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March 13, 2005 

U.S. Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis System to be Extended and Expanded

On March 11, 2005, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) published in the Federal Register an interim final rule extending and greatly expanding the Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis System (SIMA). The SIMA system, which requires licenses for imports of certain steel products, was established in connection with the safeguard measures imposed on steel products in 2002 to provide steel producers, steel consumers, importers and the public with information on anticipated imports of certain steel products.

The interim final rule provides that DOC will extend the SIMA system for four years (until 2009) and will require import licenses for more than 30 additional basic steel mill products. In addition, DOC plans to terminate the import-licensing requirement for several downstream steel products (carbon and alloy flanges and pipe fittings) that was part of the original safeguard package. Although the interim final rule is effective March 11, 2005, import licenses for the additional products will not be required until June 9, 2005.

The interim final rule states that DOC does not plan to change the existing deadline for the submission of licenses. SIMA licenses will continue to be required at the time of entry summary, but may be obtained up to 60 days prior to the expected date of importation.

Annex II of the interim final rule contains a list of the new products (and HTSUS numbers) that will be included in the SIMA system. A number of new steel products will now be subject to import licensing, including blooms, billets, slabs, rails, bars, pipe and tube (including standard pipe, line pipe and OCTG), sheets and strip.

Comments on the proposed changes to the SIMA system must be submitted to DOC by May 10, 2005. DOC indicated that it intends to issue a final rule, responding to comments received on this interim final rule, before September 30, 2005.

DOC's interim final rule can be viewed at the following link:



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