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June 10, 2010 

U.S. Department of Commerce Creates Pilot Program for Electronic Filing of Documents in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Cases

The U.S. Department of Commerce published a notice and request for comment in the Federal Register earlier this week announcing that Import Administration, the agency that conducts antidumping and countervailing duty investigations and administrative reviews, is creating a three-month pilot program to test an electronic document filing and access system in certain antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings.

The system, known as Import Administration's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System or IA ACCESS, will allow parties to electronically file documents in the antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings as well as allowing public access to public versions of such submissions. Currently, six paper copies of each submission must be filed with Import Administration and such documents are only available to the public by visiting the Central Records Unit at the Commerce Department in Washington, DC.

Import Administration has selected 14 cases (see the notice for a complete list) to serve as the test cases for the IA ACCESS e-filing system. Participants in those cases will be contacted concerning their participation in the pilot project prior to the program's commencement. Participants will also be requested to provide feedback and suggestions for the improvement of IA ACCESS after completion of the pilot program.

The implementation of an electronic filing will be extremely useful to interested parties in antidumping and countervailing duty cases as well as the members of the trade community that want to conduct research on previous cases. It will certainly reduce the volume of paper generated in such cases. However, given that antidumping and countervailing duty filings are extremely voluminous (sometimes involving hundreds of pages per filing), this program will only be successful if the system offers the ability to upload and view very large files.

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