The U.S. Court of International Trade has overturned a previous tariff order by the Department of Commerce (DOC). The result: off-the-road tires imported from Sri Lanka are not subject to tariffs.

The court’s ruling has erased the 2.18% countervailing duty all OTR tire makers in Sri Lanka paid to bring products into the U.S.

It came after Camso Loadstar Ltd. and the Government of Sri Lanka appealed the DOC’s 2017 determination that the products should be charged duties. Specifically, Camso and the Sri Lankan government fought the duties that were attributed to what’s called the “Guaranteed Price Scheme for Rubber” program.  The DOC notes that “under respectful protest,” it eliminated the duties attributed to the program (0.95%) and recalculated Camso’s rate to be 1.23%.

But the DOC qualified that rate as “de minimis” and has revoked its order to impose any tariffs at all. And because Camso was the primary respondent in the case — the one company representing all other OTR tire makers in Sri Lanka — no tariff for Camso means there’s no tariff for other tire manufacturers there.

The Sri Lanka Association of Manufacturers and Exporters of Rubber Products (SLAMERP) hailed the victory, and said it was the first ever revocation of a countervailing duty imposed on a Sri Lankan product in the U.S.

SLAMERP says, “This will bring about significant reinforcement to the tire industry.”

The group is led by Chairman Prabhash Subasinghe, managing director of Global Rubber Industries Pvt. Ltd. (GRI).

In a statement, SLAMERP says, “The U.S. is considered a principal and colossal market for SLAMERP members” in OTR tire exporting. “This judgment has brought about great consequence towards the development of this nation.

“We believe that with this decision, tire exports to (the) U.S. will continue to rise thereby establishing the benefit of increased product availability and value generation to consumers in the U.S.”

The new order from the DOC will be published in the July 25, 2018, edition of the Federal Register.

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