Monday, August 30, 2010

USTR Confirms Sept. 1 Date for Eliminating Import Duty on Canadian Softwood Lumber

(World Trade Interactive)

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has issued a notice confirming that as of Sept. 1 it will stop collecting an additional 10% import duty on certain softwood lumber products from the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The U.S. has collected this duty since April 2009 to remedy Canada’s breach of certain obligations under the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement. That step followed Ottawa’s refusal to comply with a February 2009 arbitral tribunal decision that Canada should collect this charge itself.

In recent months, however, the government of Canada had adopted measures to address the SLA violations and has agreed to collect the 10% export charge, effective with respect to softwood lumber products with a shipment date of Sept. 1 or later. Canada will collect this charge until the total of the amounts collected under the U.S. import duty and the Canadian export charge is equal to C$68 million. Because USTR has determined that these measures satisfactorily grant the rights of the U.S. under the SLA, it is removing the additional 10% import duty, effective with respect to imports with a shipment date of Sept. 1 or later.