(a) Introduction. Generally, antidumping or countervailing duties are imposed on entries of merchandise made on or after the date on which the Secretary first imposes provisional measures (most often the date on which notice of an affirmative preliminary determination is published in the Federal Register). However, if the Secretary finds that “critical circumstances” exist, duties may be imposed retroactively on merchandise entered up to 90 days before the imposition of provisional measures. This section contains procedural and substantive rules regarding allegations and findings of critical circumstances.
(b) In general. If a petitioner submits to the Secretary a written allegation of critical circumstances, with reasonably available factual information supporting the allegation, 21 days or more before the scheduled date of the Secretary's final determination, or on the Secretary's own initiative in a self-initiated investigation, the Secretary will make a finding whether critical circumstances exist, as defined in section 705(a)(2) or section 735(a)(3) of the Act (whichever is applicable).
(c) Preliminary finding.
(1) If the petitioner submits an allegation of critical circumstances 30 days or more before the scheduled date of the Secretary's final determination, the Secretary, based on the available information, will make a preliminary finding whether there is a reasonable basis to believe or suspect that critical circumstances exist, as defined in section 703(e)(1) or section 733(e)(1) of the Act (whichever is applicable).
(2) The Secretary will issue the preliminary finding:
(i) Not later than the preliminary determination, if the allegation is submitted 20 days or more before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination; or
(ii) Within 30 days after the petitioner submits the allegation, if the allegation is submitted later than 20 days before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination; or
(iii) If, pursuant to paragraph (i) of this section, the period examined for purposes of determining whether critical circumstances exists is earlier than normal, the Secretary will issue the preliminary finding as early as possible after initiation of the investigation, but normally not less than 45 days after the petition was filed. The Secretary will notify the Commission and publish in the Federal Register notice of the preliminary finding.
(d) Suspension of liquidation. If the Secretary makes an affirmative preliminary finding of critical circumstances, the provisions of section 703(e)(2) or section 733(e)(2) of the Act (whichever is applicable) regarding the retroactive suspension of liquidation will apply.
(e) Final finding. For any allegation of critical circumstances submitted 21 days or more before the scheduled date of the Secretary's final determination, the Secretary will make a final finding on critical circumstances, and will take appropriate action under section 705(c)(4) or section 735(c)(4) of the Act (whichever is applicable).
(f) Findings in self-initiated investigations. In a self-initiated investigation, the Secretary will make preliminary and final findings on critical circumstances without regard to the time limits in paragraphs (c) and (e) of this section.
(g) Information regarding critical circumstances. The Secretary may request the Commissioner of Customs to compile information on an expedited basis regarding entries of the subject merchandise if, at any time after the initiation of an investigation, the Secretary makes the findings described in section 702(e) or section 732(e) of the Act (whichever is applicable) regarding the possible existence of critical circumstances.
(h) Massive imports.
(1) In determining whether imports of the subject merchandise have been massive under section 705(a)(2)(B) or section 735(a)(3)(B) of the Act, the Secretary normally will examine:
(i) The volume and value of the imports;
(ii) Seasonal trends; and
(iii) The share of domestic consumption accounted for by the imports.
(2) In general, unless the imports during the “relatively short period” (see paragraph (i) of this section) have increased by at least 15 percent over the imports during an immediately preceding period of comparable duration, the Secretary will not consider the imports massive.
(i) Relatively short period. Under section 705(a)(2)(B) or section 735(a)(3)(B) of the Act, the Secretary normally will consider a “relatively short period” as the period beginning on the date the proceeding begins and ending at least three months later. However, if the Secretary finds that importers, or exporters or producers, had reason to believe, at some time prior to the beginning of the proceeding, that a proceeding was likely, then the Secretary may consider a period of not less than three months from that earlier time.