March 10, 2017

New Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Petitions on Silicon Metal from Australia, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and Norway

By Douglas J. Heffner and Eric L. Johnson

On March 8, 2017, Globe Specialty Metals, Inc. filed antidumping (AD) petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), regarding silicon metal from Australia, Brazil and Norway. The petitioner also filed a countervailing duty (CVD) petition regarding silicon metal from Australia, Brazil and Kazakhstan.

According to the petitions, silicon metal is a product normally composed almost entirely of elemental silicon, along with small amounts of other elements, such as iron, aluminum and calcium. It is manufactured and sold in various degrees of purity. Silicon metal is principally used as an alloying agent in aluminum production and by the chemical industry as an input in the production of silicones and polysilicon. As an alloying agent, it is used in the production of both primary aluminum (aluminum produced from ore) and secondary aluminum (aluminum produced from scrap). Silicon is a necessary ingredient in aluminum casting alloys. Silicon imparts high fluidity and low shrinkage to aluminum and improves castability, strength and weldability.

The U.S. AD law imposes special tariffs to counteract imports that are sold in the United States at less than “normal value.” The U.S. CVD law imposes special tariffs to counteract imports sold in the United States that benefit from unfair foreign government subsidies. For AD and CVD duties to be imposed, the U.S. government must determine not only that dumping and subsidization is occurring, but also that there is “material injury” (or threat thereof) by reason of the dumped and/or subsidized imports. Importers are liable for any potential AD and/or CVD duties imposed.


The petitioner proposes the following scope of investigation:

The scope of these investigations covers all forms and sizes of silicon metal, including silicon metal powder. Silicon metal contains at least 85.00 percent but less than 99.99 percent silicon, and less than 4.00 percent iron, by actual weight. Semiconductor grade silicon (merchandise containing at least 99.99 percent silicon by actual weight and classifiable under HTSUS subheading 2804.61.0000) is excluded from the scope of these investigations. Silicon metal is currently classifiable under subheadings 2804.69.1000 and 2804.69.5000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States ("HTSUS"). While the HTSUS numbers are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope remains dispositive.

Alleged Dumping Margins:

Petitioner alleges dumping margins as follows:

  • Australia – 28.58 to 52.81 percent
  • Brazil – 15.41 to 134.92 percent
  • Norway – 32.25 to 45.66 percent

Alleged Subsidies:

The CVD petition alleges that Australian, Brazilian and Kazakh producers/exporters benefit from numerous countervailable subsidies provided by their governments. Please let us know if you would like further details regarding specific subsidy allegations.

Estimated Schedule of Investigations:

  • March 8, 2017 – Petitions are filed
  • March 28, 2017 – DOC initiates AD and CVD investigations
  • March 29, 2017 – ITC staff conference (estimated)
  • April 24, 2017 – Deadline for ITC preliminary injury determination
  • June 1, 2017 – Deadline for DOC preliminary CVD determination, if deadline is not postponed
  • August 5, 2017 – Deadline for DOC preliminary CVD determination, if deadline is fully postponed
  • August 15, 2017 – Deadline for DOC preliminary AD determination, if deadline is not postponed
  • October 4, 2017 – Deadline for DOC preliminary AD determination, if deadline is fully postponed
  • February 23, 2018 – Approximate deadline for DOC final AD and CVD determination, if both preliminary and final AD determinations are fully postponed, and the final CVD determination is aligned to coincide with the final AD determination
  • March 9, 2018 – Approximate deadline for ITC final injury determination, assuming fully postponed DOC deadlines

For further information, contact authors below or any other member of the Customs and International Trade Team.

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