AD/CV Duty Investigation on Freight Rail Couplers and Parts
According to CSMS # 53690377, Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations: Certain Freight Rail Couplers. On October 18, 2022, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) initiated its less-than-fair-value and countervailing duty investigations on “Certain Freight Rail Couplers and Parts Thereof from the People’s Republic of China (China)” (Initiation Notices). These investigations have been assigned the following case numbers: A-570-145 and C-570-146 (China) A-201-857 (Mexico).
The Scope of Merchandise covered by these investigations reads as follows:
The scope of these investigations covers certain freight railcar couplers (also known as “fits” or “assemblies”) and parts thereof. Freight railcar couplers are composed of two main parts, namely knuckles and coupler bodies but may also include other items (e.g., coupler locks, lock lift assemblies, knuckle pins, knuckle throwers, and rotors). The parts of couplers that are covered by the investigations include: (1) E coupler bodies, (2) E/F coupler bodies, (3) F coupler bodies, (4) E knuckles, and (5) F knuckles, as set forth by the Association of American Railroads (AAR). The freight rail coupler parts (i.e., knuckles and coupler bodies) are included within the scope of the investigations when imported separately. Coupler locks, lock lift assemblies, knuckle pins, knuckle throwers, and rotors are covered merchandise when imported in an assembly but are not covered by the scope when imported separately.
Subject freight railcar couplers and parts are included within the scope whether finished or unfinished, whether imported individually or with other subject or nonsubject parts, whether assembled or unassembled, whether mounted or unmounted, or if joined with nonsubject merchandise, such as other nonsubject parts or a completed railcar. Finishing includes, but is not limited to, arc washing, welding, grinding, shot blasting, heat treatment, machining, and assembly of various parts. When a subject coupler or subject parts are mounted on or to other nonsubject merchandise, such as a railcar, only the coupler or subject parts are covered by the scope.
The finished products covered by the scope of these investigations meet or exceed the AAR specifications of M-211, “Foundry and Product Approval Requirements for the Manufacture of Couplers, Coupler Yokes, Knuckles, Follower Blocks, and Coupler Parts” and/or AAR M-215 “Coupling Systems,” or other equivalent domestic or international standards (including any revisions to the standard(s)).
The country of origin for subject couplers and parts thereof, whether fully assembled, unfinished or finished, or attached to a railcar, is the country where the subject coupler parts were cast or forged. Subject merchandise includes coupler parts as defined above that have been further processed or further assembled, including those coupler parts attached to a railcar in third countries. Further processing includes, but is not limited to, arc washing, welding, grinding, shot blasting, heat treatment, painting, coating, priming, machining, and assembly of various parts. The inclusion, attachment, joining, or assembly of nonsubject parts with subject parts or couplers either in the country of manufacture of the in-scope product or in a third country does not remove the subject parts or couplers from the scope.
The couplers that are the subject of these investigations are currently classifiable in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) statistical reporting number 8607.30.1000. Unfinished subject merchandise may also enter under HTSUS statistical reporting number 7326.90.8688. Subject merchandise attached to finished railcars may also enter under HTSUS statistical reporting numbers 8606.10.0000, 8606.30.0000, 8606.91.0000, 8606.92.0000, 8606.99.0130, 8606.99.0160, or under subheading 9803.00.5000 if imported as an Instrument of International Traffic. Subject merchandise may also be imported under HTSUS statistical reporting number 7325.99.5000. These HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes only; the written description of the scope of these investigations is dispositive.
A comment period is open for interested parties to raise issues regarding the scope. Commerce request that all such comments be filed by 5:00pm ET on November 7, 2022. For more information, refer to the CSMS #53690377.