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US probes imports of R410B

USA: The US Department of Commerce has initiated an inquiry into whether US imports of a refrigerant blend from Mexico are circumventing antidumping duty orders.

The circumvention inquiry targets R410B, a refrigerant blend which closely resembles the air conditioning refrigerant R410A but is not commercially used. R410B is, officially, 45% R32 and 55% R125, as opposed to the 50/50 blend of R410A.

It is alleged by complaints from the US refrigerant manufacturers that R410B is being manufactured in Mexico using R32 and R125 imported from China. It is then being imported in to the US where further processing brings it back in-scope to R410A.

The inquiry will seek to establish whether this is an attempt to circumvent the US antidumping duty order on HFC blends from China established in 2016. This will be the ninth anti-circumvention inquiry initiated since then. 

The Department of Commerce had previously found that “unfinished” HFC blends from China were circumventing the antidumping order, as were HFC blends using Chinese components blended in India. It also found that imports of a patented blend, which were reblended in the United States after importation, were circumventing the order.

In July of this year, the US Department of Commerce initiated several anti-circumvention inquiries to address a claimed 340% increase in the volume of R410B imports originating in China or blended in Turkey from Chinese components. 

The American HFC Coalition claims that such imports can be reblended at a fraction of the cost of manufacturing HFCs. As a result, its members, which include Arkema, Chemours, Honeywell and Mexichem Fluor, suffer depressed prices, declining sales revenues, and lost market share.

As in prior circumvention inquiries, the US Department of Commerce intends to issue questionnaires to solicit information from producers and exporters in Mexico, concerning their shipments to the United States and the origin of any imported HFC blends being further processed into HFC blends.

Related stories:

US to investigate imports of Chinese “custom” blends1 July 2023
USA: The US Department of Commerce is said to have initiated an investigation into reports that Chinese imports of R410B and other “custom” refrigerant blends are breaching antidumping laws. Read more…

US clamp down on duty-busting refrigerant imports from India – 8 April 2020
USA: Customs authorities are to clamp down on imports to the USA of HFC refrigerants from India that are said to be circumventing existing antidumping duties on imports from China. Read more…

Arkema seeks anti-dumping duties on Chinese R32 – 24 January 2020
USA: Refrigerant producer Arkema has filed a petition seeking import duties of nearly 90% to be placed on imports of R32 from China. Read more…

US to investigate Chinese HFC refrigerant imports – 25 June 2019
USA: The US Department of Commerce has initiated investigations to determine whether imports of HFC refrigerants from China are circumventing the 2016 antidumping duty order on HFC blends. Read more…

US imposes duties on Chinese HFC blends – 19 August 2016
USA: Dumping duties on certain HFC blends from China was passed today by the US government with its publication in the Federal Register. Read more…

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