On June 30, 2016, Welbend Corporation and Boltex Mfg. Co., L.P. filed antidumping (AD) petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), regarding finished carbon steel flanges from India, Italy and Spain. The petitioners also filed a countervailing duty (CVD) petition regarding finished carbon steel flanges from India. According to the petitions, a flange is a product for connecting pipes, valves, pumps and other equipment to form a piping system. It also provides easy access for cleaning, inspection or modification. Flanges are usually welded or screwed. Flanged joints are made by bolting together two flanges with a gasket between them to provide a seal.

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. In addition, these investigations could impact purchasers, by either increasing prices, and/or decreasing supply, of finished carbon steel flanges.

Scope:
The petitioners propose the following scope of investigation:

The scope of this investigation covers finished carbon steel flanges. Finished carbon steel flanges differ from unfinished carbon steel flanges (also known as carbon steel flange forgings) in that they have undergone further processing after forging, which can include beveling, bore threading, center or step boring, face machining, recoining or resizing, taper boring, machining ends or surfaces other than a gasket face, drilling bolt holes and/or de-burring or shot blasting. Any one of these post-forging processes suffices to render the forging into a finished carbon steel flange for purposes of these petitions. However, mere heat treatment of a carbon steel flange forging (without any other further processing after forging) does not render the forging into a finished carbon steel flange for purposes of these petitions.

While these finished carbon steel flanges are generally manufactured to specification ASME 816.5 or ASME B16.41 series A or series B, the scope is not limited to flanges produced under those specifications. All types of finished carbon steel flanges are included in the scope, regardless of pipe size (usually expressed in inches of nominal pipe size), pressure class (usually expressed in pounds of pressure, e.g., 150, 300, 400, 600, 900, 1500, 2500, etc.), type of face (e.g., flat face, full face, raised face, etc.), confìguration (e.g., weld neck, slip on, socket weld, lap joint, threaded, etc.), wall thickness (usually expressed in inches) and normalization or heat treatment (which may not always be used). The carbon steel used to produce fìnished carbon steel flanges includes, but is not limited to, carbon steel produced to ASTM A105 and ASTM A694 standards.

Finished carbon steel flanges are currently classified under subheading 7307 .91.5010 and 7307.91,5050 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). They may also be entered under HTSUS subheading 1307.91.5030 and 7301.91.5070. The HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes; the written description of the scope is dispositive.

Alleged Dumping Margins:
Petitioner alleges dumping margins as follows:

India – Up to 69.39 percent
Italy – 15.24 to 103.24 percent
Spain – 38.83 to 46.68 percent

Alleged Subsidies:
The CVD petition alleges that Indian producers/exporters benefit from numerous countervailable subsidies provided by the Government of India. Please let us know if you would like further details regarding specific subsidy allegations.

Estimated Schedule of Investigations:
June 30, 2016 – Petitions are filed
July 20, 2016 – DOC initiates AD and CVD investigations
July 21, 2016 – ITC staff conference (estimated)
August 15, 2016 – Deadline for ITC preliminary injury determination
September 23, 2016 – Deadline for DOC preliminary CVD determination, if deadline is NOT postponed
November 28, 2016 – Deadline for DOC preliminary CVD determination, if deadline is fully postponed
December 7, 2016 – Deadline for DOC preliminary AD determination, if deadline is not postponed
January 26, 2017 – Deadline for DOC preliminary AD determination, if deadline is fully postponed
June 12, 2017 – 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
July 27, 2017 – Deadline for ITC final injury determination, assuming fully postponed DOC deadlines