U.S. Department of Commerce Unveils new Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis System

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Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the creation of the Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis (AIM) system, which will enable Commerce to collect and publish data on aluminum imports. AIM is modeled on Commerce’s successful Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) system.

“AIM represents yet another step forward for the Administration’s America First trade agenda,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The new program will enable Commerce and the public to better detect potential transshipment and circumvention involving aluminum products – helping to ensure that domestic producers can compete on a level playing field.”

Under AIM, importers will be required to obtain a free, automatic import license before they import aluminum products.  To obtain the import license, companies must report the volume, value, country of origin, country of most recent cast, and certain other information, as detailed in a Federal Register notice published today https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/12/23/2020-28166/aluminum-import-monitoring-and-analysis-system. The licensing requirement becomes effective on January 25, 2021. In addition, following a one-year grace period, Commerce will require importers to report the country where imported aluminum products were smelted.  Commerce will offer an additional opportunity to comment on this and other aspects of the licensing requirements in the coming months.

Once license data is collected, Commerce will release the data on an aggregate basis through the public AIM monitor. The monitor will track aggregate trends in U.S. imports of certain aluminum products in almost real-time, providing an early indication of trends.  The AIM monitor will also identify surges of specific aluminum products suggesting potential transshipment and circumvention relating to these products. The monitor will be available here, starting on January 25, 2021.

Commerce will hold a series of training webinars to educate the trading community about the new import licensing requirements. These webinars will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.  To access these reference materials, find upcoming webinar dates and times, and to participate, please visit https:/www.trade.gov/updates-steel-import-licensing.

Today’s establishment of the AIM system follows Commerce’s recent expansion and modernization of the SIMA system, announced in September 2020.  The new online platform created for SIMA will also be used for AIM.

AIM and SIMA are administered by Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration, which is responsible for vigorously enforcing U.S. trade laws.

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