Understanding Five-Year (Sunset) Reviews

Five-Year (Sunset) Reviews Required by the Uruguay Round Agreements Implementation Act

The Uruguay Round Agreements Act, approved in late 1994, amended the antidumping and countervailing duty laws in several respects. One of the most significant changes is the new provision requiring the Department of Commerce and the USITC to conduct reviews no later than five years after an antidumping or countervailing duty order is issued to determine whether revoking the order would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping or subsidies (Commerce) and of material injury (USITC).

Reviews of all outstanding antidumping and countervailing duty orders in existence as of January 1, 1995, were completed over a three-year "transition period" that began in July 1998 and ended in June 2001. Reviews of orders issued or continued after January 1, 1995, are conducted five years after they become effective.

When:Five-year reviews of all antidumping and countervailing duty orders that have been issued since January 1, 1995, including those resulting from affirmative determinations in transition reviews, are initiated by the Department of Commerce by no later than 30 days prior to their five-year anniversary.

Following the Department of Commerce's initiation of each five-year review, the USITC sets its schedule for the review and publishes this information in a Federal Register notice.

Duration: The USITC's notice of institution in five-year reviews requests that interested parties file with the USITC responses that discuss the likely effects of revoking the order under review and provide other pertinent information. Generally within 95 days from institution, the USITC makes an adequacy determination, in which it determines whether the responses it has received reflect an adequate or inadequate level of interest in the review by interested parties. If the USITC determines that responses to its notice of institution are adequate, or if other circumstances warrant a full review, the USITC conducts a full review, with includes a public hearing and issuance of questionnaires. If the USITC determines that responses to its notice of institution are inadequate, the USITC conducts an expedited review. The USITC does not hold a hearing or conduct further investigative activities in expedited reviews. Commissioners base their injury determinations in expedited reviews on the facts available, including the USITC's prior injury determination, responses received to its notice of institution, publicly available data collected by staff in connection with the review, and information provided by the Department of Commerce.

The USITC usually will complete full five-year reviews within 360 days of initiation and expedited reviews within 150 days. Both Commerce and the USITC have the authority to extend these deadlines by up to 90 days in all transition reviews and other extraordinarily complicated cases.

Finding: In five-year reviews, the USITC determines whether revocation of the antidumping or countervailing duty order would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to the U.S. industry. If the USITC's determination is affirmative, the order will remain in place. If the USITC's determination is negative, the order will be revoked. (For further information on five-year (sunset) reviews, see section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, 19 U.S.C. 1675(c).)