CIT Slip Op 09-24.
The court denied jurisdiction of a challenge to a scope ruling that was 75 days after the mailing because a challenge must be filed within 30 days of the mailing of the Final Ruling.
The "scope" of an anti-dumping is an extremely important part an anti-dumping case. Once and anti-dumping case is created the scope can not be altered because two agencies of government make independent decisions on a limited range of products. Once the range of products is decided it can not be increased later to include more products nor can it be lessen later to exclude products. To do so would mean one agency would be in effect illegally overruling the other agency. Although at the conclusion of the order the petitioner, or parties seeking the extra duties, may request that certain products covered by ruling removed because they are no longer injuring their industry.
In this case Bags on the Net requested the agency to rule on whether their products of "holiday inn" bags were covered in the scope of the anti-dumping investigation. There is some question about which attorney was supposed to get the Final Ruling Notice. But it was mailed out on July 15th and the challenge to the ruling was not filed until September.
According to the regulations a importer has only 30 days after the mailing of a Final Ruling to appeal to the Court of International Trade. It is hard to tell if the attorney received the Final Ruling in time or if one attorney who received the Final ruling did not promptly communicate it to the client. It is also impossible to know whether a timely appeal made to the Court of International Trade would have resulted in a ruling favor of Bags on the Net.
However, it is a reminder that even in today's fast paced world 30 days after mailing is not that much time to decide whether to appeal a scope ruling or not. Especially when such decision is likely to be made by already very busy business professionals. Perhaps the legal cost, likelihood of victory, and other considerations should be discussed well before the time a Final ruling is mailed.