 4412.31.6000; 4412.31.9100; 
4412.32.0520; 4412.32.0540; 4412.32.0560; 4412.32.0565; 4412.32.0570; 
4412.32.0640; 4412.32.0665; 4412.32.2510; 4412.32.2520; 4412.32.2525; 
4412.32.2530; 4412.32.2610; 4412.32.2625; 4412.32.3125; 4412.32.3135; 
4412.32.3155; 4412.32.3165; 4412.32.3175; 4412.32.3185; 4412.32.3225; 
4412.32.5600; 4412.32.5700; 4412.39.1000; 4412.39.3000; 4412.39.4011; 
4412.39.4012; 4412.39.4019; 4412.39.4031; 4412.39.4032; 4412.39.4039; 
4412.39.4051; 4412.39.4052; 4412.39.4059; 4412.39.4061; 4412.39.4062; 
4412.39.4069; 4412.39.5010; 4412.39.5030; 4412.39.5050; 4412.94.1030; 
4412.94.1050;

[[Page 27801]]

4412.94.3105; 4412.94.3111; 4412.94.3121; 4412.94.3131; 4412.94.3141; 
4412.94.3160; 4412.94.3171; 4412.94.4100; 4412.94.5100; 4412.94.6000; 
4412.94.7000; 4412.94.8000; 4412.94.9000; 4412.94.9500; 4412.99.0600; 
4412.99.1020; 4412.99.1030; 4412.99.1040; 4412.99.3110; 4412.99.3120; 
4412.99.3130; 4412.99.3140; 4412.99.3150; 4412.99.3160; 4412.99.3170; 
4412.99.4100; 4412.99.5100; 4412.99.5105; 4412.99.5115; 4412.99.5710; 
4412.99.6000; 4412.99.7000; 4412.99.8000; 4412.99.9000; 4412.99.9500; 
4418.71.2000; 4418.71.9000; 4418.72.2000; 4418.72.9500; 4418.74.2000; 
4418.74.9000; 4418.75.4000; 4418.75.7000; 4418.79.0100; and 
9801.00.2500.
    While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs 
purposes, the written description of the subject merchandise is 
dispositive.

     Dated: June 13, 2017.
Ronald K. Lorentzen,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2017-12674 Filed 6-16-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P