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  5. QB 20-603 Absolute Quota for Steel Mill Articles: Argentina, Brazil and South Korea

QB 20-603 Absolute Quota for Steel Mill Articles: Argentina, Brazil and South Korea


Steel Mill Articles as specified in Presidential Proclamations



July 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020


July 1, 2020 12:01 AM Local Port time.

All entries submitted prior to 8:30 am EST July 1, 2020 will be counted in the first opening at 8:30 am EST.  If the totals exceed the limit all accepted entries within the first opening will be prorated.


For quota merchandise, use entry type code 02, 06, 07, 12, 23, 32, 38, or 52

Merchandise subject to absolute quota may also be subject to antidumping and countervailing duty.

In addition to reporting the chapter 72 or 73 harmonized tariff schedule (HTS) classification for imported merchandise, importers shall report the following HTS classifications for imported merchandise subject to the absolute quota:  9903.80.05 through 9903.80.58.

Absolute quota merchandise may not be imported into the U.S for consumption after the quota limit is reached, per [19 CFR 132]. Options after the quota limit is reached include entry into a foreign trade zone, warehouse entry, exportation or destruction.  Importers with Department of Commerce approved quota exclusions are limited only by their individual exclusion quantity level as provided for by the Department of Commerce.  They are not limited by quarterly quota limits.


Absolute quota will be processed on an hourly basis, and absolute quota shipments made available for cargo release, between 11:45am – 7:45pm Eastern Time every business day. 


A presentation date/time is determined for the entry summary when the following conditions are met:

Entry Summary must be on file
Entry Summary must be paid or scheduled to be paid on statement

Shipment must be arrived in the United States at the port of intended unlading.


Argentina, Brazil and South Korea


As of June 1, 2018, CBP implemented absolute quota processing functionality in ACE.  Absolute quota is processed on a daily basis, Monday to Friday (excluding holidays), and cargo release of shipments subject to the absolute quota will be withheld until the absolute quota is processed and quota amounts are allocated. 

In order for shipments to be processed for absolute quota on the same day, the entry summary must be filed, entry summary payment date must be on file or scheduled for a future statement, and the conveyance arrived by 4:30 pm in the port’s local time zone.  The official hours for quota processing are established by 19 CFR 132.3.

Please note quantities listed in this bulletin are estimates as of June 25, 2020. These amounts are provided for convenience and amounts may vary based on actual usage up to the end of the previous quarter.  Actual amounts will be posted in the July 6, 2020 quota commodity status report found at

Quota Bulletins (QB) are posted on the quota page and updated as determined by future announcements.

The trade may track the status of quotas provided in the weekly Commodity Status Report at


*The HTS Chapter 99 Subsection III, US Note 16(e) below for Section 232 quota states:

“Subheadings 9903.80.05 through 9903.80.58, inclusive, set forth the ordinary customs duty treatment for the steel mill articles of any country enumerated in the superior text to such subheadings, subject to the annual aggregate quantitative limitations proclaimed for these subheadings.  Beginning on July 1, 2018, imports from any such country in an aggregate quantity under any such subheading during any of the periods January through March, April through June, July through September, or October through December in any year that is in excess of 500,000 kg and 30 percent of the total aggregate quantity provided for a calendar year for such country, as set forth on shall not be allowed.”

This means there are annual quota limits for Section 232 importations from Argentina, Brazil and the Republic of South Korea on HTS 9903.80.05 – 9903.80.58 that are managed on a quarterly basis unless the total annual limit is 500,000 kg or less*.   

Administration of Quarterly Absolute Quota Limits

*If the total annual limit on an HTS 9903.80.05 – 9903.80.58 is 500,000 kg or less per country for all three of the provided countries, the quota for that HTS is administered as an annual quota for each country.  The total prescribed limit is available from the first day of the first quota period until the annual limit is allocated.  HTS administered as annual quotas for all three countries are: 9903.80.06, 9903.80.27, 9903.80.29, 9903.80.30, 9903.80.33, 9903.80.37, 9903.80.39, 9903.80.40, 9903.80.41, 9903.80.43, 9903.80.44, 9903.80.52, 9903.80.53, 9903.80.54, 9903.80.55, and 9903.80.58.

All other HTS 9903.80.05 – 9903.80.58 are administered on a quarterly basis.  The quarterly limit cannot exceed 30% of the annual limit.  When the limit is reached within the quarter, the quota category is closed until it reopens in the next quarter.    

Therefore, not more than 30% of the annual limit can be imported in any one of the first three quarters. 

Fourth Quarter quota limits on quarterly managed HTS will be evaluated according to the 30% rule.  Exceptions are; (1) where the remaining balance is greater than 500,000 kg and less than 30% of the annual limit, the Q4 limit will be the balance and, (2) where the remaining balance is greater than 500,000 kg and 30% of the annual limit is less than 500,000 kg, the Q4 limit will be 500,000 kg.

As per Absolute Quota Presidential Proclamations;


Presidential Proclamation 9704 of March 8, 2018 provided for tariffs in Section 232 Steel and Aluminum. 

Presidential Proclamation 9117 of March 22, 2018 exempted Republic of South Korea, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Canada from those tariffs. 

Presidential Proclamation 9740 of April 20, 2018 provided for quarterly limits on Section 232 Steel and Aluminum commodities of 9903.80.05 – 9903.80.58 from the Republic of South Korea, Brazil, and Argentina. 

Presidential Proclamation 9759 of May 31, 2018 advised that quarterly limits in excess of 500,000 kg and 30 percent of the total annual limit by country shall not be allowed.* 

Presidential Proclamation 9777 of August 29, 2018 provided for relief from Section 232 limitation on an individual basis via a Department of Commerce issued exclusion.   

Effect of Approved Section 232 Quota Exclusions for Country of Origin Republic of South Korea, Brazil, and Argentina on Quota Availability:

Importers may apply for exclusions from the Department of Commerce.  Approved exclusions are retroactive to the date of their application.  Department of Commerce advises the active date of exclusions to the successful filer.  Exclusion entries utilize 9903.80.60 in place of 9903.80.05 through 9903.80.58 but continue to reference the appropriate chapter 72 or 73 harmonized tariff schedule (HTS) classification.

Quota exclusion entries are charged against the quarterly limit that is in place at the time of entry and count towards the annual limit.  Exclusion entries are exempt from the annual and quarterly quota limit ceilings.  These entries “use up” quota limits, but they continue to be accepted until the close of the annual quota period regardless of whether the quarterly or annual limits have been reached.  Importers holding Commerce quota exclusions for a particular HTS can enter goods at any time during the quota year, regardless of whether absolute quota thresholds have been filled.

Exclusion quantity that is over the quarterly or annual limit is tracked as “exclusion quota overflow” using a distinct quota identifier.

For questions related to the quota process, contact the QAB at  In the event of a technical issue with system operation, please create a ticket with the ACE help desk at  

3rd Quarter Steel Limits
Quota IDArgentina 3rd Quarter Limit (kg)Brazil 3rd Quarter Limit (kg)South Korea 3rd Q


Last Modified: Jun 30, 2020