March 04, 2020

New Antidumping Petition on Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene From Korea

On March 4, 2020, Celanese Corporation (petitioner) filed an antidumping (AD) petition on imports of certain ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) from Korea. The petitioner also listed Braskem USA as the only other U.S. producer of UHMWPE.

The U.S. AD law imposes special tariffs to counteract imports that are sold in the United States at less than “normal value.” For AD duties to be imposed, the U.S. government must determine not only that dumping and/or subsidies are occurring, but also that there is “material injury” (or threat thereof) by reason of the dumped imports. Importers are liable for any potential AD duties imposed. In addition, these investigations could impact purchasers by increasing prices and/or decreasing supply of certain UHMWPE.

The scope includes all UHMWPE in granular or powder forms meeting the above specifications regardless of additives introduced in the manufacturing process. UHMWPE blended with other products is included in the scope of this investigation where UHMWPE is the predominant material within the blend.

Excluded from the scope of the investigation is medical-grade UHMWPE. Medical-grade UHMWPE has a minimum viscosity of 2000 ml/g at a concentration of 0.02% at 135 °C (275 °F) in decahydronaphthalene and an elongational stress of 0.2 MPa or greater. Medical-grade UHMWPE is further defined by its ash and trace element content, which shall not exceed the following maximum quantities as set forth in ISO-5834-1: ash (125 mg/kg), titanium (40 mg/kg), calcium (5 mg/kg), chlorine (30 mg/kg) and aluminum (20 mg/kg). ISO 5834-1 further defines medical grade UHMWPE by its particulate matter content, which requires that there shall be no more than three particles of contaminant per 300 ± 20 g tested. Each of the above criteria is calculated based on the standards and methods used in ISO 5834-1.

UHMWPE is classifiable under the HTS US subheadings 3901.10.10.00 and 3901.20.10.00. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the proposed scope is dispositive.”

Scope

Per the petition:

“The merchandise covered by the proposed scope is Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE). UHMWPE is a linear polyethylene, in granular or powder form. It is defined by its melt mass-flow rate of <0.1 g/10 min, measured at 190 °C and 21.6 kg load, based on the methods and calculations set forth in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards 21304-1 and 21304-2. UHMWPE generally has a Chemical Abstract Service (“CAS”) registration number of 9002-88-4.

The scope includes all UHMWPE in granular or powder forms meeting the above specifications regardless of additives introduced in the manufacturing process. UHMWPE blended with other products is included in the scope of this investigation where UHMWPE is the predominant material within the blend.

Excluded from the scope of the investigation is medical-grade UHMWPE. Medical-grade UHMWPE has a minimum viscosity of 2000 ml/g at a concentration of 0.02% at 135 °C (275 °F) in decahydronaphthalene and an elongational stress of 0.2 MPa or greater. Medical-grade UHMWPE is further defined by its ash and trace element content, which shall not exceed the following maximum quantities as set forth in ISO-5834-1: ash (125 mg/kg), titanium (40 mg/kg), calcium (5 mg/kg), chlorine (30 mg/kg) and aluminum (20 mg/kg). ISO 5834-1 further defines medical grade UHMWPE by its particulate matter content, which requires that there shall be no more than three particles of contaminant per 300 ± 20 g tested. Each of the above criteria is calculated based on the standards and methods used in ISO 5834-1.

UHMWPE is classifiable under the HTS US subheadings 3901.10.10.00 and 3901.20.10.00. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the proposed scope is dispositive.”

Alleged Dumping Margins

The petitioner alleges a dumping margin of 15.74% to 81.88%.

Estimated Schedule of Investigations

  • March 4, 2020 – Petition is filed
  • March 24, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) initiates investigation
  • March 25, 2020 – U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) staff conference
  • April 20, 2020 – Deadline for ITC preliminary injury determination
  • August 11, 2020 – Deadline for DOC preliminary AD determination, if not postponed
  • September 30, 2020 – Deadline for DOC preliminary AD determination, if fully postponed
  • February 12, 2021 – Deadline for DOC final AD determination, if both preliminary and final determinations are fully postponed
  • March 29, 2021 – Deadline for ITC final injury determination, assuming fully postponed DOC deadlines

For further information, contact Douglas J. Heffner, Richard P. Ferrin or any other member of the customs and international trade team.

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