Department of Commerce Announces Preliminary Antidumping Duty Determinations on Refillable Stainless Steel Kegs

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On May 29, 2019, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced affirmative preliminary determinations in the antidumping duty investigations of imports of refillable stainless-steel kegs from China, Germany, and Mexico.

Following the filing of petitions in September 2018, the International Trade Commission (ITC) and Commerce have been investigating whether companies in China, Mexico, and Germany have been unfairly selling refillable stainless-steel kegs (classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule under subheadings 7310.10.0010, 7310.10.0050, 7310.29.0025, and 7310.29.0050) in the United States, and thereby injuring the U.S. keg-producing industry. The ITC preliminarily determined last November that the imports are causing injury. Commerce preliminarily determined in April 2019 that imports from China are subsidized and imposed countervailing duty (CVD) cash deposit requirements. In its May 29 determinations, Commerce found that imports from China, Germany, and Mexico are sold at unfairly low prices (“dumped”) and imposed antidumping (AD) duty cash deposit requirements on imports.

As a result of these determinations, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to require cash deposits from importers of refillable stainless-steel kegs from China, Germany, and Mexico at the following preliminary rates:

  • China – 2.01 to 79.71 percent
  • Germany – 8.61 percent
  • Mexico – 18.48 percent

Depending on the company-specific source of the stainless-steel refillable kegs imported from China and for all imports from Mexico, the cash deposit rates will be effective for entries dating back to March 2019, whereas for imports from Germany and for imports from Ningbo in China the AD cash deposits will be effective from the date next week when Commerce publishes its preliminary determination in the Federal Register. Note, though, that imports from China are already subject to the CVD cash deposits (15.78 percent for select Chinese exporters, 144.30 percent for others).

Commerce is required to issue its final AD determinations by August 12 (Mexico) and October 15 (China and Germany), though these dates may be extended. If Commerce makes affirmative final determinations the case will return to the ITC for its final injury determination.

We cannot predict how this proceeding and the AD and CVD duties on imported stainless steel refillable kegs will impact small and independent brewers, because breweries rarely, if ever, act as direct importers of the kegs. Instead, breweries typically rent kegs or purchase them through a third party after importation.

To learn more about this issue, a detailed factsheet about the affirmative preliminary determination can be found here.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Brewers Association’s Federal Affairs Manager Katie Marisic.