On November 14, 2023, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) published a notice initiating the countervailing activity investigation into the import of warm water shrimp from Ecuador, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
On October 25, 2023, the U.S. Department of Commerce received a request for an investigation into the application of countervailing duties related to the import of warm water shrimp from Ecuador, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
The investigation request was submitted by the U.S. Shrimp Processors Association. The countervailing investigation request was accompanied by an anti-dumping investigation request related to shrimp imports from Ecuador and Indonesia. Vietnam is not subject to the anti-dumping investigation by the United States, as its shrimp products have been subject to anti-dumping duties since 2004.
The shrimp products under the countervailing investigation include HS codes 0306.17, 1605.21, and 1605.29.
According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), in 2022, Vietnam exported approximately USD 800 million worth of the accused products to the United States, accounting for about 20% of the total shrimp export market share to the U.S.
Review Process of the Initiated Investigation
From October 27, 2023, to November 9, 2023, the U.S. Department of Commerce requested additional information regarding certain aspects of the countervailing complaint. On October 26, 2023, the complainant submitted a revised scope. From October 31 to November 13, 2023, the complainant timely submitted responses to requests for additional information.
Regarding the complainant’s feedback, the Department of Commerce noted that the complainant demonstrated sufficient industry support for initiating the requested countervailing duty investigations.
Since the complaint was filed on October 25, 2023, the period of investigation (POI) for Ecuador, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam is from January 1, 2022, to December 31, 2022.
Concerning the scope of the investigation, on October 30, 2023, the Department of Commerce requested the complainant to provide information and clarification on the proposed scope to ensure that the scope in the complaint accurately reflects the products that the domestic industry seeks support for. The complainant made corresponding amendments as requested by the DOC.
The injury investigation period is from 2020 to the first half of 2023. The investigated subsidy program includes a total of 40 programs, divided into 5 groups. The DOC identified 1,046 Vietnamese exporting producers that exported the investigated products to the U.S. during the investigation period.
However, only a few enterprises were selected as mandatory respondents in the investigation. The duties for these mandatory respondents will serve as the basis for determining the countervailing duty rates for the remaining companies.
After identifying the mandatory respondents, the DOC will issue questionnaires to the government and the mandatory respondents. The deadline for responses will be 30 days from the issuance date of the questionnaires, which may be extended for valid reasons.
To safeguard their interests, businesses should engage with specialized legal consulting firms for assistance during the investigation.
The DOC’s initiation notice for the investigation can be downloaded here.