Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From Belgium: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 32298-32302 [E8-12779]

Download as PDF 32298 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 110 / Friday, June 6, 2008 / Notices 751(a)(2)(B), and 777(i) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.214(h) and 351.221(b)(4). Dated: May 27, 2008. David M. Spooner, Assistant Secretary for Import Administration. [FR Doc. E8–12762 Filed 6–5–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DR–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A–423–808] Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From Belgium: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on stainless steel plate in coils (SSPC) from Belgium. For the period May 1, 2006, through April 30, 2007, we have preliminarily determined that U.S. sales have been made below normal value (NV). If these preliminary results are adopted in our final results, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess antidumping duties based on the difference between the constructed export price (CEP) and NV. See ‘‘Preliminary Results of Review’’ section of this notice. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results. EFFECTIVE DATE: June 6, 2008. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cindy Robinson or George McMahon, AD/CVD Operations, Office 3, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington DC 20230; telephone (202) 482–3797 or (202) 482– 1167, respectively. PWALKER on PROD1PC71 with NOTICES AGENCY: Background On May 1, 2007, the Department issued a notice of opportunity to request an administrative review of this order for the period of review (POR) May 1, 2006, through April 30, 2007. See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 72 FR 23796 (May 1, 2007). On May 31, 2007, the Department received timely requests for an administrative review of this order from the Petitioners, Allegheny Ludlum Corporation, North American Stainless, VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:09 Jun 05, 2008 Jkt 214001 United Auto Workers Local 3303, Zanesville Armco Independent Organization, and the United Steelworkers of America, AFL–CIO/CLC (collectively, Petitioners), and the respondent, Ugine & ALZ Belgium (U&A Belgium), respectively. On June 29, 2007, we published a notice initiating an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on SSPC from Belgium covering one respondent, U&A Belgium. See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, Request for Revocation in Part and Deferral of Administrative Review, 72 FR 35690 (June 29, 2007). On May 11, 2007, the Department received a request from U&A Belgium for a scope determination that the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on SSPC from Belgium exclude stainless steel products with an actual thickness less than 4.75mm, regardless of nominal thickness. The Department initiated a formal scope inquiry of the SSPC orders 1 on July 23, 2007. On November 16, 2007, and on January 15, 2008, the Department extended the deadline to issue a final scope ruling under 19 CFR 351.302(b). See Memoranda To All Interested Parties RE: Stainless Steel Plate in Coils from Belgium Scope Inquiry, dated November 16, 2007 and January 15, 2008, respectively. On July 13, 2007, the Department issued a questionnaire to U&A Belgium. We received U&A Belgium’s response to Section A of the Department’s questionnaire on September 11, 2007, and Sections B–D on September 28, 2007. On January 18, 2008, the Department issued an extension of the deadline for the preliminary results of this antidumping duty administrative review from January 31, 2008, until May 30, 2008. See Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From Belgium: Notice of Extension of Time Limit for Preliminary Results of Administrative Review, 73 FR 3453 (January 18, 2008). On October 29, 2007, the Department received comments from the Petitioners on the Sections A through C responses for U&A Belgium. On January 24, 2008, 1 See Notice of Amended Final Determinations: Stainless Steel Plate in Coils from Belgium and South Africa; and Notice of Countervailing Duty Orders: Stainless Steel Plate in Coils from Belgium, Italy and South Africa, 64 FR 25288 (May 11, 1999); Antidumping Duty Orders; Certain Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From Belgium, Canada, Italy, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, and Taiwan, 64 FR 27756 (May 21, 1999); Notice of Amended Antidumping Duty Orders; Certain Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From Belgium, Canada, Italy, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, and Taiwan, 68 FR 11520 (March 11, 2003); and Amended Countervailing Duty Orders; Certain Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From Belgium, Italy, and South Africa, 68 FR 11524 (March 11, 2003). PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the Petitioners submitted comments requesting that the Department conduct verification of the responses submitted by U&A Belgium. On February 5, 2008, U&A Belgium submitted comments urging the Department to reject the request for verification made by the Petitioners. After reviewing the Sections A through D responses from U&A Belgium, the Department issued supplemental questionnaires to U&A Belgium. The Department issued additional supplemental questions, after reviewing U&A Belgium’s supplemental questionnaire response. On January 18, 2008, the Department postponed the preliminary results by 120 days. See Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From Belgium: Notice of Extension of Time Limit for Preliminary Results of Administrative Review, 73 FR 3453 (January 18, 2008). U&A Belgium’s Reported Merger U&A Belgium reported that it is wholly owned by Arcelor S.A. and stated that Arcelor S.A. is in the process of merging with Mittal Steel, N.V. (Mittal) to form Arcelor Mittal S.A. Specifically, U&A Belgium reported that ‘‘{i}n June 2006, Arcelor and Mittal Steel signed a memorandum of understanding outlining the terms of a merger. The subsequent merger agreement was signed in May 2007.’’ See U&A Belgium’s September 11, 2007, Section A Questionnaire Response at 10. U&A Belgium stated that the merger was structured as a two-step process. The first step, the merger of Mittal Steel into its wholly owned non-operating subsidiary ArcelorMittal, was completed in August 2007. The second step, the integration of ArcelorMittal into Arcelor S.A., was completed in November 2007, and the company was immediately renamed ArcelorMittal. As a result, the entire merger is now complete, effective November 2007. U&A Belgium stated that ‘‘{w}hile the merger was not technically completed during the review period, U&A Belgium prepared its responses to the Department’s questionnaires as if ArcelorMittal were fully consolidated.’’ See U&A Belgium’s April 15, 2008, Sections A–C Supplemental Questionnaire Response (April 15, 2008 SQR) at 1. U&A Belgium also reported ‘‘that the merger has had no impact on U&A Belgium’s production and sale of subject merchandise. In particular, there has been no change to U&A Belgium’s inputs from affiliates within the review period resulting from the merger with Mittal Steel. There has also been no change to U&A Belgium’s sales to affiliates within the POR resulting from the merger with Mittal Steel.’’ Id. at 2. E:\FR\FM\06JNN1.SGM 06JNN1 PWALKER on PROD1PC71 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 110 / Friday, June 6, 2008 / Notices Quarterly Costs In its Section A–C questionnaire response dated January 29, 2008, at 39– 44, U&A Belgium provided information regarding its input costs for the POR and claimed that the use of a single weighted average for the POR would distort the margin calculations. Therefore, instead of using single weighted-average CONNUM-specific costs for the POR, U&A Belgium urged the Department to consider employing a quarterly weighted-average cost methodology in this segment of the proceeding. On March 17, 2008, the Petitioners submitted comments claiming that the Department’s standard practice of using a single weightedaverage cost for the POR remains proper in the instant case. As a result, the Petitioners urge the Department to reject U&A Belgium’s proposal to use quarterly weighted-average costs in this administrative review. On May 15, 2008, U&A Belgium provided rebuttal comments attesting that the record evidence and the extraordinary circumstances present in this review warrant a departure from the Department’s normal practice of using annual costs. On May 22, 2008, the Petitioners submitted additional comments reiterating their claim that it is inappropriate for the Department to use quarterly costs in this review. The Petitioners argue that U&A Belgium has provided insufficient quantitative and qualitative analyses, particularly related to pricing practices and trends in the home market, to support using a quarterly cost methodology. On May 27, 2008, U&A Belgium submitted comments that rebut the comments addressed in the Petitioner’s May 22, 2008, letter. Specifically, U&A Belgium rebuts that quarterly cost periods can be quantified, there is a sufficient number of sales to determine that prices changed significantly over the POR, and the alloy surcharge mechanism is a pass-through pricing mechanism. Furthermore, U&A Belgium contends that certain proprietary issues discussed by the Petitioners are irrelevant to the issue of quarterly costs, U&A Belgium correctly calculated its reported finance expenses, and there is no need for verification in this review. The Department considered the sales and cost information reported by U&A Belgium, in addition to the comments submitted by both the Petitioners and U&A Belgium. Based on our analysis, we preliminarily find that it is appropriate to use U&A Belgium’s annual weighted-average costs for this review. The Department recently requested public comment regarding the VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:09 Jun 05, 2008 Jkt 214001 impact of cost changes on the cost averaging period. See Antidumping Methodologies for Proceedings that Involve Significant Cost Changes Throughout the Period of Investigation (POI)/Period of Review (POR) that May Require Using Shorter Cost Averaging Periods; Request for Comment, 73 FR 26364 (May 9, 2008) (Antidumping Methodologies; Request for Comment). Although the Department has calculated U&A Belgium’s costs on an annual basis for these preliminary results, we intend to consider this issue further within the context of our analysis of the comments that will be received, pursuant to the Antidumping Methodologies; Request for Comment. We expect to provide a memorandum discussing the results of our analysis of the comments received, in order to give the parties to this proceeding an opportunity to comment for the final determination. Scope of the Order The product covered by this order is certain stainless steel plate in coils. Stainless steel is an alloy steel containing, by weight, 1.2 percent or less of carbon and 10.5 percent or more of chromium, with or without other elements. The subject plate products are flat-rolled products, 254 mm or over in width and 4.75 mm or more in thickness, in coils, and annealed or otherwise heat treated and pickled or otherwise descaled. The subject plate may also be further processed (e.g., cold-rolled, polished, etc.) provided that it maintains the specified dimensions of plate following such processing. Excluded from the scope of this order are the following: (1) Plate not in coils, (2) plate that is not annealed or otherwise heat treated and pickled or otherwise descaled, (3) sheet and strip, and (4) flat bars. The merchandise subject to this order is currently classifiable in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) at subheadings: 7219.11.00.30, 7219.11.00.60, 7219.12.00.06, 7219.12.00.21, 7219.12.00.26, 7219.12.00.51, 7219.12.00.56, 7219.12.00.66, 7219.12.00.71, 7219.12.00.81, 7219.31.00.10, 7219.90.00.10, 7219.90.00.20, 7219.90.00.25, 7219.90.00.60, 7219.90.00.80, 7220.11.00.00, 7220.20.10.10, 7220.20.10.15, 7220.20.10.60, 7220.20.10.80, 7220.20.60.05, 7220.20.60.10, 7220.20.60.15, 7220.20.60.60, 7220.20.60.80, 7220.90.00.10, 7220.90.00.15, 7220.90.00.60, and 7220.90.00.80. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 32299 merchandise subject to this order is dispositive. Analysis Product Comparisons In accordance with section 771(16) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), we considered all products produced by the respondent that are covered by the description contained in the ‘‘Scope of the Order’’ section above and were sold in the home market during the POR, to be the foreign like product for purposes of determining appropriate product comparisons to U.S. sales. Where there were no sales of identical merchandise in the home market to compare to U.S. sales, we compared U.S. sales to the most similar foreign like product on the basis of the characteristics listed in Appendix V of the initial antidumping questionnaire we provided to U&A Belgium. See U&A Belgium Antidumping Questionnaire, dated July 13, 2007, on the record in the Central Records Unit (CRU), Room 1117 of the Main Commerce Building. Normal Value Comparisons To determine whether sales of subject merchandise to the United States were made at less than normal value, we compared CEP to NV, as described in the ‘‘Constructed Export Price’’ and ‘‘Normal Value’’ sections of this notice. In accordance with section 777A(d)(2) of the Act, we calculated monthly weighted-average prices for NV and compared these to individual U.S. transaction prices. Home Market Viability In accordance with section 773(a)(1)(C) of the Act, to determine whether there was a sufficient volume of sales in the home market to serve as a viable basis for calculating NV, we compared U&A Belgium’s volume of home market sales of the foreign like product to the volume of U.S. sales of the subject merchandise. Pursuant to section 773(a)(1)(B) and 19 CFR 351.404(b), because U&A Belgium’s aggregate volume of home market sales of the foreign like product was greater than 5 percent of its aggregate volume of U.S. sales of the subject merchandise, we determined that the home market was viable. Moreover, there is no evidence on the record supporting a particular market situation in the exporting company’s country that would not permit a proper comparison of home market and U.S. prices. Constructed Export Price In accordance with section 772(b) of the Act, CEP is the price at which the subject merchandise is first sold (or E:\FR\FM\06JNN1.SGM 06JNN1 32300 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 110 / Friday, June 6, 2008 / Notices agreed to be sold) in the United States before or after the date of importation by or for the account of the producer or exporter of such merchandise, or by a seller affiliated with the producer or exporter, to a purchaser not affiliated with the producer or exporter. As stated at 19 CFR 351.401(i), the Department will use the respondent’s invoice date as the date of sale unless another date better reflects the date upon which the exporter or producer establishes the essential terms of sale. U&A Belgium reported the invoice date as the date of sale for both the U.S. market and the home market because the date of invoice reflects the date on which the material terms of sale were finalized. For purposes of this review, U&A Belgium classified all of its export sales of SSPC to the United States as CEP sales. During the POR, U&A Belgium made sales in the United States through its U.S. affiliate, Arcelor Stainless USA (AS USA), which then resold the merchandise to unaffiliated customers in the United States. The Department calculated CEP based on packed prices to customers in the United States. We made deductions from the starting price, net of discounts, for movement expenses (foreign and U.S. movement, U.S. customs duty and brokerage, and post-sale warehousing) in accordance with section 772(c)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.401(e). In addition, because U&A Belgium reported CEP sales, in accordance with section 772(d)(1) of the Act, we deducted from the starting price, credit expenses, warranty expenses, and indirect selling expenses, including inventory carrying costs, incurred in the United States and Belgium and associated with economic activities in the United States. PWALKER on PROD1PC71 with NOTICES Normal Value In accordance with section 773(a)(1)(B)(i) of the Act, we have based NV on the price at which the foreign like product was first sold for consumption in the home market, in the usual commercial quantities and in the ordinary course of trade. In addition, because the NV level of trade (LOT) is at a more advanced stage of distribution than the CEP LOT, and available data provide no appropriate basis to determine an LOT adjustment between NV and CEP, we made a CEP offset pursuant to section 773(a)(7)(B) of the Act (see ‘‘Level of Trade’’ section, below). We used sales to affiliated customers only where we determined such sales were made at arm’s-length prices (i.e., at prices comparable to the prices at which VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:09 Jun 05, 2008 Jkt 214001 the respondent sold identical merchandise to unaffiliated customers). Arm’s-Length Test Sales to affiliated customers in the home market not made at arm’s length were excluded from our analysis. To test whether these sales were made at arm’s length, we compared the starting prices of sales to affiliated and unaffiliated customers net of all movement charges, direct selling expenses, discounts, and packing. In accordance with the Department’s current practice, if the prices charged to an affiliated party were, on average, between 98 and 102 percent of the prices charged to unaffiliated parties for merchandise identical or most similar to that sold to the affiliated party, we consider the sales to be at arm’s-length prices. See 19 CFR 351.403(c). Conversely, where the affiliated party did not pass the arm’slength test, all sales to that affiliated party have been excluded from the NV calculation. See Antidumping Proceedings: Affiliated Party Sales in the Ordinary Course of Trade, 67 FR 69186 (November 15, 2002). Cost of Production The Department disregarded sales below the cost of production (COP) in the last completed review. See Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From Belgium: Final Results of Antidumping Administrative Review, 70 FR 72789 (December 7, 2005). We therefore have reasonable grounds to believe or suspect, pursuant to section 773(b)(2)(A)(ii) of the Act, that sales of the foreign like product under consideration for the determination of NV in this review may have been made at prices below COP. Thus, pursuant to section 773(b)(1) of the Act, we examined whether U&A Belgium’s sales in the home market were made at prices below the COP. We compared sales of the foreign like product in the home market with model-specific COP figures. In accordance with section 773(b)(3) of the Act, we calculated COP based on the sum of the costs of materials and fabrication employed in producing the foreign like product, plus selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, financial expenses and all costs and expenses incidental to placing the foreign like product in packed condition and ready for shipment. In our sales-below-cost analysis, we relied on home market sales and COP information provided by U&A Belgium in its questionnaire responses, except for the reported financial expense ratio. We made adjustments to the consolidated financial expense ratio to exclude long-term interest income and PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 include certain financial costs and gains recognized by the parent company in its 2006 fiscal year income statement. See Memorandum from Angela Strom, Accountant, to Neal Halper, Director, Office of Accounting, entitled ‘‘Cost of Production and Constructed Value Calculation Adjustments for the Preliminary Determination Results— U&A Belgium,’’ dated May 30, 2008. We compared the weighted-average model-specific COPs to home market sales of the foreign like product, as required under section 773(b) of the Act, in order to determine whether these sales had been made at prices below the COP. In determining whether to disregard home market sales made at prices below the COP, we examined whether such sales were made (1) within an extended period of time in substantial quantities, and (2) at prices which did not permit recovery of all costs within a reasonable period of time in the normal course of trade, in accordance with sections 773(b)(1)(A) and (B) of the Act. On a product-specific basis, we compared the COP to home market prices, less any movement charges, discounts, and direct and indirect selling expenses. Pursuant to section 773(b)(2)(C) of the Act, where less than 20 percent of the respondent’s sales of a given product were at prices which represent less than the COP, we did not disregard any below-cost sales of that product because the below-cost sales were not made in substantial quantities within an extended period of time. Where 20 percent or more of the respondent’s sales of a given product were at prices which represented less than the COP, we determined that they were made in substantial quantities within an extended period of time, in accordance with section 773(b)(2)(C) of the Act. Because we compared prices to PORaverage costs, we also determined that the below-cost prices did not permit the recovery of costs within a reasonable period of time, in accordance with section 773(b)(1)(B) of the Act. Therefore, we disregarded the belowcost sales and used the remaining sales, if any, as the basis for NV, in accordance with section 773(b)(1) of the Act. CEP to NV Comparison For those sales at prices above COP, we based NV on home market prices to affiliated (when made at prices determined to be at arm’s length) or unaffiliated parties, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.403. Home market starting prices were based on packed prices to affiliated or unaffiliated purchasers in the home market, net of discounts. We made adjustments, where applicable, for E:\FR\FM\06JNN1.SGM 06JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 110 / Friday, June 6, 2008 / Notices PWALKER on PROD1PC71 with NOTICES packing and movement expenses, in accordance with sections 773(a)(6)(A) and (B) of the Act. We also made adjustments for differences in costs attributable to differences in physical characteristics of the merchandise pursuant to section 773(a)(6)(C)(ii) of the Act. For comparison to CEP, we deducted home market direct selling expenses pursuant to section 773(a)(6)(C)(iii) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.410(c). Section 773(a)(4) of the Act provides that where NV cannot be based on comparison-market sales, NV may be based on constructed value (CV). Accordingly, for those products for which we could not determine the NV based on comparison-market sales, either because there were no useable sales of a comparable product or all sales of the comparable products failed the COP test, we based NV on CV. Section 773(e) of the Act provides that CV shall be based on the sum of the cost of materials and fabrication for the imported merchandise, plus amounts SG&A and interest expenses, profit, and U.S. packing costs. We calculated the cost of materials and fabrication based on the methodology described in the ‘‘Cost of Production Analysis’’ section, above. We based SG&A and interest expenses and profit on the actual amounts incurred and realized by respondent in connection with the production and sale of the foreign like product in the ordinary course of trade for consumption in the home market, in accordance with section 773(e)(2)(A) of the Act. We made adjustments to CV for differences in circumstances of sale in accordance with section 773(a)(8) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.410. For comparisons to CEP, we made circumstance-of-sale adjustments by deducting comparison market direct selling expenses from CV. See 19 CFR 351.410(c). Level of Trade In accordance with section 773(a)(1)(B)(i) of the Act, to the extent practicable, we determined NV based on sales in the comparison market at the same LOT as the U.S. sales. See 19 CFR 351.412. The NV LOT is the level of the starting-price sale in the comparison market or, when NV is based on CV, the level of the sales from which we derive SG&A and profit. For EP, the U.S. LOT is also the level of the starting-price sale, which is usually from exporter to importer. For CEP, it is the level of the constructed sale from the exporter to the importer. See 19 CFR 351.412. As noted above, U&A Belgium classified all its exported sales of SSPC as CEP sales. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:09 Jun 05, 2008 Jkt 214001 To determine whether NV sales are at a different LOT than CEP, we examine stages in the marketing process and selling functions along the chain of distribution between the producer and the unaffiliated customer. If the comparison-market sales are at a different LOT, and the difference affects price comparability, as manifested in a pattern of consistent price differences between the sales on which NV is based and comparison-market sales at the LOT of the export transaction, we make a LOT adjustment under section 773(a)(7)(A) of the Act. For CEP sales, if the NV level is at a more advanced stage of distribution than the CEP LOT and the data available do not provide a basis to determine a LOT adjustment, we adjust NV under section 773(a)(7)(B) of the Act (the CEP offset provision). See, e.g., Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Greenhouse Tomatoes From Canada, 67 FR 8781 (February 26, 2002); see also Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less than Fair Value: Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon Steel Plate from South Africa, 62 FR 61731 (November 19, 1997) and Certain Hot-Rolled Flat-Rolled Carbon Quality Steel Products from Brazil; Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 70 FR 17406 (April 6, 2005). For CEP sales, we consider only the selling activities reflected in the price after the deduction of expenses and CEP profit under section 772(d) of the Act. See Micron Technology Inc. v. United States, 243 F.3d 1301, 1314–1315 (Fed. Cir. 2001). We expect that, if the claimed LOTs are the same, the functions and activities of the seller should be similar. Conversely, if a party claims that the LOTs are different for different groups of sales, the functions and activities of the seller should be dissimilar. See Porcelain-onSteel Cookware from Mexico: Final Results of Administrative Review, 65 FR 30068 (May 10, 2000). In the current review, U&A Belgium reported seven customer categories and indicated that its sales were made at a single channel of distribution for the sale of SSPC in Belgium through one LOT in the comparison market. Specifically, U&A Belgium reported that it sells SSPC to customers in the home market through its affiliated sales agents, U&A Benelux (regional sales office) and U&A S.A. (principal sales agent). U&A Belgium performs a variety of distinct selling functions in the comparison market. See Appendix A–15 of the September 11, 2007, Questionnaire Response. We examined the selling functions performed for the seven customer categories and found PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 32301 that the selling activities and services do not vary among them. See Memorandum from George McMahon to The File ‘‘Calculation Memorandum for Ugine & ALZ, N.V. Belgium (U&A Belgium) for the Preliminary Results of the Sixth Administrative Review of Stainless Steel Plate in Coils (SSPC) from Belgium,’’ dated May 30, 2008 (Sales Calculation Memorandum). Therefore, we preliminarily conclude that U&A Belgium’s sales in the home market constitute one LOT. U&A Belgium reported two channels of distribution and two LOTs in the U.S. market. U&A Belgium’s two U.S. channels of distribution are: 1) Direct sales by AS USA of made-to-order merchandise produced by U&A Belgium to end-users and unaffiliated distributors, and 2) warehouse sales by AS USA of merchandise imported from U&A Belgium and stocked by AS USA. See September 11, 2007, Section A, Volume I, Questionnaire Response at 16–17; see also April 15, 2008 SQR at 20. U&A Belgium performed several selling functions in the United States in connection with the sale of SSPC. The selling functions that U&A Belgium independently performed for its U.S. sales are limited to: handling product information and training sessions, freight arrangements, packing, and technical services. In addition, U&A Belgium and AS USA performed the following four sales functions jointly in both sales channels in the United States: Product information and training sessions, advertising to customers, freight arrangements, and after sales servicing support or claims. In our comparison of the U.S. and home market LOTs, we eliminated from consideration selling functions performed by AS USA and only considered the portion of the selling functions performed by U&A Belgium after making adjustments under section 772(d) of the Act. Our analysis of these selling functions performed by U&A Belgium in the United States shows that the selling activities and services do not vary according to the type of customer for sales within each channel of distribution. Because we find that there is no variation in type or level of services provided by U&A Belgium for the channels of distribution in the United States, we preliminarily determine that there is only one LOT in the U.S. market. See ‘‘Sales Calculation Memorandum.’’ Moreover, we find that the distribution channels and selling functions reported by U&A Belgium for the instant review are consistent with those reported in the prior administrative review of SSPC from E:\FR\FM\06JNN1.SGM 06JNN1 PWALKER on PROD1PC71 with NOTICES 32302 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 110 / Friday, June 6, 2008 / Notices Belgium, in which case the Department determined that U&A Belgium sold through only one LOT in the U.S. market. See Memorandum entitled ‘‘Analysis for Ugine & ALZ, N.V. Belgium (U&A Belgium) for the Preliminary Results of the Fifth Administrative Review of Stainless Steel Plate in Coils (SSPC) from Belgium,’’ dated May 31, 2005, at 2. U&A Belgium and its affiliated agent for global sale and distribution of stainless steel flat products produced in Belgium and France, U&A S.A., perform all home market selling activities. Selling functions for the U.S. market, as indicated above, are primarily performed by AS USA, with the exception of two selling functions handled solely by U&A Belgium, and two selling functions that are performed jointly by Arcelor Stainless International (ASI), AS USA, and U&A S.A. We compared the U.S. and home market LOTs and preliminarily determined that, after eliminating from consideration selling functions performed by AS USA (pursuant to section 772(d) of the Act), U&A Belgium’s home market LOT is at a more advanced stage of distribution than the CEP LOT. Due to the proprietary nature of the discussion, see the ‘‘Sales Calculation Memorandum’’ for additional detail. We then considered whether we could make a LOT adjustment. In this case, U&A Belgium only sold at one LOT in the comparison market; therefore, there is no information available to determine a pattern of consistent price differences between the sales on which NV is based and the comparison market sales at the LOT of the export transaction, in accordance with the Department’s normal methodology as described above. See 19 CFR 351.412(d). Further, we do not have record information which would allow us to examine pricing patterns based on the respondent’s sales of other products, and there are no other respondents or other record information on which such an analysis could be based. Accordingly, because only one LOT exists in the home market we could not make a LOT adjustment. However, because the LOT in the comparison market is at a more advanced stage of distribution than the LOT of the CEP transactions, we made a CEP offset adjustment in accordance with section 773(a)(7)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.412(f). This offset is equal to the amount of indirect selling expenses incurred in the comparison market not exceeding the amount of indirect selling expenses and commissions deducted from the U.S. price in accordance with VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:09 Jun 05, 2008 Jkt 214001 section 772(d)(1)(D) of the Act. For a detailed discussion, see ‘‘Sales Calculation Memorandum.’’ Currency Conversion We made currency conversions pursuant to 19 CFR 351.415 based on the exchange rates certified by the Federal Reserve Bank. Preliminary Results of Review We preliminarily determine that for the period May 1, 2006, through April 30, 2007, the following dumping margin exists: Manufacturer/Exporter U&A Belgium ............................ Margin (percent) 12.68 Duty Assessment and Cash Deposit Requirements The Department shall determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.212(b), the Department calculates an assessment rate for each importer of the subject merchandise for each respondent. The Department will issue appropriate assessment instructions directly to CBP within 15 days of publication of the final results of this review. Furthermore, the following cash deposit rates will be effective with respect to all shipments of SSPC from Belgium entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of the final results, as provided for by section 751(a)(1) of the Act: (1) For U&A Belgium, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established in the final results of this review; (2) for previously reviewed or investigated companies not listed above, the cash deposit rate will be the companyspecific rate established for the most recent period; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the less-than-fair-value (LTFV) investigation, but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recent period for the manufacturer of the subject merchandise; and (4) if neither the exporter nor the manufacturer is a firm covered by this review, a prior review, or the LTFV investigation, the cash deposit rate shall be the all-others rate established in the LTFV investigation, which is 9.86 percent. See Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From Belgium, 64 FR 15476 (March 31, 1999). These deposit rates, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice. PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Public Comment Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.224(b), the Department will disclose to parties to the proceeding any calculations performed in connection with these preliminary results within five days after the date of publication of this notice. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309, interested parties may submit written comments in response to these preliminary results. Unless extended by the Department, case briefs are to be submitted within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice, and rebuttal briefs, limited to arguments raised in case briefs, are to be submitted no later than five days after the time limit for filing case briefs. Parties who submit arguments in this proceeding are requested to submit with the argument: (1) a statement of the issues, and (2) a brief summary of the argument. Case and rebuttal briefs must be served on interested parties in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303(f). Also, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), within 30 days of the date of publication of this notice, interested parties may request a public hearing on arguments to be raised in the case and rebuttal briefs. Unless the Secretary specifies otherwise, the hearing, if requested, will be held two days after the date for submission of rebuttal briefs. Parties will be notified of the time and location. The Department will publish the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis of issues raised in any case or rebuttal brief, no later than 120 days after publication of these preliminary results, unless extended. See 19 CFR 351.213(h). Notification to Importers This notice serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary’s presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties. These preliminary results of this administrative review and notice are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act. Dated: May 30, 2008. David M. Spooner, Assistant Secretary for Import Administration. [FR Doc. E8–12779 Filed 6–5–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P E:\FR\FM\06JNN1.SGM 06JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 110 (Friday, June 6, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 32298-32302]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-12779]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

International Trade Administration

[A-423-808]


Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From Belgium: Preliminary Results 
of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review

AGENCY: Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. 
Department of Commerce.

SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an 
administrative review of the antidumping duty order on stainless steel 
plate in coils (SSPC) from Belgium. For the period May 1, 2006, through 
April 30, 2007, we have preliminarily determined that U.S. sales have 
been made below normal value (NV). If these preliminary results are 
adopted in our final results, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection (CBP) to assess antidumping duties based on the difference 
between the constructed export price (CEP) and NV. See ``Preliminary 
Results of Review'' section of this notice. Interested parties are 
invited to comment on these preliminary results.

EFFECTIVE DATE: June 6, 2008.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cindy Robinson or George McMahon, AD/
CVD Operations, Office 3, Import Administration, International Trade 
Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and 
Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-3797 
or (202) 482-1167, respectively.

Background

    On May 1, 2007, the Department issued a notice of opportunity to 
request an administrative review of this order for the period of review 
(POR) May 1, 2006, through April 30, 2007. See Antidumping or 
Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; 
Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 72 FR 23796 (May 1, 
2007). On May 31, 2007, the Department received timely requests for an 
administrative review of this order from the Petitioners, Allegheny 
Ludlum Corporation, North American Stainless, United Auto Workers Local 
3303, Zanesville Armco Independent Organization, and the United 
Steelworkers of America, AFL-CIO/CLC (collectively, Petitioners), and 
the respondent, Ugine & ALZ Belgium (U&A Belgium), respectively. On 
June 29, 2007, we published a notice initiating an administrative 
review of the antidumping duty order on SSPC from Belgium covering one 
respondent, U&A Belgium. See Initiation of Antidumping and 
Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, Request for Revocation in 
Part and Deferral of Administrative Review, 72 FR 35690 (June 29, 
2007).
    On May 11, 2007, the Department received a request from U&A Belgium 
for a scope determination that the antidumping and countervailing duty 
orders on SSPC from Belgium exclude stainless steel products with an 
actual thickness less than 4.75mm, regardless of nominal thickness. The 
Department initiated a formal scope inquiry of the SSPC orders \1\ on 
July 23, 2007. On November 16, 2007, and on January 15, 2008, the 
Department extended the deadline to issue a final scope ruling under 19 
CFR 351.302(b). See Memoranda To All Interested Parties RE: Stainless 
Steel Plate in Coils from Belgium Scope Inquiry, dated November 16, 
2007 and January 15, 2008, respectively.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See Notice of Amended Final Determinations: Stainless Steel 
Plate in Coils from Belgium and South Africa; and Notice of 
Countervailing Duty Orders: Stainless Steel Plate in Coils from 
Belgium, Italy and South Africa, 64 FR 25288 (May 11, 1999); 
Antidumping Duty Orders; Certain Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From 
Belgium, Canada, Italy, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, and 
Taiwan, 64 FR 27756 (May 21, 1999); Notice of Amended Antidumping 
Duty Orders; Certain Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From Belgium, 
Canada, Italy, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, and Taiwan, 68 
FR 11520 (March 11, 2003); and Amended Countervailing Duty Orders; 
Certain Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From Belgium, Italy, and 
South Africa, 68 FR 11524 (March 11, 2003).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On July 13, 2007, the Department issued a questionnaire to U&A 
Belgium. We received U&A Belgium's response to Section A of the 
Department's questionnaire on September 11, 2007, and Sections B-D on 
September 28, 2007. On January 18, 2008, the Department issued an 
extension of the deadline for the preliminary results of this 
antidumping duty administrative review from January 31, 2008, until May 
30, 2008. See Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From Belgium: Notice of 
Extension of Time Limit for Preliminary Results of Administrative 
Review, 73 FR 3453 (January 18, 2008).
    On October 29, 2007, the Department received comments from the 
Petitioners on the Sections A through C responses for U&A Belgium. On 
January 24, 2008, the Petitioners submitted comments requesting that 
the Department conduct verification of the responses submitted by U&A 
Belgium. On February 5, 2008, U&A Belgium submitted comments urging the 
Department to reject the request for verification made by the 
Petitioners. After reviewing the Sections A through D responses from 
U&A Belgium, the Department issued supplemental questionnaires to U&A 
Belgium. The Department issued additional supplemental questions, after 
reviewing U&A Belgium's supplemental questionnaire response. On January 
18, 2008, the Department postponed the preliminary results by 120 days. 
See Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From Belgium: Notice of Extension of 
Time Limit for Preliminary Results of Administrative Review, 73 FR 3453 
(January 18, 2008).

U&A Belgium's Reported Merger

    U&A Belgium reported that it is wholly owned by Arcelor S.A. and 
stated that Arcelor S.A. is in the process of merging with Mittal 
Steel, N.V. (Mittal) to form Arcelor Mittal S.A. Specifically, U&A 
Belgium reported that ``{i{time} n June 2006, Arcelor and Mittal Steel 
signed a memorandum of understanding outlining the terms of a merger. 
The subsequent merger agreement was signed in May 2007.'' See U&A 
Belgium's September 11, 2007, Section A Questionnaire Response at 10. 
U&A Belgium stated that the merger was structured as a two-step 
process. The first step, the merger of Mittal Steel into its wholly 
owned non-operating subsidiary ArcelorMittal, was completed in August 
2007. The second step, the integration of ArcelorMittal into Arcelor 
S.A., was completed in November 2007, and the company was immediately 
renamed ArcelorMittal. As a result, the entire merger is now complete, 
effective November 2007. U&A Belgium stated that ``{w{time} hile the 
merger was not technically completed during the review period, U&A 
Belgium prepared its responses to the Department's questionnaires as if 
ArcelorMittal were fully consolidated.'' See U&A Belgium's April 15, 
2008, Sections A-C Supplemental Questionnaire Response (April 15, 2008 
SQR) at 1. U&A Belgium also reported ``that the merger has had no 
impact on U&A Belgium's production and sale of subject merchandise. In 
particular, there has been no change to U&A Belgium's inputs from 
affiliates within the review period resulting from the merger with 
Mittal Steel. There has also been no change to U&A Belgium's sales to 
affiliates within the POR resulting from the merger with Mittal 
Steel.'' Id. at 2.

[[Page 32299]]

Quarterly Costs

    In its Section A-C questionnaire response dated January 29, 2008, 
at 39-44, U&A Belgium provided information regarding its input costs 
for the POR and claimed that the use of a single weighted average for 
the POR would distort the margin calculations. Therefore, instead of 
using single weighted-average CONNUM-specific costs for the POR, U&A 
Belgium urged the Department to consider employing a quarterly 
weighted-average cost methodology in this segment of the proceeding. On 
March 17, 2008, the Petitioners submitted comments claiming that the 
Department's standard practice of using a single weighted-average cost 
for the POR remains proper in the instant case. As a result, the 
Petitioners urge the Department to reject U&A Belgium's proposal to use 
quarterly weighted-average costs in this administrative review. On May 
15, 2008, U&A Belgium provided rebuttal comments attesting that the 
record evidence and the extraordinary circumstances present in this 
review warrant a departure from the Department's normal practice of 
using annual costs. On May 22, 2008, the Petitioners submitted 
additional comments reiterating their claim that it is inappropriate 
for the Department to use quarterly costs in this review. The 
Petitioners argue that U&A Belgium has provided insufficient 
quantitative and qualitative analyses, particularly related to pricing 
practices and trends in the home market, to support using a quarterly 
cost methodology. On May 27, 2008, U&A Belgium submitted comments that 
rebut the comments addressed in the Petitioner's May 22, 2008, letter. 
Specifically, U&A Belgium rebuts that quarterly cost periods can be 
quantified, there is a sufficient number of sales to determine that 
prices changed significantly over the POR, and the alloy surcharge 
mechanism is a pass-through pricing mechanism. Furthermore, U&A Belgium 
contends that certain proprietary issues discussed by the Petitioners 
are irrelevant to the issue of quarterly costs, U&A Belgium correctly 
calculated its reported finance expenses, and there is no need for 
verification in this review.
    The Department considered the sales and cost information reported 
by U&A Belgium, in addition to the comments submitted by both the 
Petitioners and U&A Belgium. Based on our analysis, we preliminarily 
find that it is appropriate to use U&A Belgium's annual weighted-
average costs for this review. The Department recently requested public 
comment regarding the impact of cost changes on the cost averaging 
period. See Antidumping Methodologies for Proceedings that Involve 
Significant Cost Changes Throughout the Period of Investigation (POI)/
Period of Review (POR) that May Require Using Shorter Cost Averaging 
Periods; Request for Comment, 73 FR 26364 (May 9, 2008) (Antidumping 
Methodologies; Request for Comment). Although the Department has 
calculated U&A Belgium's costs on an annual basis for these preliminary 
results, we intend to consider this issue further within the context of 
our analysis of the comments that will be received, pursuant to the 
Antidumping Methodologies; Request for Comment. We expect to provide a 
memorandum discussing the results of our analysis of the comments 
received, in order to give the parties to this proceeding an 
opportunity to comment for the final determination.

Scope of the Order

    The product covered by this order is certain stainless steel plate 
in coils. Stainless steel is an alloy steel containing, by weight, 1.2 
percent or less of carbon and 10.5 percent or more of chromium, with or 
without other elements. The subject plate products are flat-rolled 
products, 254 mm or over in width and 4.75 mm or more in thickness, in 
coils, and annealed or otherwise heat treated and pickled or otherwise 
descaled. The subject plate may also be further processed (e.g., cold-
rolled, polished, etc.) provided that it maintains the specified 
dimensions of plate following such processing. Excluded from the scope 
of this order are the following: (1) Plate not in coils, (2) plate that 
is not annealed or otherwise heat treated and pickled or otherwise 
descaled, (3) sheet and strip, and (4) flat bars.
    The merchandise subject to this order is currently classifiable in 
the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) at 
subheadings: 7219.11.00.30, 7219.11.00.60, 7219.12.00.06, 
7219.12.00.21, 7219.12.00.26, 7219.12.00.51, 7219.12.00.56, 
7219.12.00.66, 7219.12.00.71, 7219.12.00.81, 7219.31.00.10, 
7219.90.00.10, 7219.90.00.20, 7219.90.00.25, 7219.90.00.60, 
7219.90.00.80, 7220.11.00.00, 7220.20.10.10, 7220.20.10.15, 
7220.20.10.60, 7220.20.10.80, 7220.20.60.05, 7220.20.60.10, 
7220.20.60.15, 7220.20.60.60, 7220.20.60.80, 7220.90.00.10, 
7220.90.00.15, 7220.90.00.60, and 7220.90.00.80. Although the HTSUS 
subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the 
written description of the merchandise subject to this order is 
dispositive.

Analysis

Product Comparisons

    In accordance with section 771(16) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as 
amended (the Act), we considered all products produced by the 
respondent that are covered by the description contained in the ``Scope 
of the Order'' section above and were sold in the home market during 
the POR, to be the foreign like product for purposes of determining 
appropriate product comparisons to U.S. sales. Where there were no 
sales of identical merchandise in the home market to compare to U.S. 
sales, we compared U.S. sales to the most similar foreign like product 
on the basis of the characteristics listed in Appendix V of the initial 
antidumping questionnaire we provided to U&A Belgium. See U&A Belgium 
Antidumping Questionnaire, dated July 13, 2007, on the record in the 
Central Records Unit (CRU), Room 1117 of the Main Commerce Building.

Normal Value Comparisons

    To determine whether sales of subject merchandise to the United 
States were made at less than normal value, we compared CEP to NV, as 
described in the ``Constructed Export Price'' and ``Normal Value'' 
sections of this notice. In accordance with section 777A(d)(2) of the 
Act, we calculated monthly weighted-average prices for NV and compared 
these to individual U.S. transaction prices.

Home Market Viability

    In accordance with section 773(a)(1)(C) of the Act, to determine 
whether there was a sufficient volume of sales in the home market to 
serve as a viable basis for calculating NV, we compared U&A Belgium's 
volume of home market sales of the foreign like product to the volume 
of U.S. sales of the subject merchandise. Pursuant to section 
773(a)(1)(B) and 19 CFR 351.404(b), because U&A Belgium's aggregate 
volume of home market sales of the foreign like product was greater 
than 5 percent of its aggregate volume of U.S. sales of the subject 
merchandise, we determined that the home market was viable. Moreover, 
there is no evidence on the record supporting a particular market 
situation in the exporting company's country that would not permit a 
proper comparison of home market and U.S. prices.

Constructed Export Price

    In accordance with section 772(b) of the Act, CEP is the price at 
which the subject merchandise is first sold (or

[[Page 32300]]

agreed to be sold) in the United States before or after the date of 
importation by or for the account of the producer or exporter of such 
merchandise, or by a seller affiliated with the producer or exporter, 
to a purchaser not affiliated with the producer or exporter.
    As stated at 19 CFR 351.401(i), the Department will use the 
respondent's invoice date as the date of sale unless another date 
better reflects the date upon which the exporter or producer 
establishes the essential terms of sale. U&A Belgium reported the 
invoice date as the date of sale for both the U.S. market and the home 
market because the date of invoice reflects the date on which the 
material terms of sale were finalized.
    For purposes of this review, U&A Belgium classified all of its 
export sales of SSPC to the United States as CEP sales. During the POR, 
U&A Belgium made sales in the United States through its U.S. affiliate, 
Arcelor Stainless USA (AS USA), which then resold the merchandise to 
unaffiliated customers in the United States. The Department calculated 
CEP based on packed prices to customers in the United States. We made 
deductions from the starting price, net of discounts, for movement 
expenses (foreign and U.S. movement, U.S. customs duty and brokerage, 
and post-sale warehousing) in accordance with section 772(c)(2) of the 
Act and 19 CFR 351.401(e). In addition, because U&A Belgium reported 
CEP sales, in accordance with section 772(d)(1) of the Act, we deducted 
from the starting price, credit expenses, warranty expenses, and 
indirect selling expenses, including inventory carrying costs, incurred 
in the United States and Belgium and associated with economic 
activities in the United States.

Normal Value

    In accordance with section 773(a)(1)(B)(i) of the Act, we have 
based NV on the price at which the foreign like product was first sold 
for consumption in the home market, in the usual commercial quantities 
and in the ordinary course of trade. In addition, because the NV level 
of trade (LOT) is at a more advanced stage of distribution than the CEP 
LOT, and available data provide no appropriate basis to determine an 
LOT adjustment between NV and CEP, we made a CEP offset pursuant to 
section 773(a)(7)(B) of the Act (see ``Level of Trade'' section, 
below).
    We used sales to affiliated customers only where we determined such 
sales were made at arm's-length prices (i.e., at prices comparable to 
the prices at which the respondent sold identical merchandise to 
unaffiliated customers).

Arm's-Length Test

    Sales to affiliated customers in the home market not made at arm's 
length were excluded from our analysis. To test whether these sales 
were made at arm's length, we compared the starting prices of sales to 
affiliated and unaffiliated customers net of all movement charges, 
direct selling expenses, discounts, and packing. In accordance with the 
Department's current practice, if the prices charged to an affiliated 
party were, on average, between 98 and 102 percent of the prices 
charged to unaffiliated parties for merchandise identical or most 
similar to that sold to the affiliated party, we consider the sales to 
be at arm's-length prices. See 19 CFR 351.403(c). Conversely, where the 
affiliated party did not pass the arm's-length test, all sales to that 
affiliated party have been excluded from the NV calculation. See 
Antidumping Proceedings: Affiliated Party Sales in the Ordinary Course 
of Trade, 67 FR 69186 (November 15, 2002).

Cost of Production

    The Department disregarded sales below the cost of production (COP) 
in the last completed review. See Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From 
Belgium: Final Results of Antidumping Administrative Review, 70 FR 
72789 (December 7, 2005). We therefore have reasonable grounds to 
believe or suspect, pursuant to section 773(b)(2)(A)(ii) of the Act, 
that sales of the foreign like product under consideration for the 
determination of NV in this review may have been made at prices below 
COP. Thus, pursuant to section 773(b)(1) of the Act, we examined 
whether U&A Belgium's sales in the home market were made at prices 
below the COP.
    We compared sales of the foreign like product in the home market 
with model-specific COP figures. In accordance with section 773(b)(3) 
of the Act, we calculated COP based on the sum of the costs of 
materials and fabrication employed in producing the foreign like 
product, plus selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, 
financial expenses and all costs and expenses incidental to placing the 
foreign like product in packed condition and ready for shipment. In our 
sales-below-cost analysis, we relied on home market sales and COP 
information provided by U&A Belgium in its questionnaire responses, 
except for the reported financial expense ratio. We made adjustments to 
the consolidated financial expense ratio to exclude long-term interest 
income and include certain financial costs and gains recognized by the 
parent company in its 2006 fiscal year income statement. See Memorandum 
from Angela Strom, Accountant, to Neal Halper, Director, Office of 
Accounting, entitled ``Cost of Production and Constructed Value 
Calculation Adjustments for the Preliminary Determination Results--U&A 
Belgium,'' dated May 30, 2008.
    We compared the weighted-average model-specific COPs to home market 
sales of the foreign like product, as required under section 773(b) of 
the Act, in order to determine whether these sales had been made at 
prices below the COP. In determining whether to disregard home market 
sales made at prices below the COP, we examined whether such sales were 
made (1) within an extended period of time in substantial quantities, 
and (2) at prices which did not permit recovery of all costs within a 
reasonable period of time in the normal course of trade, in accordance 
with sections 773(b)(1)(A) and (B) of the Act. On a product-specific 
basis, we compared the COP to home market prices, less any movement 
charges, discounts, and direct and indirect selling expenses.
    Pursuant to section 773(b)(2)(C) of the Act, where less than 20 
percent of the respondent's sales of a given product were at prices 
which represent less than the COP, we did not disregard any below-cost 
sales of that product because the below-cost sales were not made in 
substantial quantities within an extended period of time. Where 20 
percent or more of the respondent's sales of a given product were at 
prices which represented less than the COP, we determined that they 
were made in substantial quantities within an extended period of time, 
in accordance with section 773(b)(2)(C) of the Act. Because we compared 
prices to POR-average costs, we also determined that the below-cost 
prices did not permit the recovery of costs within a reasonable period 
of time, in accordance with section 773(b)(1)(B) of the Act. Therefore, 
we disregarded the below-cost sales and used the remaining sales, if 
any, as the basis for NV, in accordance with section 773(b)(1) of the 
Act.

CEP to NV Comparison

    For those sales at prices above COP, we based NV on home market 
prices to affiliated (when made at prices determined to be at arm's 
length) or unaffiliated parties, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.403. 
Home market starting prices were based on packed prices to affiliated 
or unaffiliated purchasers in the home market, net of discounts. We 
made adjustments, where applicable, for

[[Page 32301]]

packing and movement expenses, in accordance with sections 773(a)(6)(A) 
and (B) of the Act. We also made adjustments for differences in costs 
attributable to differences in physical characteristics of the 
merchandise pursuant to section 773(a)(6)(C)(ii) of the Act. For 
comparison to CEP, we deducted home market direct selling expenses 
pursuant to section 773(a)(6)(C)(iii) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.410(c).
    Section 773(a)(4) of the Act provides that where NV cannot be based 
on comparison-market sales, NV may be based on constructed value (CV). 
Accordingly, for those products for which we could not determine the NV 
based on comparison-market sales, either because there were no useable 
sales of a comparable product or all sales of the comparable products 
failed the COP test, we based NV on CV.
    Section 773(e) of the Act provides that CV shall be based on the 
sum of the cost of materials and fabrication for the imported 
merchandise, plus amounts SG&A and interest expenses, profit, and U.S. 
packing costs. We calculated the cost of materials and fabrication 
based on the methodology described in the ``Cost of Production 
Analysis'' section, above. We based SG&A and interest expenses and 
profit on the actual amounts incurred and realized by respondent in 
connection with the production and sale of the foreign like product in 
the ordinary course of trade for consumption in the home market, in 
accordance with section 773(e)(2)(A) of the Act.
    We made adjustments to CV for differences in circumstances of sale 
in accordance with section 773(a)(8) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.410. For 
comparisons to CEP, we made circumstance-of-sale adjustments by 
deducting comparison market direct selling expenses from CV. See 19 CFR 
351.410(c).

Level of Trade

    In accordance with section 773(a)(1)(B)(i) of the Act, to the 
extent practicable, we determined NV based on sales in the comparison 
market at the same LOT as the U.S. sales. See 19 CFR 351.412. The NV 
LOT is the level of the starting-price sale in the comparison market 
or, when NV is based on CV, the level of the sales from which we derive 
SG&A and profit. For EP, the U.S. LOT is also the level of the 
starting-price sale, which is usually from exporter to importer. For 
CEP, it is the level of the constructed sale from the exporter to the 
importer. See 19 CFR 351.412. As noted above, U&A Belgium classified 
all its exported sales of SSPC as CEP sales.
    To determine whether NV sales are at a different LOT than CEP, we 
examine stages in the marketing process and selling functions along the 
chain of distribution between the producer and the unaffiliated 
customer. If the comparison-market sales are at a different LOT, and 
the difference affects price comparability, as manifested in a pattern 
of consistent price differences between the sales on which NV is based 
and comparison-market sales at the LOT of the export transaction, we 
make a LOT adjustment under section 773(a)(7)(A) of the Act. For CEP 
sales, if the NV level is at a more advanced stage of distribution than 
the CEP LOT and the data available do not provide a basis to determine 
a LOT adjustment, we adjust NV under section 773(a)(7)(B) of the Act 
(the CEP offset provision). See, e.g., Final Determination of Sales at 
Less Than Fair Value: Greenhouse Tomatoes From Canada, 67 FR 8781 
(February 26, 2002); see also Notice of Final Determination of Sales at 
Less than Fair Value: Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon Steel Plate from 
South Africa, 62 FR 61731 (November 19, 1997) and Certain Hot-Rolled 
Flat-Rolled Carbon Quality Steel Products from Brazil; Preliminary 
Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 70 FR 17406 (April 
6, 2005). For CEP sales, we consider only the selling activities 
reflected in the price after the deduction of expenses and CEP profit 
under section 772(d) of the Act. See Micron Technology Inc. v. United 
States, 243 F.3d 1301, 1314-1315 (Fed. Cir. 2001). We expect that, if 
the claimed LOTs are the same, the functions and activities of the 
seller should be similar. Conversely, if a party claims that the LOTs 
are different for different groups of sales, the functions and 
activities of the seller should be dissimilar. See Porcelain-on-Steel 
Cookware from Mexico: Final Results of Administrative Review, 65 FR 
30068 (May 10, 2000).
    In the current review, U&A Belgium reported seven customer 
categories and indicated that its sales were made at a single channel 
of distribution for the sale of SSPC in Belgium through one LOT in the 
comparison market. Specifically, U&A Belgium reported that it sells 
SSPC to customers in the home market through its affiliated sales 
agents, U&A Benelux (regional sales office) and U&A S.A. (principal 
sales agent). U&A Belgium performs a variety of distinct selling 
functions in the comparison market. See Appendix A-15 of the September 
11, 2007, Questionnaire Response. We examined the selling functions 
performed for the seven customer categories and found that the selling 
activities and services do not vary among them. See Memorandum from 
George McMahon to The File ``Calculation Memorandum for Ugine & ALZ, 
N.V. Belgium (U&A Belgium) for the Preliminary Results of the Sixth 
Administrative Review of Stainless Steel Plate in Coils (SSPC) from 
Belgium,'' dated May 30, 2008 (Sales Calculation Memorandum). 
Therefore, we preliminarily conclude that U&A Belgium's sales in the 
home market constitute one LOT.
    U&A Belgium reported two channels of distribution and two LOTs in 
the U.S. market. U&A Belgium's two U.S. channels of distribution are: 
1) Direct sales by AS USA of made-to-order merchandise produced by U&A 
Belgium to end-users and unaffiliated distributors, and 2) warehouse 
sales by AS USA of merchandise imported from U&A Belgium and stocked by 
AS USA. See September 11, 2007, Section A, Volume I, Questionnaire 
Response at 16-17; see also April 15, 2008 SQR at 20. U&A Belgium 
performed several selling functions in the United States in connection 
with the sale of SSPC. The selling functions that U&A Belgium 
independently performed for its U.S. sales are limited to: handling 
product information and training sessions, freight arrangements, 
packing, and technical services. In addition, U&A Belgium and AS USA 
performed the following four sales functions jointly in both sales 
channels in the United States: Product information and training 
sessions, advertising to customers, freight arrangements, and after 
sales servicing support or claims. In our comparison of the U.S. and 
home market LOTs, we eliminated from consideration selling functions 
performed by AS USA and only considered the portion of the selling 
functions performed by U&A Belgium after making adjustments under 
section 772(d) of the Act.
    Our analysis of these selling functions performed by U&A Belgium in 
the United States shows that the selling activities and services do not 
vary according to the type of customer for sales within each channel of 
distribution. Because we find that there is no variation in type or 
level of services provided by U&A Belgium for the channels of 
distribution in the United States, we preliminarily determine that 
there is only one LOT in the U.S. market. See ``Sales Calculation 
Memorandum.'' Moreover, we find that the distribution channels and 
selling functions reported by U&A Belgium for the instant review are 
consistent with those reported in the prior administrative review of 
SSPC from

[[Page 32302]]

Belgium, in which case the Department determined that U&A Belgium sold 
through only one LOT in the U.S. market. See Memorandum entitled 
``Analysis for Ugine & ALZ, N.V. Belgium (U&A Belgium) for the 
Preliminary Results of the Fifth Administrative Review of Stainless 
Steel Plate in Coils (SSPC) from Belgium,'' dated May 31, 2005, at 2.
    U&A Belgium and its affiliated agent for global sale and 
distribution of stainless steel flat products produced in Belgium and 
France, U&A S.A., perform all home market selling activities. Selling 
functions for the U.S. market, as indicated above, are primarily 
performed by AS USA, with the exception of two selling functions 
handled solely by U&A Belgium, and two selling functions that are 
performed jointly by Arcelor Stainless International (ASI), AS USA, and 
U&A S.A. We compared the U.S. and home market LOTs and preliminarily 
determined that, after eliminating from consideration selling functions 
performed by AS USA (pursuant to section 772(d) of the Act), U&A 
Belgium's home market LOT is at a more advanced stage of distribution 
than the CEP LOT. Due to the proprietary nature of the discussion, see 
the ``Sales Calculation Memorandum'' for additional detail.
    We then considered whether we could make a LOT adjustment. In this 
case, U&A Belgium only sold at one LOT in the comparison market; 
therefore, there is no information available to determine a pattern of 
consistent price differences between the sales on which NV is based and 
the comparison market sales at the LOT of the export transaction, in 
accordance with the Department's normal methodology as described above. 
See 19 CFR 351.412(d). Further, we do not have record information which 
would allow us to examine pricing patterns based on the respondent's 
sales of other products, and there are no other respondents or other 
record information on which such an analysis could be based. 
Accordingly, because only one LOT exists in the home market we could 
not make a LOT adjustment. However, because the LOT in the comparison 
market is at a more advanced stage of distribution than the LOT of the 
CEP transactions, we made a CEP offset adjustment in accordance with 
section 773(a)(7)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.412(f). This offset is 
equal to the amount of indirect selling expenses incurred in the 
comparison market not exceeding the amount of indirect selling expenses 
and commissions deducted from the U.S. price in accordance with section 
772(d)(1)(D) of the Act. For a detailed discussion, see ``Sales 
Calculation Memorandum.''

Currency Conversion

    We made currency conversions pursuant to 19 CFR 351.415 based on 
the exchange rates certified by the Federal Reserve Bank.

Preliminary Results of Review

    We preliminarily determine that for the period May 1, 2006, through 
April 30, 2007, the following dumping margin exists:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Margin
                   Manufacturer/Exporter                      (percent)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
U&A Belgium................................................        12.68
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Duty Assessment and Cash Deposit Requirements

    The Department shall determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping 
duties on all appropriate entries. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.212(b), the 
Department calculates an assessment rate for each importer of the 
subject merchandise for each respondent. The Department will issue 
appropriate assessment instructions directly to CBP within 15 days of 
publication of the final results of this review.
    Furthermore, the following cash deposit rates will be effective 
with respect to all shipments of SSPC from Belgium entered, or 
withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication 
date of the final results, as provided for by section 751(a)(1) of the 
Act: (1) For U&A Belgium, the cash deposit rate will be the rate 
established in the final results of this review; (2) for previously 
reviewed or investigated companies not listed above, the cash deposit 
rate will be the company-specific rate established for the most recent 
period; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a 
prior review, or the less-than-fair-value (LTFV) investigation, but the 
manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for 
the most recent period for the manufacturer of the subject merchandise; 
and (4) if neither the exporter nor the manufacturer is a firm covered 
by this review, a prior review, or the LTFV investigation, the cash 
deposit rate shall be the all-others rate established in the LTFV 
investigation, which is 9.86 percent. See Notice of Final Determination 
of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From 
Belgium, 64 FR 15476 (March 31, 1999). These deposit rates, when 
imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

Public Comment

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.224(b), the Department will disclose to 
parties to the proceeding any calculations performed in connection with 
these preliminary results within five days after the date of 
publication of this notice. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309, interested 
parties may submit written comments in response to these preliminary 
results. Unless extended by the Department, case briefs are to be 
submitted within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice, 
and rebuttal briefs, limited to arguments raised in case briefs, are to 
be submitted no later than five days after the time limit for filing 
case briefs. Parties who submit arguments in this proceeding are 
requested to submit with the argument: (1) a statement of the issues, 
and (2) a brief summary of the argument. Case and rebuttal briefs must 
be served on interested parties in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303(f).
    Also, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), within 30 days of the date of 
publication of this notice, interested parties may request a public 
hearing on arguments to be raised in the case and rebuttal briefs. 
Unless the Secretary specifies otherwise, the hearing, if requested, 
will be held two days after the date for submission of rebuttal briefs. 
Parties will be notified of the time and location. The Department will 
publish the final results of this administrative review, including the 
results of its analysis of issues raised in any case or rebuttal brief, 
no later than 120 days after publication of these preliminary results, 
unless extended. See 19 CFR 351.213(h).

Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their 
responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f) to file a certificate regarding 
the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the 
relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this 
requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that 
reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent 
assessment of double antidumping duties.
    These preliminary results of this administrative review and notice 
are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 
777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: May 30, 2008.
David M. Spooner,
Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.
[FR Doc. E8-12779 Filed 6-5-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P