Thursday will be the last day the current Regulations.gov system will accept totally new requests for exclusions from Section 232 measures on steel and aluminum.
A new portal for accepting requests for exclusions from Section 232 measures will be available for filers starting June 14, the Bureau of Industry and Security said on Friday.
Thursday will be the last day BIS will accept new exclusion requests on Regulations.gov, the agency said in an interim final rule setting forth an updated Section 232 exclusion request process.
But objections, rebuttals and surrebuttals pertaining to original exclusion requests must always be filed on the system where the exclusion request was submitted, whether on Regulations.gov or in the new portal.
A transition period during which both the Regulations.gov system and new 232 exclusions portal will coexist is necessary given the significant limitations and difficulties that transferring data from Regulations.gov to the new portal would entail, BIS said.
BIS is rolling out the portal to streamline the exclusions process while enhancing data integrity and quality controls, the agency said.
BIS will accept comments on the interim final rule through Aug. 10.
The inclusion of web-based forms in the portal is designed to enhance data integrity and quality controls, and the portal allows exclusion requesters to “easily view” all exclusion request, objection, rebuttal and surrebuttal documents in one web-based system, BIS said.
“While Regulations.gov was readily available to quickly implement the exclusions process, the site was not easily adaptable to the 232 submissions process, particularly as it evolved into a multistep system and required a significant amount of human data entry,” BIS said. “The [Commerce] Department concluded the 232 exclusions process worked on Regulations.gov, but determined a specifically designed web-based portal would be easier and more efficient for both outside parties and the department.”
Section 232 request submissions in the new portal will be automatically assigned unique ID numbers and will be preceded with an acronym for the file type: exclusion requests (ER), objection (OF), rebuttals (RB) and surrebuttals (SR).
This is an example of how the portal should reduce burdens associated with filing, as it will automate several manual processes associated with the Regulations.gov filing system, BIS said.
Customs and Border Protection will have access to the new portal and will be able to conduct reviews as to the administrability of exclusion requests in a more efficient manner than the Regulations.gov process currently allows, BIS said.