Washington, U.S.A. – The United States Department of Commerce has preliminarily found that a United Kingdom company, UK Carbon and Graphite Co., (UKCG) was unlawfully circumventing an antidumping duty order covering small diameter graphite electrodes (SDGE) from China. The preliminary determination was publicly announced on May 30, 2012. The Commerce Department plans to issues its final decision on July 31, 2012.

Commerce found that circumvention was occurring because the UK company was importing unfinished SDGEs from China to the United Kingdom, performing minor finishing operations on these items in the UK, and exporting the finished product to the United States. The Commerce Department rejected UKCG’s claim that these SDGEs were of UK origin for purposes of the U.S. antidumping law.

Importantly, Commerce has preliminarily determined that UKCG’s exports of these products may be subject to antidumping duties up to 159.64 percent.

“We are pleased that the Commerce Department is acting decisively to protect the integrity of this dumping order,” said David A. Hartquist of Kelley Drye & Warren, counsel to the U.S. industry. Mr. Hartquist also noted that the petitioning group has recently asked the Commerce Department and the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection to investigate other circumvention efforts by Chinese SDGE exporters. “Circumvention of existing antidumping orders, particularly on imports from China, is a very serious problem that deserves the full attention of our government. Exporters and importers who circumvent must be aware of the possible consequences of their behavior.”

The anticircumvention inquiry, like the antidumping duty proceeding, covers SDGEs which are defined as 16 inches (400 mm) or under in diameter; are produced from various grades of petroleum coke; and are used in ladle metallurgy and specialty furnace applications in industries including foundries, smelters, and steel refining operations. Graphite electrodes act as conductors of electricity in furnaces and generate heat to produce steel and other materials.

The petitioners are Superior Graphite Company and SGL Carbon. They are represented in this investigation by David A. Hartquist, a partner in the International Trade and Customs Practice at Kelley Drye & Warren.