U.S. Commerce Department Debuts New Web Portal For Section 232 Exclusion Requests

U.S. Commerce Department Debuts New Web Portal For Section 232 Exclusion Requests

The United States Commerce Department yesterday launched an online portal for receiving product-specific exclusion requests for aluminium and steel products currently subject to the Trump Administration’s Section 232 tariffs.

The site, dubbed “Section 232 Exclusion Portal,” will supersede the Department’s site at regulations.gov for receiving request, objections, rebuttals, and other motions relevant to the aluminium and steel tariff regime instituted by the Trump Administration over a year ago. The Commerce Department said its aim for the site was one of a streamlined process with improved data integrity and quality controls.

The appeals process for Section 232 was initially established on the Federal website concurrent with its rollout due to the Department’s opinion at the time that it represented the best option available at the time. However, Commerce has acknowledged criticism since then, admitting that the original site is “not easy to navigate nor fully transparent about where requests were in the process.”

Commerce said the site’s tentative launch date is August 9, at which point it will offer a web-based, all-inclusive system. Filing on the portal will require registration, and the process of requests for exclusion will be available to both internal and external parties. The site began to accept exclusion requests yesterday, with the cutoff date for filing requests on the previous site set at Wednesday.

The Commerce Department will begin to accept comments regarding the site in the second week of August. However, the comment period will not be for “comments regarding the duties or quantitative limitations themselves or the exclusion and objection process overall,” the department clarified. “Specifically, Commerce encourages comments on the 232 Exclusions Portal as to which features are an improvement, as well highlighting any areas of concern or suggestions for improvement.”

Meanwhile, exclusions entered into the original regulatory website will remain active on that site until the request’s final disposition.