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The American HFC Coalition applauds the United States Department of Commerce for initiating anti-circumvention inquiries to determine whether imports of Chinese hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are circumventing the 2016 antidumping duty order on HFC blends.

Since 2016, importers have been blending Chinese-origin HFC components, including R-125, R-32, R-134a and R-143a, in third countries and in the United States in an effort to evade the antidumping duty order, according to the HFC Coalition.

“Importers have more recently begun importing blends, such as R-410B and various "custom" blends, that do not have any commercially approved use,” the coalition said in a statement.

“After importation, these unapproved HFC refrigerant blends are simply reblended into one of the products covered by the antidumping duty order.”

The U.S. Department of Commerce's initiation notices signal that it will investigate all of these efforts to circumvent US law and evade antidumping duties.

These requests were triggered by the staggering 340 per cent increase in the volume of R-410B imports originating in China or blended in Turkey from Chinese components.

In fact, imports of R-410B in 2022 exceeded US  imports of all other HFC blends. Such imports can be reblended at a fraction of the cost of manufacturing HFCs.

For example, R-410B is easily reblended into R-410A, which can then be sold in the US market. As a result, U.S  HFC manufacturers claim they have suffered depressed prices, declining sales revenues, and lost market share.

The commerce department has already found that "unfinished" blends of R-32 and R-125 from China are circumventing the antidumping order.

It similarly found that HFC blends using Chinese components blended in India were circumventing the order.

It also found that imports of a patented blend, which were reblended in the United States after importation, were circumventing the order.

“This latest strategy to evade the antidumping law must also be remedied,” the coalition said.

“The American HFC Coalition trusts that these inquiries will uncover the relentless efforts by Chinese exporters and importers to escape the discipline of the antidumping duty order by flooding the US market with unfairly low-priced HFC refrigerants and will remedy the harm to the domestic industry by applying the full extent of the law.

“We expect that the US Department of Commerce will proceed quickly with its investigations and will issue final determinations within 300 days.”