ITC Resists Lawyers’ Calls For Paperless Duty Filings

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ITC Resists Lawyers’ Calls For Paperless Duty Filings

 user admin 2014-06-26 at 12:20:46 pm Views: 352
  • #3226

    ITC Resists Lawyers' Calls For Paperless Duty Filings

     By Alex Lawson

    Law360, New York (June 24, 2014, 2:14 PM ET) — The U.S. International Trade Commission on Tuesday approved a series of rules aimed at increasing the efficiency of its anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations, but brushed off calls from some attorneys to move the agency to an entirely electronic filing system.

    In a Federal Register notice slated for publication on Wednesday, the commission amended its rules to require the filing of nine confidential and two nonconfidential copies of briefs and other submissions, as opposed to the eight confidential and four nonconfidential copies required under the current rules. While many of the changes poised for adoption from the ITC are largely administrative, the rulemaking process did reveal a push from certain members of the trade bar to eliminate the paper filing requirements altogether.

    Specifically, attorneys for from Cassidy Levy Kent LLP urged the commission to abolish paper filings, citing the wholly electronic process maintained by other federal agencies and the U.S. Court of International Trade. Wiley Rein LLP also objected to certain labeling requirements on the printed submissions, calling them "duplicative" in light of the electronic filings.

    "We … acknowledge that there is a trend toward greater electronic filing in agency and court proceedings," the ITC said. "For now, however, the commission and its staff will need to continue to rely on receiving paper copies of documents in light of the tight deadlines and voluminous factual records entailed by AD/CVD investigations and reviews, as well as the constraints of current technology and the commission's ability to adopt new technology given budgetary restrictions."

    The commission added that it will continue to monitor its document filing requirements as technology develops.

    The ITC also amended its rules for including contact information for parties named in AD/CVD petitions, requiring filers to provide email addresses for all U.S. producers and importers identified in the petition.

    Again, Wiley Rein criticized the proposed amendments as impracticable, particularly in instances where the petitioning firm is in direct competition with the U.S. importers. Petitioner-side boutique Stewart & Stewart said that the importer email addresses should only be required when such information is "reasonably available."

    But the commission held firm to its amendment, noting that it did not think it was unreasonable for petitioners to obtain a corporate email address for the named importer, if not necessarily for specific company officers.

    "For importers, there is no requirement to provide email addresses for an individual contact person; instead, a general corporate email account is sufficient, which petitioners should be readily able to obtain," the ITC said.

    The ITC first unveiled the amendments to its AD/CVD regulations just over year ago and welcomed commentary from the trade bar. Wiley Rein, Cassidy Levy Kent and Stewart & Stewart were the only commenters to provide their input.

    The amendments proposed last year were finalized largely without changes, with the agency making a few minor tweaks in light of the firms' comments.

    –Editing by Katherine Rautenberg.