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New Trade Case on Imports of Plastic Decorative Ribbons from China

By Mark R. Ludwikowski / Dec 29, 2017

New US antidumping (AD) and countervailing (CVD) duty investigations were filed on December 27, 2017 against imports of plastic decorative ribbons from China. These products, mainly used for decorative purposes such as gift wrapping, holiday decorations, and party crafting, will be reviewed by the Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the International Trade Commission (ITC) to determine whether to launch AD and/or CVD duty and injury investigations. Commerce will be responsible for calculating the ultimate AD/CVD margins on the imports, while the ITC will conduct a concurrent investigation to determine if the imports are injuring the U.S. industry. If Commerce finds dumping or unfair subsidization in its preliminary determinations, currently scheduled for March 22, 2018 (CVD) and June 5, 2018 (AD), importers will be charged the calculated duties upon the products’ entry in the U.S. market.

There are strict statutory deadlines associated with these proceedings and affected companies are advised to prepare as soon as possible. If this product is of interest to you, please let us know so that we can provide you with additional information as it becomes available.

New US antidumping (AD) and countervailing (CVD) duty investigations were filed on December 27, 2017 against imports of plastic decorative ribbons from China. These products, mainly used for decorative purposes such as gift wrapping, holiday decorations, and party crafting, will be reviewed by the Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the International Trade Commission (ITC) to determine whether to launch AD and/or CVD duty and injury investigations. Commerce will be responsible for calculating the ultimate AD/CVD margins on the imports, while the ITC will conduct a concurrent investigation to determine if the imports are injuring the U.S. industry. If Commerce finds dumping or unfair subsidization in its preliminary determinations, currently scheduled for March 22, 2018 (CVD) and June 5, 2018 (AD), importers will be charged the calculated duties upon the products’ entry in the U.S. market.

There are strict statutory deadlines associated with these proceedings and affected companies are advised to prepare as soon as possible. If this product is of interest to you, please let us know so that we can provide you with additional information as it becomes available.

The following are key facts about this trade case:

Petitioner: Berwick Offray LLC.

Alleged AD and CVD margins: Petitioner has alleged the following AD margins for specific product categories: Ribbon 74.34 % Bow Bag 162.86 % Bow 370.04 %. Petitioner has also alleged CVD margins above de minimis based on various subsidy programs from the Chinese government.

Merchandise covered by the scope of the case: The merchandise covered by this investigation is certain plastic decorative ribbon having a width (measured at the narrowest span of the ribbon) of less than or equal to four (4) inches in actual measurement, including but not limited to ribbon wound onto itself; a spool, a core or a tube (with or without flanges); attached to a card or strip; wound into a keg- or egg-shaped configuration; made into bows, bow-like items, or other shapes or configurations; and whether or not packaged or labeled for retail sale. The subject merchandise is typically made of substrates of polypropylene, but may be made in whole or in part of any type of plastic, including without limitation, plastic derived from petroleum products and plastic derived from cellulose products.

The subject merchandise includes ribbons comprised of one or more layers of substrates made, in whole or in part, of plastics adhered to each other, regardless of the method used to adhere the layers together, including without limitation, ribbons comprised of layers of substrates adhered to each other through a lamination process. Subject merchandise also includes ribbons comprised of (a) one or more layers of substrates made, in whole or in part, of plastics adhered to (b) one or more layers of substrates made, in whole or in part, of non-plastic materials, including, without limitation, substrates made, in whole or in part, of fabric.

The ribbons subject to this investigation may be of any color or combination of colors (including without limitation, ribbons that are transparent, translucent or opaque) and may or may not bear words or images, including those of a holiday motif. The subject merchandise includes ribbons with embellishments and/or treatments, including, without limitation, ribbons that are printed, hot-stamped, coated, laminated, flocked, crimped, die-cut, embossed ( or that otherwise have impressed designs, images, words or patterns), and ribbons with holographic, metallic, glitter or iridescent finishes.

Subject merchandise includes "pull-bows" an assemblage of ribbons connected to one another, folded flat, and equipped with a means to form such ribbons into the shape of a bow by pulling on a length of material affixed to such assemblage, and "pre-notched" bows, an assemblage of notched ribbon loops arranged one inside the other with the notches in alignment and affixed to each other where notched, and which the end user forms into a bow by separating and spreading the loops circularly around the notches, which form the center of the bow. Subject merchandise includes ribbons that are packaged with non-subject merchandise, including ensembles that include ribbons and other products, such as gift wrap, gift bags, gift tags and/or other gift packaging products. Unless the context otherwise clearly indicates, the word "ribbon" used in the singular includes the plural and the plural "ribbons" includes the singular.

Excluded from the scope of this investigation are the following: (1) ribbons formed exclusively by weaving plastic threads together; (2) ribbons that have metal wire in, on, or along the entirety of each of the longitudinal edges of the ribbon; (3) ribbons with an adhesive coating covering the entire span between the longitudinal edges of the ribbon for the entire length of the ribbon; (4) ribbon formed into a bow without a tab or other means for attaching the bow to an object using adhesives, where the bow has: (a) an outer layer that is either flocked or made of fabric, and (b) a flexible metal wire at the base that is suitable for attaching the bow to a Christmas tree or other object by twist-tying; (5) elastic ribbons, meaning ribbons that elongate when stretched and return to their original dimension when the stretching load is removed; ( 6) ribbons affixed as a decorative detail to non-subject merchandise, such as a gift bag, gift box, gift tin, greeting card or plush toy, or affixed (including by tying) as a decorative detail to packaging containing nonsubject merchandise; (7) ribbons that are (a) affixed to non-subject merchandise as a working component of such non-subject merchandise, such as where the ribbon comprises a book marker, bag cinch, or part of an identity card holder, or (b) affixed (including by tying) to non-subject merchandise as a working component that holds or packages such non-subject merchandise or attaches packaging or labeling to such non-subject merchandise, such as a "belly band" around a pair of pajamas, a pair of socks or a blanket; (8) imitation raffia made of plastics having a thickness not more than one (1) mil when measured in an unfolded/untwisted state; and (9) ribbons in the form of bows having a diameter of less than seven-eighths (7 /8) of an inch, or having a diameter of more than 16 inches. For purposes of this exclusion, the diameter of a bow is equal to the diameter of the smallest circular ring through which the bow will pass without compressing the bow.

Merchandise covered by this investigation is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States ("HTSUS") under subheadings 3920.20.0015 and 3926.40.0010. Merchandise covered by this investigation also may enter under subheadings 3920.10.0000; 3920.30.0000; 3920.43.5000; 3920.49.0000; 3920.62.0020; 3920.62.0050; 3920.62.0090; 3920.69.0000; 3921.90.1100; 3921.90.1500; 3921.90.1910; 3921.90.1950; 3921.90.4010; 3921.90.4090; 3926.90.9905; 3926.90.9910; 3926.90.9925; 3926.90.9930; 3926.90.9996; 5404.90.0000; 9505.90.4000; 4601.99.9000; 4602.90.0000; 5609.00.3000; 5609.00.4000; and 9505.10.2500. These HTSUS statistical categories and subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes; the written description of the scope of this investigation is dispositive.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Mark Ludwikowski (mludwikowski@clarkhill.com; 202-640-6680) or another member of Clark Hill's International Trade Practice Group.