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Steel Cylinder Exporter Says Monthly Allocation of Certain Fee More Specific

An exporter argued March 6 to the Court of International Trade that the Commerce Department failed to justify allocating one of the exporter’s expenses across the entire period of review instead of on a more specific monthly basis. The department is required to use an allocation method that is as specific as possible, it said (Sahamitr Pressure Container PLC v. U.S., CIT # 22-0107).

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Replying to the U.S.’s opposition to its Sept. 16 motion for judgment, exporter Sahamitr Pressure Container (SMPC) argued that any distortions caused by a monthly allocation of its nontransaction-specific certification fees were “very minor.”

The exporter explained in its initial motion that it paid certification fees on its products to third parties “on a lump-sum basis after production and sale.” This meant it couldn’t attribute those fees to individual transactions, as Commerce usually prefers.

During its 2018-2020 administrative review of the antidumping duty order on steel propane cylinders from Thailand, Commerce itself, after urging by petitioner Worthington Industries, even initially asked Sahamitr to report its fees on a monthly basis, Sahamitr said.

However, the department changed course and itself allocated those fees across the entire 2018-2020 period of review for Sahamitr in its final results, arguing that the monthly method was “distortive due to timing differences between when SMPC produces and sells cylinders and when it records the certification expenses associated with those sales.

“However, this is precisely why they were reported on a monthly-basis, in order to calculate on as specific a basis as is feasible,” the exporter said.

The department had been aware of a potential lag in certifications when it asked Sahamitr to provide the monthly allocation of the exporter’s certification fees, the exporter said.

“Ultimately, the Department failed to provide a reasonable justification for rejecting more specific, monthly-based allocations, and failed to articulate why the allocation method chosen was more accurate than either the alternative or original allocation method proposed by SMPC,” it said.