New Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions on Certain Paper Shopping Bags From Cambodia, China, Colombia, India, Malaysia, Portugal, Taiwan, Turkey, and Vietnam

On May 31, 2023, the Coalition for Fair Trade in Shopping Bags filed antidumping duty (AD) petitions on certain paper shopping bags from Cambodia, China, Colombia, India, Malaysia, Portugal, Taiwan, Turkey, and Vietnam. The Coalition also filed countervailing duty (CVD) petitions on certain paper shopping bags from China and India.

The Coalition and its individual members allege that imports of in scope paper bags from all nine countries are injuring the US domestic industry because they are sold in the United States for less than “normal value” and that imports from China and India are unfairly subsidized.

The Coalition requests the imposition of significant AD/CVD duties between 12.51% to 324.24% ad valorem. AD/CVD duties will be imposed if the US Department of Commerce (DOC) determines that such alleged dumping is occurring and if the US International Trade Commission (ITC) determines that there is “material injury” (or the threat thereof) by reason of the dumped or subsidized imports.

If the investigations are affirmative, importers of in-scope paper bags from the countries above will be liable for any potential AD and/or CVD duties imposed. These investigations may also impact US purchasers via increased prices or decreased supplies of certain paper bags. Imports of paper bags from China are also currently subject to Section 301 (List 3) duties.   

Scope of Investigations

Per the petition, the scope of these investigations covers paper shopping bags with handles of any type, regardless of whether there is any printing, regardless of how the top edges are finished (e.g., folded, serrated, or otherwise), and regardless of whether the tops can be sealed. Subject paper shopping bags have a width of at least 4.5 inches and depth of at least 2.5 inches.

Excluded from the scope are:

  • Multiwall sacks and bags;
  • Paper sacks or bags that are of a 1/6- or 1/7-barrel size (i.e., 11.5-12.5 inches in width, 6.5-7.5 inches in depth, and 13.5-17.5 inches in height) with flat paper handles;
  • Paper sacks or bags with die-cut handles, a standard basis paper weight of less than 38 pounds, and a height of less than 11.5 inches;
  • Shopping bags (i) with non-paper handles made wholly of woven ribbon or other similar woven fabric and (ii) that are finished with folded tops or for which tied knots or t-bar aglets (made of wood, metal, or plastic) are used to secure the handles to the bags; and
  • Gift bags marked for retail sale that are physically bundled into the saleable unit prior to importation such that each bundled unit is composed of no less than three individual bags and no more than 30 individual bags.

Although not dispositive, the proposed in-scope certain paper bags are classified under US Harmonized Tariff Schedule subheadings 4819.30.0040 and 4819.40.0040.

Alleged AD Margins

The Coalition alleges the following dumping margins exist:

  • Cambodia – 44.29% to 221.36%
  • China – 133.80% to 324.24%
  • Colombia – 65.04%
  • India – 88.56%
  • Malaysia – 173.38%
  • Portugal – 26.71% to 204.54%
  • Taiwan – 44.76% to 50.13%
  • Turkey – 12.51% to 45.29%
  • Vietnam – 63.67% to 128.81%

Estimated Key Dates of Interest to Exporters and Importers

The following are estimated key dates for these investigations, once initiated by the DOC and the ITC:

Initial Deadlines:
ITC Preliminary Injury Phase

approx. June 14, 2023ITC questionnaire responses will be due.

June 21, 2023 – ITC Preliminary Staff Conference

July 17, 2023 – ITC Preliminary injury determinations

DOC Initiation Date

June 20, 2023

DOC Preliminary
AD Determinations

November 7, 2023 - AD preliminary determination
The preliminary determination deadline can be extended.

Commerce Preliminary CVD Determinations

August 24, 2023 - CVD preliminary determination
The preliminary determination deadline can be extended.

Earliest Suspension of Liquidation (theoretical)

June 20, 2023 – Subject to both affirmative critical circumstances finding by ITC and DOC.

For further information, please reach out to any of the authors of this alert, or any other member of our team.


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