You are here

Frequently Asked Questions

OpenData

What is the difference between the identifiers iso3 and dynamic_code in the Gravity dataset?

Both codes provide methods for identifying countries within the dataset. Both iso3 and dynamic_code (combined with year) uniquely identify records. The iso3 variables use the standard International Organization of Standards (IOS) ISO alpha-3 codes and are likely the most useful identifier for most purposes, such as merging with Comtrade data. The dynamic_code variables provide a slight refinement to the ISO codes by tracking situations in which countries undergo a significant alteration to their geography and composition but retain the same ISO code. In these cases (such as Pakistan's split into Pakistan and Bangladesh), the dynamic_code notes this change by altering the code to reflect the difference (post-split Pakistan is given the dynamic_code "PAK.X").

How many countries and years does the Gravity dataset cover?

The dataset provides annual records beginning in 1948 through 2016. It provides information for a total of 285 countries and territories. Within each year, however, the total number of countries varies based on historical changes to the global landscape such as the merging or separation of countries. For example, Slovakia will not appear in the data until the year in which it gained independence.

How do I merge this Gravity dataset with other datasets?

The Dynamic Gravity dataset uses iso alpha-3 codes to identify countries. A list of country names, iso alpha-3 codes, and years of existence of each country in the dataset can be downloaded here. Note that many international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the United Nations, among others, use their own codes to identify countries that may not always match perfectly to the Dynamic Gravity dataset.

Can I use the Gravity dataset with Stata?

Yes. The dataset is stored in comma-delimited format. Stata's import delimited command allows Stata to read comma-delimited files with ease.

How do I keep track of the Gravity dataset versions?
  • The initial release of the dataset is version 1.0. The documentation associated with that release is documentation version 1.00.
  • Minor updates to the documentation associated with the dataset version 1.0 will receive version numbers 1.01, 1.02, etc.
  • Minor updates to the dataset version 1.0 will receive version numbers 1.1, 1.2, etc. Documentation associated with these updates to the dataset will be numbered version 1.10, 1.11 ... 1.20, 1.21, etc.
  • Major updates to the dataset will be released as version 2.0, 3.0, etc with the associated documentation numbered version 2.00, 2.01, etc, followed by version 3.00, 3.01, etc.
What countries should be given special consideration when merging with other Gravity data?

Democratic Republic of the Congo: The country of Democratic Republic of the Congo was known as Zaire between 1971 and 1997 and used iso alpha-3 code “ZAR” during that period. Starting in 1998, the country was renamed to its current name and changed its iso alpha-3 code to “COD”. When combining with other data, it is worthwhile to check what code(s) the other dataset uses to insure that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is able to match.

Romania: The country of Romania has used two different ISO alpha-3 codes over time: "ROM" and "ROU". The first code, "ROM" was used until 2001. Beginning in 2002, the code "ROU" was used instead. The Dynamic Gravity dataset follows this standard, using "ROM" for 1948-2001 and "ROU" for 2002-present. When combining with other data, it is worthwhile to check what code(s) the other dataset uses to insure that Romania is able to match.

How does the Dynamic Gravity Dataset differ from the one provided by CEPII?

The Dynamic Gravity dataset seeks to make several improvements over the commonly used dataset made available by CEPII. Specifically, we have aimed to closely follow the ways in which countries and borders have changed between 1948 and 2016, provide more information about countries and their relationships, and have greater transparency with respect to sources and methods underlying the construction of the variables. For more details, please see the  paper, which provides a more in-depth discussion of the differences and similarities between the two datasets.

Does the Gravity portal include trade data?

No. The dataset was designed to be a companion for trade data but does not include any of that information itself. While constructing the Dynamic Gravity dataset, we worked to insure that it would match easily and without significant effort to standard sources of bilateral trade data---namely Comtrade data. In most cases, the iso3_o and iso3_d codes should match without issue to bilateral trade data (see below for the exceptions).

How do I merge your Gravity data with Comtrade or WITS trade data?

In most cases, the iso3_o and iso3_d codes should match without issue to bilateral trade data. The combination of iso3_oiso3_d, and year uniquely identify an observation in the dataset. However, the table below describes several countries that we are aware of with different letter codes in the Dynamic Gravity, Comtrade, and WITS datasets.

Country name

Dynamic Gravity

Comtrade

WITS

Congo, Dem. Rep. of the

ZAR (1971-1997)

COD (1998-2016)

COD

ZAR

East Timor TLS TLS TMP
Montenegro MNE MNE MNT
Neutral Zone NTZ n/a NZE
Pacific Islands PCI PCI PCE

Romania

ROM (1948-2001)

ROU (2002-2016)

ROU

ROM

Serbia SRB SRB SER
Sikkim SKM n/a SIK
Sudan SDN SDN SUD
Taiwan TWN 490 OAS
U.S. Miscellaneous Pacific Islands PUS n/a USP
Vietnam, South VNM VNM SVR
Yemen, South YMD YMD YDR
 
Will the Gravity dataset be updated in the future?

We intend to update the dataset regularly with recently reported data. Updates for some variables are contingent on the availability of third-party sources.

Intellectual Property

What are the requirements for service of documents in a Section 337 investigation?

The general rule on service is that all documents filed with the Commission must be served on all other parties to the investigation.12 However, a complaint should not be served on any other entity unless the complaint is accompanied by a motion for temporary relief. If the Commission determines to institute an investigation, the Commission itself serves the complaint and notice of investigation on the entities that it names as respondents to the investigation, as well as the embassy of each foreign proposed respondent. In the case of a complaint accompanied by a motion for temporary relief, the Commission not only serves the complaint and motion on the respondents when it institutes the investigation, but it also requires the entity filing the complaint and motion to serve an advance copy of these items by messenger, courier, express mail, or other equivalent means on the entities that are proposed as respondents in the complaint, and on the embassy in Washington, D.C. of the country in which the foreign respondents are located.13

With regard to service of documents other than complaints, the practitioner is advised to consult the Ground Rules in effect in a particular investigation. The Ground Rules usually require that the parties serve on the presiding Administrative Law Judge two copies of each document filed at the Commission. The Ground Rules also typically specify the mode of service between the parties (e.g., overnight courier) and typically include instructions not to serve the Administrative Law Judge by facsimile in the absence of prior permission to do so.


12 The Commission Rules require that each party designate a single attorney or representative
for service of process for the service list maintained by the Office of the Secretary in each
investigation. 19 C.F.R. § 210.7(b).

13 The general Rules on service are located at 19 C.F.R. §§ 210.7 and 201.16. The Rules
concerning service of a complaint that is accompanied by a motion for temporary relief are
located at 19 C.F.R. §§ 210.54 and 210.55; see also 19 C.F.R. § 210.56 regarding the notice that
must accompany service copies of a complaint and motion for temporary relief.

Are Commission decisions in Section 337 investigations appealable to a court?
Yes. Any person adversely affected by a Commission decision under Section 337 may appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Any such appeal must be filed within 60 calendar days of the date that the Commission decision became final. A party that prevailed at the Commission may intervene in the appeal in defense of the Commission decision. Commission decisions that find no violation of Section 337 are final when issued. Commission decisions that find a violation of Section 337 and result in the issuance of remedial orders become final at the conclusion of the Presidential review period.
When do Commission remedial orders become effective?

Upon issuance, Commission remedial orders are sent to the President who may then, within 60 days, disapprove them for policy reasons.22 Such disapprovals are rare. During this period, called the “Presidential review period,” infringing articles may enter the United States provided the importer posts a bond with U.S. Customs and Border Protection in an amount determined by the Commission. Similarly, activities prohibited by a Commission cease and desist order may continue during the Presidential review period provided the respondent posts a bond with the Commission. If the President does not disapprove the Commission's remedial orders within the 60 day review period, at the conclusion of that period, infringing imports may no longer be imported and the complainant may seek to have previously posted bonds forfeited to it.


22 As noted earlier, in 2005, the President delegated the authority to veto Commission exclusion orders to the U.S. Trade Representative. 70 Fed. Reg. 43251 (July 26, 2005).

If the Commission finds a violation of Section 337, what remedies are available?

The Commission is authorized under Section 337 to issue two types of remedial orders -- exclusion orders and cease and desist orders. Both types of orders may be issued in the same case. An award of money damages is not available as a remedy for violation of Section 337.

An exclusion order directs the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to exclude articles from entry into the United States. There are two types of exclusion orders -- general exclusion orders and limited exclusion orders. A general exclusion order directs the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to exclude all infringing articles, without regard to source. In contrast, a limited exclusion order directs U.S. Customs and Border Protection to exclude infringing articles that originate from a specified firm that was a respondent in the Commission investigation. If an entity has previously attempted to import an excluded article into the United States and the article was previously denied entry by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Commission may order the seizure and forfeiture of subsequent shipments of the article. See 19 U.S.C. §
1337(i).20

A cease and desist order directs a respondent in the Commission investigation to cease its unfair acts, including selling infringing imported articles out of U.S. inventory. Unlike exclusion orders, cease and desist orders are enforced by the Commission, not by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.21 See 19 U.S.C. § 1337(f)(2) (which provides for civil penalties for violation of cease and desist orders).


20 U.S. Customs and Border Protection procedures for implementing Commission exclusion orders and Commission seizure orders are set forth at 19 C.F.R. § 12.39.

21 Questions about the administration of exclusion orders should be addressed to the Intellectual Property Rights and Restricted Merchandise Branch of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection at 202-325-0020. Although Customs administers exclusion orders, the Commission’s Assistant General Counsel for Section 337 Investigations, who can be reached at 202-205-3061, may also be able to respond to questions regarding exclusion orders, as well as to questions
regarding Commission cease and desist orders.

How can I research Commission precedent?

All orders and decisions issued by the Administrative Law Judges and the Commission, except those containing confidential business information, are available for inspection at the Commission's Docket Services office at 500 E Street, S.W., Room 112-A. Public orders and decisions of the Administrative Law Judges and the Commission in investigations instituted after January 1, 1996, as well as other documents in the Commission's public docket file, may also be searched and retrieved using EDIS at http://edis.usitc.gov. Researchers can browse an electronic file room or conduct full-text, keyword searches for documents. Please contact the EDIS help desk at (202) 205-EDIS (3347) or send an email request to EDIS3Help@usitc.gov for assistance with using EDIS. To schedule individual or group EDIS training, contact Docket Services at 202-205-1802.

The EDIS system includes search capabilities and procedures to facilitate downloading of Commission documents. Updates to the EDIS system will be implemented in the near future to improve searching capabilities and other functions to facilitate user-friendly access for internal and external parties. Persons interested in obtaining copies of orders, decisions, or other documents that are available on EDIS may print the documents from the Internet. In addition, Commission publications containing decisions in many Section 337 investigations can be downloaded from the Commission’s website at http://www.usitc.gov/intellectual_property/int_prop_publications.htm. Orders and decisions in Section 337 investigations can also be researched on Westlaw™ and LEXIS™.14 (Materials from the Commission are available in the FINT-ITC database on Westlaw™ and the ITC file of the ITRADE library on LEXIS™.) Some decisions are also published in the United States Patent Quarterly.

Summary information concerning pending and completed investigations can be found on the 337 Investigational History page which is accessible from the Commission’s website at http://www.usitc.gov/intellectual_property/inv_his.htm. Interested persons can search or browse the Investigational History page for information such as the names of the parties involved, the presiding Administrative Law Judge, the types of unfair acts at issue, the identity of the intellectual property rights asserted, and scheduling information, including the target date for completion of the investigation.


14 However, not all Section 337 orders and decisions are published by Westlaw™ and
LEXIS™.

How can I protect confidential business information in a filing with the Commission?

Confidential business information is protected in Section 337 investigations by a Protective Order issued by the Administrative Law Judge shortly after the commencement of an investigation.11 These Protective Orders typically describe in detail how documents containing confidential information are to be marked and how and by whom they are to be handled. Although these orders permit a party's outside counsel to have access to confidential business information produced during an investigation, the orders typically do not permit a party's in-house counsel to have access to such confidential business information.

Protective Orders not only contain provisions to protect the confidential business information of the parties to the investigation, these Orders also contain provisions to protect the confidential business information of non-party entities that supply confidential information pursuant to a Commission subpoena. In this regard, if a party seeks confidential business information from a non-party, the party requesting the information should provide a copy of the Protective Order to the non-party supplier of information. In the event that the non-party does not receive a copy of the Protective Order when served with a Commission subpoena, the non-party should request a copy from the party that served the subpoena. 

Prior to the issuance of a Protective Order, documents submitted to the Commission may be treated as confidential if they are designated as confidential, accompanied by a request for confidential treatment, and deemed by the Secretary to the Commission to indeed contain confidential business information as described in the rules governing the submission and definition of confidential business information, Rules 210.5 and 201.6, 19 C.F.R. §§ 210.5 and 201.6. All documents containing or attaching confidential business information should be clearly marked on their face as containing or attaching confidential business information.


11 As noted earlier, the Commission has undertaken a multi-phase implementation of electronic filing procedures, which began in 2003. Documents containing confidential business information currently are not eligible for electronic filing. It is anticipated that the Commission will permit the electronic filing of confidential information in the future. In the meantime, confidential documents must be filed in paper form over-the-counter at Docket Services with an EDIS cover sheet as noted above.

Can I intervene in a Section 337 investigation?
Commission Rule 210.19, 19 C.F.R. § 210.19, provides that any person desiring to intervene may request leave to intervene by filing a written motion. Such persons may be allowed to intervene as interveners or respondents at the Commission’s discretion. Persons seeking to intervene are urged to consult the Administrative Law Judge's Ground Rules on matters such as service and filing of motions.
Where, when, and how are documents to be filed with the Commission?

Documents to be submitted to the Commission must be filed with Docket Services at 500 E Street, S.W., Room 112-A, Washington, D.C. 20436. As discussed below, certain public documents may be filed electronically.6 Documents, whether filed in person, by mail, or electronically, will be accepted for filing by the Commission only during its regular business hours: 8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Eastern Time. In the rare event that the Commission is closed, for example, as a result of inclement weather, a document due to the Commission on that day will be accepted for filing on the next business day that the Commission is open.

Documents may be hand delivered or mailed to Docket Services for filing, and will be deemed to be filed on the date of receipt by that office. Additionally, the Commission has undertaken a multi-phase implementation of electronic filing procedures consistent with the Government Paperwork Elimination Act which allows for electronic filing of certain public documents.7 Anyone wishing to file a document electronically should go to http://edis.usitc.gov and follow the instructions for submitting a document electronically to EDIS, including those pertaining to completion of the cover sheet. The instructions include the applicable hardware and software requirements for electronic filing. Under these procedures, documents eligible for electronic filing must be transmitted in portable document format (“PDF”) in accordance with the directions posted on the Commission’s website. Such documents will be deemed "signed" through the use of a password-protected registration protocol. The signatory must be a registered user and such document shall be deemed "signed" when either the document is physically signed by the signatory and scanned in optical format or is signed by the use of an “esignature.”

Ordinarily, a filing in paper form requires the submission of an original and six (6) copies of a document when a case is before an Administrative Law Judge. See C.F.R. § 210.4(f)(2)(i). When a case is before the Commission, a filing in paper form ordinarily requires an original and twelve (12) copies. See 19 C.F.R. §210.4(f)(2)(ii). Documents will not be accepted for filing if an insufficient number of copies are submitted. Also note that when filing in paper form, the original signed copy of the document, as well as one additional copy, should not be stapled, bound, or hole-punched, although the document may be held together by means of a clip. The additional copies required, if filing in paper form, should be individually stapled or bound.

All documents submitted for filing must be accompanied by an EDIS cover sheet, which must be filled out online on the EDIS web page http://edis.usitc.gov.8 The cover sheet contains certain information about the document, including the date of submission, the name of the signatory, and whether the document contains confidential business information. This information is used to index the documents in EDIS. Also, in our continuing effort to improve the accuracy and usability of EDIS, a Coding Manual was created to assist users with coding documents for EDIS. The Coding Manual is available in PDF format and may be downloaded at http://www.usitc.gov/docket_services/documents/edis_coding_manual.pdf.

Documents presented for filing must conform to the Commission's Rules on document specifications. Commission Rules 210.4 and 201.8, 19 C.F.R. §§ 210.4 and 201.8, set forth specifications for documents such as the requirement that each document be captioned with information about the pertinent proceeding, that each document have a certain standard typeface, and that each document be accompanied by a certificate of service. These rules also set forth a signature requirement similar to that of Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, whereby a signature on a document is deemed to constitute a certification as to the propriety of filing the document and the veracity of the contents of the document. See Rule 210.4(b)-(d), 19 C.F.R. § 210.4(b)-(d).

Persons filing a document in paper form can usually obtain a date-stamped copy of the document provided that they bring an extra copy of the document with them at the time of filing. In this regard, couriers should be advised that they may not themselves use the Commission date-stamp, but should request assistance from a Docket Services staff member at the time of filing. Persons filing by mail can also obtain a date-stamped copy of a document if they provide an extra copy of the document, a letter requesting a date-stamped copy, and an addressed return envelope with the postage prepaid. Persons electronically filing a document will receive both a printable notice of electronic receipt and a notice of electronic filing via e-mail. The notice of electronic filing will verify the effective filing date and time.


The Commission will not accept filings by facsimile.

An Electronic Filing Procedures Handbook (March 2006) can be accessed through the Commission’s Electronic Document Information System website at
http://www.usitc.gov/documents/handbook_on_filing_procedures.pdf.

See 19 C.F.R. § 201.8(g). The Electronic Document Information System is an electronic repository of the official record of documents filed at the Commission. Further information regarding this system is set forth below in Question and Answer No. 8.

Where do I get information about filing a Section 337 complaint?

A copy of the governing statute and the Commission’s Rules, including the rules that identify the requirements for a properly filed complaint, are among the reference materials available on the Commission’s website at http://www.usitc.gov/, which includes a Section 337 Resources web page that can be accessed directly at http://www.usitc.gov/intellectual_property.htm.5 Information regarding the requirements for Section 337 complainants is also available at http://www.usitc.gov/docket_services/documents/337_complaint_guidance_version_II_2008-10.pdf. Persons or companies interested in filing a Section 337 complaint may obtain additional information from the Commission's Office of Unfair Import Investigations (“OUII”), which can be reached by telephone at 202-205-2560 or by facsimile at 202-205-2158. See Question and Answer No. 3 for information regarding specific requirements for filing a Section 337 complaint.

The Commission also has a Trade Remedy Assistance Office (TRAO) that provides information to small businesses concerning the remedies and benefits available under U.S. trade laws and provides technical and legal assistance and advice to eligible small businesses to assist them in preparing and filing Section 337 complaints. TRAO can be reached by telephone at 800-343-9822 or 202-205-2200, or by facsimile at 202-205-2139.

Once a complaint has been filed, the public version of the complaint and any other public document filed in the matter can be accessed via the Commission’s Electronic Document Information System (“EDIS”) at http://edis.usitc.gov. Information regarding new complaints is also posted on the Docket Services page of the Commission’s website at http://www.usitc.gov/docket_services.htm.


Summary information about past and present Section 337 investigations can be found by accessing the Section 337 Investigational History through http://www.usitc.gov/intellectual_property.

What documents should be filed? What documents should not be filed?

All pleadings, motions, responses to motions, briefs, and petitions for review of an Initial Determination and responses thereto should be filed with Docket Services. Discovery documents, however, should not be filed with Docket Services, except when the discovery documents are attached as an exhibit to a motion or other pleading. Discovery documents that should not be filed include deposition notices, requests for the production of documents, and interrogatories.

Practitioners are further advised to review the Administrative Law Judge's Ground Rules in a particular investigation to determine whether other categories of documents should or should not be filed. For example, a Ground Rule may specify that documents such as proposed procedural schedules or copies of evidentiary exhibits should not be filed with Docket Services, but rather, should be presented directly to the Administrative Law Judge. The Ground Rules also typically provide that applications for subpoenas, discussed below in Question and Answer No. 12, should be presented only to the Administrative Law Judge rather than filed with Docket Services.

Is preliminary relief available?

Yes. A complainant may request at the time it files a complaint that the Commission conduct expedited temporary relief proceedings and issue a temporary exclusion order and/or a temporary cease and desist order during the course of the investigation.18 See 19 C.F.R. Subpart H. However, as indicated below, there are substantial additional pleading and proof requirements when expedited temporary relief is requested. In determining whether to grant a request for temporary relief, the Commission applies the standard employed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in reviewing lower court decisions granting preliminary injunctions.19 This determination will be made by the Commission no later than the 90th day after the date on which an investigation involving a temporary relief request is instituted, or, if the case is deemed to be complex, no later than the 150th day after institution of the investigation. See 19 U.S.C. § 1337(e).

The Commission Rules require that requests for temporary relief must be made in a motion that is accompanied by a memorandum supporting the request. Significantly, the motion must also be accompanied by affidavits that support the factual assertions made in the motion, as well as by all evidence in the complainant's possession at the time of filing that the complainant intends to rely upon in support of the motion. Information concerning the form of a temporary relief motion, required supporting materials, and special service rules relating to such motions may be obtained from the Office of Unfair Import Investigations at 202-205-2560. Also, information regarding requirements for complaints that include temporary relief requests can be found at
Information about Motion for Temporary Relief Import Injury .

Following the receipt of a motion for temporary relief, the Commission will determine whether to institute "temporary exclusion order" proceedings (informally referred to as "TEO" proceedings) to adjudicate the motion. In the event the Commission institutes TEO proceedings, the motion for temporary relief will be forwarded to an Administrative Law Judge for adjudication. In a typical TEO proceeding, the parties conduct a few weeks of discovery on the issues presented by the motion, and thereafter the Administrative Law Judge holds an evidentiary hearing on the merits of the motion, receives briefs from the parties on the evidence and the law, and issues a determination on the merits of the temporary relief motion by the 70th day of the investigation (or by the 120th day in a complex case). If the Administrative Law Judge determines to grant the motion, the Judge will issue an Initial Determination that is subject to review by the Commission. By the 90th day after institution of an investigation (or the 150th day in more complex cases), the Commission will determine whether to accept the Administrative Law Judge's Initial Determination and whether to grant temporary relief.


18 General information about exclusion orders and cease and desist orders is discussed below in
Question and Answer No. 19.

19 In general, this standard involves a consideration of complainant's likelihood of success on
the merits of the case, harm to the domestic industry in the absence of temporary relief, harm to
respondents, and the public interest.

Can I participate in an investigation other than by intervention?

Commission Rule 210.50, 19 C.F.R. § 210.50, provides for the Commission to receive submissions from the public on issues concerning the effect of any remedial order(s) on the public interest, namely, the effect of such an order on the public health and welfare, competitive conditions in the United States economy, the production of like or directly competitive products, and United States consumers. See 19 U.S.C. § 1337(d)-(g). For details on the deadlines for submitting comments on such matters, see Rule 210.50(a), 19 C.F.R. § 210.50(a), and notices issued in particular investigations.

Are there any special rules that apply to the filing of a complaint?

The requirements for the contents of a Section 337 complaint are set forth at 19 C.F.R. §§ 210.4, 210.8, and 210.12. Prospective complainants are encouraged to contact the Office of Unfair Import Investigations at 202-205-2560 to discuss procedural requirements in advance of filing a complaint. Information and instructions regarding the number of copies to be filed and other requirements for Section 337 complaints can also be accessed at http://www.usitc.gov/docket_services/documents/337_complaint_guidance_version_II_2008-10.pdf. pdf.9 There are substantial additional requirements for complaints that include a request for temporary relief. See 19 C.F.R. §§ 210.8(a)(2), and 210.52-210.56. Information regarding the requirements for these complaints can be accessed at http://www.usitc.gov/docket_services/documents/337_complaint_and_motion_for_temp_relief_guidance_version_II_2008-08.pdf.

When a complaint is based upon the alleged infringement of certain intellectual property rights, the Commission's Rules require that the complaint be accompanied by specified background materials relating to the rights asserted. See Rule 210.12(c)-(g), 19 C.F.R. § 210.12(c)-(g). For example, in patent-based cases, the Rules require that the complaint be accompanied by a certified prosecution history for each asserted patent, and copies of the technical references cited in the prosecution histories of each asserted patent. Additionally, the complainant must submit copies of license agreements if the complaint relies on license agreements to establish standing, or the complaint relies on license agreements to support contentions that a domestic injury as defined in Section 337(a)(3) exists, or is in the process of being established as the result of domestic activities of one or more licensees. See Rule 210.12(a)(9)(iv), 19 C.F.R. § 210.12(a)(9)(iv). After institution of an investigation, the complainant has the obligation to serve each Respondent represented by counsel with materials covered in 19 C.F.R. § 210.12(c)-(h), such as the prosecution history for each asserted patent, that were not included as exhibits to the complaint but were filed with the complaint, within five (5) days of service of notice of appearance and an agreement to be bound by the protective order.

Specified background materials must also be filed with complaints that assert registered trademarks, copyrights, mask works, or vessel hull designs. See Rule 210.12(d)-(h). Claim charts purporting to show infringement of each asserted independent claim of the patents at issue are also required. 19 C.F.R. § 210.12(a)(9)(vii).


As noted in these instructions, any complainant who requests confidential treatment for the contents of a complaint must also file the requisite number of copies of a public version of the complaint for use by the proposed respondents and the Commission. The government of a foreign proposed respondent will receive only the public version of the complaint. To avoid unnecessary copying costs, complainants are encouraged to prepare, where possible, a single public version of the complaint and place all confidential information in the accompanying exhibits rather than in the text of the complaint.

10 19 C.F.R. § 210.12(c).

How long do Section 337 investigations last?

By statute, Section 337 investigations must be completed “at the earliest practicable time.” Accordingly, the Commission places great emphasis on the expeditious adjudication of Section 337 investigations. Historically, the Commission has strived to complete most investigations in less than 15 months. However, factors such as the complexity of the subject matter and number of unfair acts at issue, as well as the workloads of the Judges during particular periods, have resulted in longer target dates in a substantial number of investigations in recent years.

How do I obtain a subpoena?

During the time that an investigation is before an Administrative Law Judge, the Judge can issue a subpoena. The procedures involved in the issuance of subpoenas at the Commission differ from the current practice of most courts. The Commission Rule concerning subpoenas, including motions to quash, is found at Rule 210.32, 19 C.F.R. § 210.32. Note that an application for issuance of a subpoena, as well as the requested subpoena itself, must be submitted to the Administrative Law Judge.

Additional instructions concerning subpoenas may be given by the presiding Administrative Law Judge in a particular investigation (e.g., in the Ground Rules issued in a particular investigation). Subpoenas are enforced, if necessary, by the Commission in federal court.

How are investigations conducted?
Section 337 investigations are conducted in conformity with the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq., and pursuant to Commission Rules published at 19 C.F.R. Part 210, which are similar in many respects to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In addition to these rules, the presiding Administrative Law Judge typically issues a set of Ground Rules for the conduct of the investigation. These Ground Rules provide detailed instructions on matters such as the time for responding to motions, the method for asserting privilege, the number of copies required of evidentiary exhibits, the use of translators, and the procedure for arranging a telephone conference between the parties and the Administrative Law Judge.
When is the Judge’s Initial Determination on the merits of a case issued?

Within 45 days after publication of a notice of investigation, the presiding Administrative Law Judge sets a target date for completion of the investigation.16 The Judge issues a decision on the merits of the case, called an "Initial Determination," no later than four (4) months prior to the target date.17 Journalists and other non-parties to an investigation should note that the Administrative Law Judges' decisions typically contain confidential business information, and thus are not available for public inspection on the date filed. Public versions of these decisions (with the confidential information redacted) are available for inspection at Docket Services and via the Commission’s website shortly after the date that the original confidential version is filed.

The Administrative Law Judge's Initial Determination is subject to review by the Commission, as discussed below in Question and Answer No. 19.


16 Target dates of 16 months or less are set by the Judge’s order. If the Judge seeks to establish
a longer target date, the Judge must issue an Initial Determination that is subject to review by the
Commission.

17 Initial Determinations regarding violation of Section 337 typically contain an opinion,
findings of fact, and conclusions of law.

How is an investigation instituted?

After a complaint is filed with the Commission, OUII examines the complaint for sufficiency and compliance with the applicable rules, and makes a recommendation to the Commission regarding institution of the requested investigation. OUII's examination of the complaint may result in a request for supplementation or amendment of the complaint prior to the Commission’s determination regarding whether to institute an investigation. 15

The Commission will normally determine whether to institute a Section 337 investigation within 30 calendar days after the filing of a complaint. If a complaint is accompanied by a motion for temporary relief, the Commission will normally make its determination regarding institution of an investigation and provisional acceptance of the motion for temporary relief within 35 calendar days after the filing of the complaint and motion.

In the event that the Commission determines to institute a Section 337 investigation, a notice of investigation defining the scope of the investigation is published in the Federal Register. These notices typically appear in the Federal Register the week following the last day of the 30-or 35-day period for determining whether to institute an investigation. In addition to publishing a notice in the Federal Register, the Commission serves a copy of the complaint and notice of investigation on all of the respondents named in the investigation as well as on the U.S. embassy for the country in which they are located.

In the event that the Commission determines not to institute an investigation based upon a complaint, the complainant and all the entities named as proposed respondents in the complaint will receive written notice of the Commission's action. Decisions not to institute an investigation are rare.


15 See Question and Answer 6 for further information about the service of complaints and notices of investigation by the Commission.

How can I obtain information about the status of an investigation?

Interested persons can view certain information about newly filed complaints at the Docket Services page of the Commission's website at http://www.usitc.gov/petitions_and_complaints/index.htm. This website, which contains information identifying the name of the party filing the complaint and the subject matter of the complaint, is usually updated within 30 minutes of the filing of a new complaint.

Commission notices concerning matters such as initiation and termination of an investigation are published in the Federal Register. These notices, as well as Commission press releases, are also posted on the commission's website, usually within a few days after issuance, and can be accessed at http://www.usitc.gov/secretary/fed_reg_notices.htm.

All documents filed in an investigation, except for those containing confidential information, can be accessed on the Commission’s website at http://edis.usitc.gov. These documents are also available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Eastern Time) in the Commission's Docket Services office at 500 E Street, S.W., Room 112-A, Washington, D.C. 20436, telephone 202-205-1802. Hearing-impaired individuals are advised that information about documents filed with the Office of the Secretary can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal at 202-205-1810.

Other questions about the status of an investigation can be addressed to the Commission Investigative Attorney assigned to the case from the Office of Unfair Import Investigations, whose name and telephone number are listed in the notice of investigation. Journalists and market analysts should direct inquiries to the Commission's Office of External Relations at 202-205-1819.

 

Is an Administrative Law Judge's Initial Determination on the merits subject to review by the Commission?

Under the Commission’s Rules, parties may petition for Commission review of an Administrative Law Judge's Initial Determination (ID) if they believe that it (i) contains a clearly erroneous finding of material fact, (ii) contains an erroneous legal conclusion, or (iii) affects Commission policy. Parties may file responses to any petition for review. Within 60 calendar days after service of the ID on the parties, the Commission decides, either on the basis of a petition for review or on its own initiative, whether to review some or the entire ID. Those portions of the ID that are not reviewed by the Commission become the Commission’s determination. If the Commission decides to review some or all of an ID, it may affirm, set aside, or modify the portions of the ID under review. See generally, Rules 210.43-210.45, 19 C.F.R. §§ 210.43-210.45.

 

Where and when are hearings held, and are they open to the public?

Evidentiary hearings are held by the Administrative Law Judges in hearing rooms located in the Commission’s building in Washington, D.C. The dates of such hearings are usually set forth in a procedural schedule issued by the Judge early in the investigation, and if a hearing is rescheduled, the Judge will normally issue an order with the new dates. While the length and timing of hearings varies from case to case, in an investigation scheduled to be completed in twelve months, for example, the evidentiary hearing would likely occur about five or six months after institution of the investigation.

Hearings are generally open to the public, except for those portions which involve confidential business information as defined in the Commission’s Rules. During those portions of a hearing, members of the general public and others who are not allowed access to confidential information must step outside the hearing room while such information is presented or discussed. The amount of confidential information varies from investigation to investigation.

A verbatim transcript of all hearings is taken. Copies of the public portions of these transcripts are available for inspection in the Office of the Secretary of the Commission, and are available for purchase from the official reporter.

Can an investigation be settled by agreement or consent order?

Yes. The Commission Rules provide that a party may move to terminate an investigation as to one or more of the respondents on the basis of a licensing or other settlement agreement, including an agreement to present the matter for arbitration. See Commission Rule 210.21(a)(2), (b), and (d), 19 C.F.R. § 210.21(a)(2), (b), and (d). Thus, for example, a complainant in a patent-based investigation may enter into a license agreement with one of the respondents and file a motion to terminate the investigation as to that respondent. Assuming the judge and ultimately the Commission conclude that the agreement is not contrary to the public interest, the investigation may be terminated, in whole or in part, on the basis of such a motion.

The Commission Rules also provide that an investigation may be terminated as to one or more respondents on the basis of a Consent Order. See Commission Rule 210.21(c). Consent Orders are typically entered upon the joint request of the complainant and a respondent in the form of a motion which contains the parties' joint proposed Consent Order, but such proposed orders can be proffered by a respondent alone.

Additionally, the Commission has approved the initiation of a voluntary pilot mediation program for Section 337 investigations. This program is aimed at facilitating the settlement of disputes and to evaluate the possible implementation of a permanent mediation program. All Section 337 investigations are eligible for participation in the program. An Administrative Law Judge may nominate a particular 337 investigation for inclusion in the program or a party may individually or jointly request to participate as well. The administrative management of the program is coordinated by the Supervisory Attorney in Docket Services, supervised by the Office of the Chairman. Further information about the program may be found on the Commission’s website at http://www.usitc.gov/intellectual_property/mediation.htm.

Import Injury Investigations

What is USITC's role in import injury cases?

The USITC determines and investigates whether imports injure or threaten to injure U.S. industries under a number of trade laws.

What types of import injury investigations are conducted at the USITC?

Antidumping and countervailing duty investigations – Under Title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, the USITC and U.S. Department of Commerce play a role in determining the occurrence of dumping and subsidization.

The USITC determines whether imports that have been found to be dumped (sold at less than fair value in the United States) materially injure or threaten to materially injure a U.S. industry. If the Commerce Department determines that the dumping is occurring, and the USITC finds material injury or threat, Commerce will issue an antidumping duty and/or countervailing duty order.

Five-year (Sunset) Reviews - These reviews occur after antidumping duty and/or countervailing duty orders have been in place for five years. Commerce and the USITC determine whether revocation of the order(s) would likely lead to the continuation or recurrence of dumping or subsidies and of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time.

Global and special safeguard investigations - Global safeguard investigations are conducted by the USITC, and they make affirmative determinations on domestic industries that petition for import relief due to material injury.

Tariff Affairs

What do the codes in the Special rate column mean?

The codes indicate the free trade agreements or tariff preference programs for which the Special rates are applicable. See General Note 3(c)(I) near the beginning of the Tariff Schedule for details.

How can I find items that have changed recently in the HTS?

Each version of the HTS includes a Change Record listing major changes since the previous version. (The Basic and Supplement versions that are published as paper editions include in their Change Records changes since the last paper edition. Versions labeled as Revisions, which are published electronically only, include in their Change Records only changes since the last version.). Changes such as staged rate reductions from trade agreements or corrections of typographical errors are usually not included.

Why can't I find my product when I search for the name?

The Tariff Schedule is not a list of products. It is a system of categories which are intended to provide a place to classify imported products. Some of the categories include only a single type of product (e.g. “vanilla beans” in 0905.00.0000), and a word search may find the proper category. However, most categories cover a range of products and are described in more general terms. In these cases, specific products may not be described by name and will not be found by a word search. The structure of the Tariff Schedule is a hierarchy, and each type of product is meant to be classified in only one category. A few items are excluded because they are not “articles of commerce.” The descriptions create a verbal “snapshot” of each product as it enters the customs territory, in the form in which it is imported.

What documents do I need to import? What duties and other charges are collected by Customs? Is the product I plan to import restricted?

The CBP website has extensive information on importing. For an overview of issues, see Importing Into the United States, which can be downloaded from: https://www.cbp.gov/trade/basic-import-export

Can the HTS number be used to classify exports?

In most cases, yes. But see the General Statistical Notes and the Notice to Exporters immediately after the General Notes for exceptions.

All exports can be classified using Schedule B from the Bureau of the Census.

What value is used to calculate ad valorem duties?

The customs value is usually the price actually paid or payable computed from the point of exportation, without costs of international shipping. In certain circumstances, adjustments must be made or other methods of valuation must be used. CBP regulations provide information on how to compute customs value, and rulings can be requested in advance if questions exist.

What do the abbreviations in the Unit of Quantity column mean?

A list is the General Statistical Note 4, immediately after the General Notes at the beginning of the Tariff Schedule.

There is more than one rate shown where my product is classified. Which rate would be applicable to my product?

Column 2 rates apply to imports from countries (currently Cuba and North Korea) that do not have Normal Trade Relations status. Imports from all other countries can use the General rates. Imports from specific countries may be eligible for preferential column 1-special rates. See General Note 3 for Special rate codes and later General Notes for details of special programs.

What duty do I have to pay if I order something over the internet?

See the Customs and Border Protection website: https://www.cbp.gov/trade/basic-import-export/internet-purchases

Do other countries use the same classification system?

Almost all countries use tariff classification systems based on the international Harmonized System (HS). The HS is defined to the six-digit level, so foreign tariff schedules will be identical with the HTS up the six-digit level but may differ at finer levels of detail. (An exception is when countries implement changes to the HS at different times.)

Do I have to pay duty if I import something for my personal use?

In general the same duties are charged on imports for personal use and for commercial imports. However, Chapter 98 has exceptions for some circumstances such the return of travelers or the move of people to the United States. In addition, Customs usually does not collect duties on personal shipments valued at less the $200 ($100 for gifts).

How can I find the classification of a product?

Some products are named in the Tariff Schedule and can be found by searching for the name. Be aware, however, that finding a name of a product does not guarantee a correct classification. Consider the classification of a kitchen paring knife with a ceramic blade. Either a word search or casual browsing through the Tariff Schedule might lead to heading 8211 ("Knives with cutting blades, serrated or not, . . . ."). However, Chapter 82 Note 1 excludes articles with a blade of ceramic from Chapter 82. The proper classification is in Chapter 69 as an article of ceramics.

A systematic method for classification is described below, using the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI) and Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation (at the beginning of the Tariff Schedule) and the appropriate legal descriptions and notes in Chapters 1 to 97.

Consider the classification of a purebred dog being imported for breeding. First, find four-digit headings where the product is described. Look for headings in Chapter 1, "Live Animals." [Note that according to GRI 1, some texts in the Tariff Schedule (e.g. chapter titles) are useful to find appropriate headings but have no legal significance.]

At this stage, compare only descriptions at the four digit, "non-indented" heading level, and read the descriptions of each heading until you decide which one covers the imported product most specifically. For example, if you consider heading 0101 ("Live horses, asses, mules and hinnies"), the description “Purebred breeding animals” in subheading 0101.10 only relates to horses, etc. Even if the dog in question is a purebred breeding animal, it cannot be classified anywhere within heading 0101 because it is not described in the non-indented text.

"Dogs" are not mentioned by name in any of the four-digit headings, but are described by the category "other live animals" ( heading 0106); there is no other possible provision in the schedule. This heading is a residual or "basket" category. The meaning of "other in this heading is derived by excluding the things named in all the headings that precede it. [Thus, it is often not possible to describe by a short simple statement what is included within many tariff classification numbers–especially the "baskets."]

If instead a product is described equally closely by more than one four-digit heading, check relevant section and chapter notes for definitions or exclusions that may eliminate some four-digit headings. If necessary, apply GRI's to decide which of the remaining four-digit headings applies.

After choosing a four-digit heading, compare the descriptive texts of that heading that appear at the first level of indentation to find the most specific category. Then compare descriptions at the second level of indentation, and so forth. Again, apply the GRI’s as appropriate in deciding between equally specific subheadings. [Six-digit and eight-digit categories are called "subheadings."]

Although, in principle, articles can be classified in only one place, classification often requires interpretation and judgment. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has authority to make classification decisions and may disagree with a reasonable classification offered by the importer. Published Customs rulings (http://rulings.cbp.gov) are often useful to see how Customs looks at the issues. USITC does not issue classification decisions.

 

Where can I find trade statistics? Where can I find what certain companies are importing?

Trade data based on tariff categories can be obtained from the DataWeb, on this website
(https://dataweb.usitc.gov/).

The trade activities of individual companies are treated as company confidential and are not published by the Government.

Where do I find information on antidumping and countervailing (AD/CVD) duties?

Antidumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) are not tariffs and are not in the Tariff Schedule. Although the ITC has a role in AD or CVD investigations (https://www.usitc.gov/trade_remedy/731_ad_701_cvd/investigations.htm), the rates of duty are set by the International Trade Administration (ITA) of the Department of Commerce.

 

CBP maintains a public database of many (but not all) instructions implementing the orders at:

https://aceservices.cbp.dhs.gov/adcvdweb

 

These instructions contain information on rates of duty. They also have contact information at the ITA for further information. Questions about the scope of AD/CVD orders should be referred to the contacts in the instructions or to "Contact Import Administration" at:

https://www.trade.gov/enforcement/operations/

 

The two sites linked below can be used to find the Department of Commerce case number, which can be used when searching the CBP instruction site linked above.

-           A spreadsheet of AD/CVD orders that were in effect on the date of update can be found at https://www.usitc.gov/sites/default/files/trade_remedy/documents/orders.xls

-           For recent or ongoing investigations, see https://www.usitc.gov/trade_remedy/731_ad_701_cvd/investigations.htm

I will be traveling internationally. What duty will I have pay on things I bring back with me? What if I have them shipped? What if they are intended to be gifts?

See the CBP website

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

How do I make a FOIA request to USITC?

A FOIA request can be made for any record that is not publicly available. Requestors are encouraged to submit their requests through the FOIA Request Form System. All other FOIA requests must be in writing. Mail or fax your request to the following:

Chief FOIA Officer
500 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20436

Facsimilie: 202-205-2104

Please write "Freedom of Information Act Request" on the envelope or the subject line of your fax.

The request should include the following information:

  • name, address, daytime phone number
     
  • detailed information about the requested material
     
  • the maximum amount of fees you are willing to pay for copying and/or search time, or if you are seeking a fee waiver

Electronic FOIA Request

If you are not seeking personal information about yourself or personal information on behalf of someone else, you may file a request online by using the FOIA Request Form System.

Link to Electronic FOIA System

Expedited Processing

You may be eligible for expedited processing of 10 calendar days under certain conditions. You must demonstrate that: (1) obtaining records could be vital towards protecting the safety of another person; or (2) that your job responsibility is to release urgent information to the public about alleged federal government activity.

What is the expected response time for a request?

The Commission by law has 20 working days to locate the records that are responsive to the request and to decide whether to release those records. The Commission may take an additional 10 days when the request involves records located in a field facility or a voluminous quantity of records, or when the Commission needs to consult with another agency that has a substantial interest in the request. A requester should expect to receive a response by mail, generally with copies of released records, within two or three working days after the close of the initial 20 day period.

Except in the case of requests that qualify for expedited processing, requests are processed in the order in which they are received.

Can I request expedited processing for my FOIA request?

A requester who seeks expedited processing must submit a statement, certified to be true and correct, explaining in detail the basis for requesting expedited processing. Decisions to grant, or not grant, expedited handling will be made within 10 calendar days of receipt of a request for expedited processing.

If I am not satisfied with the response from USITC, do I have a right of appeal?

If the Secretary denies a request in whole or in part, or if a response is not forthcoming within 20 working days of the filing of the request (and no extension notice has been given), the requester may file an appeal with the full Commission. A finding of "no records" may also be considered a denial and may be appealed. An appeal from a denial of a request must be received within 90 days of the date of the letter of denial.

Appeals must be addressed to the:

Chairman, United States International Trade Commission
500 E Street SW
Washington, DC 20436

Clearly indicate both on the envelope and in the letter that it is a "Freedom of Information Act Appeal".

The Commission has 20 working days to decide an appeal. The person filing the appeal may seek judicial review of the Commission's decision.

This statement is intended only as a summary of Commission FOIA practices and procedures. For further information, please consult Subpart C of Part 201 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR Part 201, Subpart C). You may want to refer to the statute itself at 5 USC 552.

Will there be any fees towards processing my request?

The Commission's fees for searching for and copying records are set forth in section 201.20 of its Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.20). There is no charge for copying and search time if the total fee would be $25 or less (however, related requests from the same person are aggregated for purposes of fee calculations). For fee calculation purposes, there are three categories of requesters and their charges would generally be as follows--

  1. Educational and non-commercial scientific institutions and the news media. No charge for search or review time; no charge for copying if the total charge is $25 or less; and if there is a charge for copying (generally at $.10 per page), the first 100 pages are free.
  2. Commercial requesters. No charge for copying, search, and/or review time if the total fee would be $25 or less. Otherwise, the copying charge is generally $.10 per page, and search and review fees are based on the GS (salary) level of the Commission employee performing the search or review.
  3. Non-commercial requesters (other than category #1 requesters). No charge for review time, and no charge for copying and/or search time if the total fee would be $25 or less. Otherwise, copying and search charges are the same as for commercial requesters, except that no fee is charged for the first 100 pages of copying and the first 2 hours of search time, or their cost equivalent.

For each quarter hour spent by agency personnel in salary grades GS-2 through GS-10 in searching for and retrieving a requested record, the fee is $4.00. When the time of agency personnel in salary grades GS-11 and above is required, the fee is $6.50 for each quarter hour of search and retrieval time spent by such personnel.

What are the FOIA Exemptions?

All agency records must be made available to the public under the FOIA, except for records that are:

  1. Properly classified as secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy (b)(1).
  2. Related solely to internal personnel rules and practices (b)(2).
  3. Specifically exempted by other statutes (b)(3).
  4. Concerning trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person that is privileged or confidential (b)(4).
  5. Privileged interagency or intra-agency memoranda or letters, except under certain circumstances (b)(5).
  6. Personnel and medical files and similar files, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy (b)(6).
  7. Investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes (b)(7).
  8. Contained in or related to certain examination, operating, or condition reports concerning financial institutions (b)(8).
  9. Geological and geophysical information and data, including maps, concerning wells (b)(9).

Byrd Amendment

My firm filled out a questionnaire in a recent investigation and indicated support of the petition but kept that support confidential. My firm's name is not on the list published by Customs for the investigation in question. What can I do to add my firm to the list?

Same answer as above.

My firm supported the petition in principal but did not receive a questionnaire during the investigation in question. We would have completed the questionnaire if it had been sent to us. Can we submit a letter in support of the petition after the investigation has been completed and be placed on the list of affected domestic producers?

Support for the petition during the original investigation can be documented by either a response to the ITC questionnaire that you submitted during the original investigation or by a letter of support that you submitted to the ITC in the original investigation. If you submitted neither during the original investigation, the CDSOA /Byrd Amendment does not allow you to be included on the list. Please note that questionnaire responses must be submitted by the return date specified in the questionnaire and letters of support for the petition must be submitted by the date specified in the scheduling notice for the final phase of the original investigation (this date coincides with the deadline for posthearing briefs).

My firm's name appeared on the list published by Customs in the Federal Register. How do I apply for my money?

The ITC is not involved in the distribution of assessed duties. Customs will be happy to help you with the certification process. They can be contacted at cdsoa@dhs.gov.

My firm supported continuation of the antidumping duty order in the most recent sunset review but did not complete a questionnaire response or submit a letter of support during the original investigation. Does this support make my firm eligible to be placed on the list of affected domestic producers?

The CDSOA /Byrd Amendment does not allow firms to be included on the list of affected domestic producers unless they expressed support for the petition during the original investigation.

My firm's name has changed from the time of the original investigation, and therefore does not appear on the recently published list of potentially eligible producers published by Customs for the investigation in question. Can the ITC change my firm's name on the list?

The ITC may only list a firm's name as it appeared in the original investigation. Customs administers the CDSOA /Byrd Amendment law and may recognize name changes and successor firms in some cases. Customs may be contacted at cdsoa@dhs.gov.

My firm is a member of an association that filed a petition in a current investigation. Is my firm nonetheless required to separately indicate its support for the petition through a questionnaire response or letter?

If the petition was filed on behalf of the association "and its members" and those members supporting the petition were identified therein, they will be included on any list of affected domestic producers that is forwarded to Customs. However, if the petition was filed on behalf of the association only, individual members will not be included on any list that the ITC sends to Customs unless those firms separately indicate their support for the petition by letter or questionnaire response. Members of an association that are not identified in the petition as supporters of the petition may also petition Customs for inclusion on Customs' list of potentially eligible domestic producers pursuant to their regulations. For further information, contact Customs at cdsoa@dhs.gov.

What is the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000 (CDSOA or Byrd Amendment)?

CDSOA, otherwise known as the Byrd Amendment, was passed on October 28, 2000 and was repealed effective October 1, 2007. The provisions of this act allow for anti-dumping and countervailing (AD/CV) duties collected by CBP to be disbursed to domestic producers injured by foreign dumping and subsidies. Per the repeal, AD/CV duties collected on entries made prior to October 1, 2007 are still eligible for CDSOA at liquidation.

My firm indicated support of the petition in a questionnaire response in an old investigation that resulted in an AD or CVD order that is still in effect, but my firm's name is not on the list of potentially eligible producers published in the Federal Register by Customs. How do I get on the list?

First, photocopy the front page of your producers' questionnaire from the original investigation that your firm submitted to the Commission during that investigation and the page indicating your support of the petition (generally the second page). Include the copied pages as an attachment to a letter addressed to: Marilyn Abbott, Secretary , U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW, Washington , DC 20436 . Your letter should include a request that your firm be included in the list of affected domestic producers for the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000 for the investigation in question (identify ITC investigation number(s) and product), and state that you are waiving confidential treatment of your questionnaire response with respect to support for the petition.

A sample form request letter can be accessed by clicking here.

In order to find previous request letters submitted by firms, you may browse our electronic document information system (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov/hvweb//; click on public access and then on search/retrieval; under area of interest select Byrd Amendment and under document type select request letters; click search to view listing of request letters.

Sunset Reviews

Where can I find sample five-year review questionnaires?

Sample five-year review questionnaires can be downloaded by clicking the links below:

Other sample questionnaires can be downloaded by visiting the Generic Questionnaires page.

What are five-year (sunset) reviews?

The Uruguay Round Agreements Act, approved in late 1994, amended the antidumping and countervailing duty laws in several respects. One of the most significant changes is the provision requiring the Department of Commerce and the Commission to conduct reviews no later than five years after an antidumping or countervailing duty order is issued to determine whether revoking the order would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping or subsidies (Commerce) and of material injury (Commission).

This requirement resulted in reviews of all outstanding antidumping and countervailing duty orders in existence as of January 1, 1995, over a three-year "transition period" that began in July 1998 and ended in June 2001. Original first reviews of antidumping and countervailing duty orders issued after January 1, 1995, are conducted five years after the effective date of the original order. Subsequent reviews (i.e., second reviews, third reviews, etc.) are conducted five years after the effective date of any continuation order.

How will reviews proceed?

Five-year reviews of all antidumping and countervailing duty orders that were issued prior to 1995 (known as "transition" reviews) were initiated by the Department of Commerce beginning in July 1998 and completed by both Commerce and the Commission in February 2001, several months prior to the statutory deadline of June 2001. Five-year reviews of all antidumping and countervailing duty orders that are issued after January 1, 1995, including any continuation orders, are initiated by Commerce by approximately 30 days prior to their five-year anniversary.

The Commission will institute its five-year review and set its schedule in a published Federal Register notice that will be effective the same day as Commerce's initiation of the five-year review. The Commission’s notice in each review will be posted in the Five-Year (Sunset) Reviews Database.

Approximately 95 days after publication in the Federal Register of the Commission's notice of institution of the five-year review, the Commission will decide whether to conduct a full or expedited five-year review. If the Commission decides to conduct a full five-year review, it will typically complete the review within 360 days of initiation. However, if interested party responses to the Commission's notice of institution are inadequate, the Commission can make an expedited determination within 150 days. Both Commerce and the Commission have the authority to extend these deadlines by up to 90 days in all transition reviews and other extraordinarily complicated cases.

In five-year reviews, the Commission determines whether revocation of the antidumping or countervailing duty order would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to the U.S. industry. If the Commission’s determination is affirmative, the order will remain in place. If the Commission’s determination is negative, the order will be revoked.

Trade Shift FAQs

What trade statistics are used in Trade Shifts?
Trade statistics are compiled from official statistics of the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce). These statistics are categorized using the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedules (for imports) and Schedule B (for exports) using an international nomenclature system.
What are Trade Shifts special-provision exports and imports?

These are merchandise subject to special classification provisions, temporary legislation, temporary modifications proclaimed under trade agreements legislation, or other legislation. See chapters 98 and 99 of the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule (https://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/bychapter/index.htm) and chapter 98 of U.S. Schedule B (http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/schedules/b/) for more information.

Which HTS 8-digit subheadings are included in each product grouping?

How are trading partner/regional groups defined?

What do the trade abbreviations and acronyms mean?  

How is Trade Shifts information organized?

Overall U.S. merchandise trade performance is summarized for the current year and compared to such trade for the previous year. Coverage of the individual merchandise sectors includes data showing U.S. export, import, and trade balance shifts by sectors, industry groups (and in some cases subgroups), and shifts in trade with U.S. trade partners.

Shifts in U.S. trade with five selected trading partners—China, South Korea, Mexico, Canada, and the United Kingdom—are presented. Mexico was chosen because it is one of the United States’ largest trading partners. The other four countries were chosen because they had the largest increase or decrease in two-way trade with the United States, based on either percentage or absolute dollar value.

A general sector overview is presented for each of the 10 sectors, identifying significant shifts in merchandise trade within the sector. In most cases, significant shifts in specific industry groups or subgroups are also identified. A statistical summary table of industry groups or subgroups is included in each sector analysis chapter, showing absolute and percentage changes in a year-to-year comparison for the previous and current years.

Why is this information prepared?

The international trade analysts of the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC, or the Commission), Office of Industries, routinely monitor trade developments in all natural resource, agricultural, and manufacturing industries and in the services sector, enabling the Commission to better anticipate and address issues of concern in its various roles under U.S. trade statutes.a Trade monitoring at the industry/commodity sector and subsector levels (the latter referred to as industry groups and subgroups in this report) is a facet of the research and analysis undertaken by the Office of Industries as part of its responsibility to provide advice and technical information on industry and trade issues.

On August 27, 1993, on its own motion and pursuant to section 332(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1332(b)), the U.S. International Trade Commission instituted investigation No. 332-345, Annual Reports on U.S. Trade Shifts in Selected Industries. The report format was developed by the Commission in response to Congressional interest in establishing a systematic means of examining and reporting on the significance of major trade shifts, by product and with leading U.S. trade partners, in all natural-resource, agricultural, and manufacturing industries.

On December 20, 1994, the Commission on its own motion expanded the scope of this study to include selected service industries, thus providing more comprehensive coverage of U.S. trade performance and overall economic competitiveness. Under the expanded scope, the Commission publishes two separate reports annually: Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade and Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade.

a Major roles include determining whether U.S. industries are materially injured or threatened with material injury by unfair imports, conducting studies on the international competitiveness of U.S. industries, and advising the President and the Congress on the likely effects of trade-policy changes and proposals.

What are Trade Shifts sectors?
Sectors are major segments of the U.S. economy (e.g., agricultural products, minerals and metals). The Commission divides the U.S. economy into 10 merchandise sectors.
Why are your Trade Shifts data different from other trade data?

Although all import and export data presented in this report are official Commerce statistics, these data may differ from the data presented by other government agencies and private institutions that cite Commerce as the source for trade data. Possible reasons for these differences are as follows:

  • Data in this report include merchandise trade only; other reported data may include services.
  • Data are not seasonally adjusted; the values of other reported data may be so adjusted.
  • Data are not adjusted on a balance of payments (BOP) basis; the values of other reported data may be so adjusted in line with the concepts and definitions used to prepare national and international accounts.
  • Exports and imports may not include all errata because certain errors may not be corrected by Commerce in time to be included in this report.
  • Data in this report may be adjusted for errors that are not of sufficient magnitude to be changed in Commerce data.
  • The import and export data in this report for 2013-17 have been updated as of February 12, 2018, based on the latest official revisions from the Census Bureau. The merchandise sectors contained in this report are defined by the Commission and may differ from similarly labeled groups from other sources.

The Commission’s staff has prepared "A Note on U.S. Trade Statistics" that is intended to help the public understand the most widely cited figures on the U.S. merchandise trade balance. It begins by defining the underlying trade flows and proceeds to a discussion of the resulting trade balances.

Docket Services

Are there any new petitions or complaints filed today?

New Import Injury Petitions and Section 337 Complaints will be processed and posted on EDIS. Notice of receipt of the filings will be posted at https://www.usitc.gov/petitions_and_complaints

My EDIS account is Locked and/or Inactive. Can you please reactivate it?

User accounts that lock due to incorrect log-in attempts unlock automatically after 15 minutes. Accounts that inactivate due to six months of inactivity must be reset by the Docket Services staff, either by emailing EDIS3Help@usitc.gov or calling (202) 205-3347.

Trade Remedy Assistance Office (TRAO)

We are a small business that produces and sells a patented product in the United States. We believe that our patent rights are being infringed by products imported into the United States. How do we stop these imported products from infringing our patent rights?

The option available to you at the U.S. International Trade Commission (Commission) is to file a complaint to initiate a Section 337 investigation (see this link for more information on Section 337 investigations https://www.usitc.gov/intellectual_property.htm). The primary remedy available in Section 337 investigations is an exclusion order that directs Customs to stop infringing imports from entering the United States. In addition, the Commission may issue cease and desist orders against named importers and other persons engaged in unfair acts that violate Section 337. Section 337 investigations, which are conducted pursuant to 19 U.S.C. § 1337 and the Administrative Procedure Act, include trial proceedings before administrative law judges and review by the Commission.

As a small business, you may receive general information and technical assistance from the Trade Remedy Assistance Office (TRAO). Technical assistance includes informal advice and assistance, including informal legal support, intended to enable eligible small entities to determine the appropriateness of pursuing remedies under Section 337, to prepare complaints, and to seek to obtain the remedies available under Section 337. Technical assistance does not include legal representation of an eligible small business or advocacy on its behalf. Relevant USITC rules are in 19 CFR 213. [PDF]. For further information, contact the Trade Remedy Assistance Program Manager, Joshua Levy, by phone at (202) 205-3236 or 1 (800) 343-9822, or by email at trao@usitc.gov.

For additional FAQs related to Section 337 investigations, please use this link: https://www.usitc.gov/intellectual_property/documents/337_faqs.pdf

What is the appropriate Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) number for the product I am importing?

You can ask questions about the HTS using the Commission’s “Ask Us a Tariff Question” portal (https://www.usitc.gov/tariff_affairs/hts_help). Your question will be directed to staff in our Office of Tariff Affairs and Trade Agreements (TATA), who will be able to give you informal technical assistance and guidance. For formal tariff classification rulings, you will need to contact the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) (https://www.cbp.gov/trade/rulings).

I would like to know the status of a particular AD/CVD or Section 337 investigation. Where can I find this information?

Information regarding the status of a particular active AD/CVD investigation can be found at the following link: https://www.usitc.gov/trade_remedy/731_ad_701_cvd/investigations.htm. Public reports for completed AD/CVD investigations can be found at this link: https://www.usitc.gov/commission_publications_library/701_731. Information regarding active Section 337 investigations can be found at the following link: https://pubapps2.usitc.gov/337external/. Section 337 publications can be found at the following link: https://www.usitc.gov/commission_publications_library/337

For further information, or if you need help navigating these sites, contact the Trade Remedy Assistance Program Manager, Joshua Levy, by phone at (202) 205-3236 or 1 (800) 343-9822, or by email at trao@usitc.gov

We are a small business that produces and sells a product in the United States. We believe that our business is being injured by imported products that are being sold at less than fair value (dumped) in the United States. We also believe that the foreign producers of these products are receiving illegal subsidies to produce and export these products. What trade remedies are available to us at the Commission?

The Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) are responsible for conducting antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) (subsidy) investigations under Title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930. Under this law, U.S. industries may petition the Commission and Commerce for relief from imports that are sold in the United States at less than fair value ("dumped") or that benefit from countervailable subsidies provided through foreign government programs ("subsidized"). Dumping and certain subsidizing are considered unfair trade practices.

The Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce both have roles in these investigations, but each addresses a different question. Commerce determines whether the alleged dumping or subsidizing is happening, and if so, the margin of dumping or amount of subsidy. The Commission determines whether the U.S. industry is materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of the imports under investigation. If both Commerce and the Commission reach affirmative final determinations on their individual questions, then Commerce will issue an antidumping duty order to offset the dumping or a countervailing duty order to offset the subsidy.

As a small business, you may receive general information and technical assistance from the Trade Remedy Assistance Office (TRAO). Technical assistance includes informal advice and assistance, including informal legal support, intended to enable eligible small entities to determine the appropriateness of pursuing remedies under Title VII, to prepare petitions, and to seek to obtain the remedies available under Title VII. Technical assistance does not include legal representation of an eligible small business or advocacy on its behalf. Relevant USITC rules are in 19 CFR 213. [PDF]. For further information, contact the Trade Remedy Assistance Program Manager, Joshua Levy, by phone at (202) 205-3236 or 1 (800) 343-9822, or by email at trao@usitc.gov.

For additional FAQs related to AD/CVD investigations, please use this link: https://www.usitc.gov/faqs/import_injury_faqs.htm

Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations

How are antidumping or countervailing duty orders imposed?

When an antidumping or countervailing duty order is imposed, Commerce instructs the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (Customs) to assess antidumping and/or countervailing duties on imports of the product into the United States to offset the unfair trade practice.

Where can I search for antidumping rates online (by commodity type or most recent)?

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection maintains a searchable database of antidumping and countervailing duty messages that can be retrieved based on simple or complex search characteristics using keywords and Boolean operators. The messages are segregated by Antidumping or Countervailing and span the years 1992 to present.

https://aceservices.cbp.dhs.gov/adcvdweb

What is dumping?

Dumping occurs when a foreign producer sells a product in the United States at a price that is below that producer's sales price in its home market, or at a price that is lower than its cost of production.

What is the U.S. Customs' role in imposing duty orders?

The Customs Service assesses antidumping duties and/or countervailing duties on imported merchandise.

What are the roles of Commerce and USITC during antidumping and countervailing duty investigations?

Commerce determines whether the alleged dumping or subsidizing is occurring, and if so, the margin of dumping or amount of subsidy.

The USITC determines whether the U.S. industry is materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of the imports under investigation.

If both Commerce and the USITC reach affirmative final determinations on their individual questions, then Commerce will issue an antidumping duty order to offset the dumping or a countervailing duty order to offset the subsidy.

What is subsidization?

Subsidization occurs when a government provides countervailable financial assistance to benefit the production, manufacture, or exportation of a good.

Safeguards

What is Section 421 (China Safeguard) of the Trade Act of 1974?

Under this law, the Commission determines whether articles from China are being imported into the United States in such increased quantities or under such conditions as to cause or threaten to cause market disruption to the domestic producers of like or directly competitive products.

If the Commission makes an affirmative determination, it proposes a remedy. The Commission sends its report to the President and the U.S. Trade Representative. The President makes the final remedy decision

This type of investigation is also known as a "China Safeguard Investigation."