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Furniture Importer Amini Challenges Commerce Scope Ruling at Trade Court

The Commerce Department illegally found that upholstered furniture imported by Amini Innovation Corp. was subject to the antidumping duty order on wooden bedroom furniture from China, the company argued in a complaint at the Court of International Trade. Amini said that its furniture, sold as different collections under its AICO brand differ from the in-scope furniture "in terms of physical characteristics, expectations of ultimate purchasers, ultimate use, channels of trade, and the manner in which they were advertised" (Amini Innovation Corp. v. United States, CIT # 23-00090).

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The scope says the products covered by the order, wooden bedroom furniture, is generally designed, made and sold in "coordinated groups, or bedrooms," where all of the individual pieces are of around the same style and material. Products that are excluded from the duties are credenzas, sideboards, corner cabinets, other non-bedroom furniture, end tables, mirror that do not attach to or sit on a dresser if they are not designed and marketed to be sold with a dresser as part of a set and upholstered beds.

Amini claimed that it adequately showed that its products are "not WBF, not WBF sets; highly decorative; not intended as WBF; not WBF on account of its overall size and drawer size," warranting a finding that the goods be excluded from the order.

The company also argued administratively and now at the trade court that Commerce may not assess duties on Amini's subject products any earlier than the start of the scope inquiry since this was the first time the company was put on notice its goods could be found to be in scope. "The Department’s finding of retroactive ADD liability on Amini’s Upholstered Furniture is not supported by substantial evidence and is not in accordance with law, to the extent that AICO had not been previously provided with sufficient notice of ADD applicability," the complaint said.