New Antidumping and Countervailing Petitions on Melamine from Germany, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Qatar, and Trinidad and Tobago

On February 14, Cornerstone Chemical Company (Petitioner) filed antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) petitions on melamine from Germany, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Qatar, and Trinidad and Tobago. The Petitioner alleges that imports of melamine from Germany, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Qatar, and Trinidad and Tobago have caused material injury and threaten additional material injury to the US domestic industry because they are sold in the United States for less-than-fair-value.

The Petitioner also alleges that melamine from Germany, India, Qatar, and Trinidad and Tobago benefit from countervailable subsidies, which are further injuring the US domestic industry. AD/CVD duties may be imposed if the US Department of Commerce (DOC) determines that such dumping and subsidization 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 and/or subsidized imports.

If the investigations are affirmative, importers of melamine from Germany, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Qatar, and Trinidad and Tobago will be subject to any potential AD/CVD duties imposed.

Scope of Investigations

Per the petition, melamine is “a fine, white crystalline powder that is used primarily to manufacture amino resins, the major end uses of which include surface coatings, laminates, molding compounds, paper treatment, adhesives, and textile-treatment applications in the automotive, appliance, dinnerware, furniture, fabric, and wood paneling industries.” Melamine (C3H6N6, and also known as 2,4,6-triamino-s-triazine) typically contains by weight a minimum of 99.8% melamine and has a molecular weight of 126.13, a specific density of 1.573 g/cc (depending on particle size), and a melting point of approximately 354ºC, with sublimation.

Most melamine consumed in the United States is used to make melamine resins, predominantly melamine-formaldehyde (MF) resins. Melamine resins are typically used in laminates, surface coatings, adhesives, molding compounds, paper treatment, and other applications. MF resins therefore “are further treated with additional chemicals, with the resultant product rendered insoluble in organic solvents.” This makes MF resins particularly suitable for use as coatings in appliance finishes, automotive topcoats, metal furniture finishes, and coil coatings.

All melamine production is based on “thermal decomposition of urea. Melamine can be produced using a low‐pressure catalytic process or a high-pressure non‐catalytic process.” The heat and pressure cause a reaction in the urea and ammonia (carrier gas), which yields melamine (which is further purified) and ammonia and carbon dioxide by-products. The pure melamine that results from this process contains a large particle size distribution and may be ground to a product with smaller particle size distribution. This product may be further ground and sieved to produce an even finer iteration of melamine.

The merchandise subject to these investigations is melamine (Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) registry number 108–78–01, molecular formula C3 H6 N6). Melamine is a crystalline powder or granule typically, but not exclusively, used to manufacture melamine formaldehyde resins. All melamine is covered by the scope of these orders irrespective of purity, particle size, or physical form. Melamine that has been blended with other products is included within this scope when such blends include constituent parts that have been intermingled, but that have not been chemically reacted with each other to produce a different product. For such blends, only the melamine component of the mixture is covered by the scope of these orders. Melamine that is otherwise subject to these orders is not excluded when commingled with melamine from sources not subject to this investigation. Only the subject component of such commingled products is covered by the scope of these orders.

Imports of melamine from Germany, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Qatar, and Trinidad and Tobago may be classified under subheading 2933.61.0000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the US (HTSUS).

Estimated AD Margins

The petitioner alleges the following dumping margins exist:

  • Japan: Antidumping rates of 103.66-123.81% ad valorem;
  • Germany: Antidumping rates of 5.47-139.66% ad valorem;
  • India: Antidumping rates of 378.01-619.24% ad valorem;
  • Netherlands: Antidumping rates of 33.4-75.18% ad valorem;
  • Qatar: Antidumping rates of 191.63-622.05% ad valorem; and
  • Trinidad and Tobago: Antidumping rates of 230.30-457.76% ad valorem.

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:

First Deadlines:
ITC Preliminary Injury Phase

approx. February 28, 2024questionnaire responses will be due.
March 6, 2024 – ITC Preliminary Staff Conference
April 1, 2024 - ITC Preliminary injury determination
Commerce Initiation Date March 5, 2024

Commerce Preliminary AD Determinations

July 23, 2024 - AD preliminary determination

The preliminary results deadline can be extended.

Commerce Preliminary CVD Determinations

May 9, 2024 - CVD preliminary determination

The preliminary results deadline can be extended.

Earliest Suspension of Liquidation (theoretical) March 5, 2024Subject 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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