AICO contests final antidumping ruling on upholstered case goods collections

PICO RIVERA, Calif. — Full-line furniture and lighting resource AICO (Amini Innovation Corp.)  is contesting a final scope ruling from the United States Court of International Trade that subjects four of its bedroom collections to antidumping duties on Chinese-made bedroom furniture.

The case dates back to January 2021 when the company asked the U.S. Department of Commerce that four collections — Glimmering Heights, Melrose Plaza, Hollywood Swank and Hollywood Loft — not be subject to antidumping because it featured beds and case goods that are upholstered.

The DOC rejected this on March 5, 2021, and the company later filed scope ruling requests that provided “substantial evidence that AICO’s upholstered furniture should be excluded from the scope of the antidumping duty (ADD) order of wooden bedroom furniture (WBF) from China.”

It based this on the upholstered construction and highly decorative nature of the pieces and provided evidence that it was distinct from in-scope wooden bedroom furniture in terms of its “physical characteristics, expectations of ultimate purchasers, ultimate use, channels of trade and the manner in which they were advertised.”

It also argued that the DOC may not assess duties on these collections any earlier than the initiation of the scope inquiry on June 22, 2022, as “that was the first time Amini was put on notice that its products could be considered in scope.”

This bed and nightstand are part of Melrose Plaza, one of four collections that AICO says falls outside the scope of the anti-dumping order on Chinese-made wooden bedroom furniture.

On April 18, 2022, the DOC issued a final determination that — with the exception of three mirrors — the collections fell within the scope of the ADD order. Aimed at protecting domestic bedroom producers from unfair trade practices of Chinese manufacturers, the duties are applied to manufacturers, but paid by importers of record such as AICO.

A May 25 filing AICO submitted to the CIT states that the company believes the DOC did not address Amini’s assertions that at a minimum, the duties should not be assessed any earlier than June 22, 2022.

The filing further states that the furniture is not subject to duties as it is not covered by the scope of the antidumping ruling as it has different physical characteristics based on the upholstered construction of the pieces.

It also states that the DOC’s final retroactive ADD liability on Amini’s upholstered furniture is not supported by substantial evidence and thus is not in accordance with the law, “to the extent that AICO had not been previously provided with sufficient notice of the ADD applicability.”

It is asking the CIT to remand the final scope ruling and issue a final determination that these Chinese-made upholstered bedroom collections are not subject to duties. It also directs that U.S. Customs and Border Protection liquidate all its upholstered furniture entered prior to the initiation of the scope proceeding without the assessment of duties.

“We vehemently disagree with the DOC ruling and that is why we filed an appeal with the Court of International Trade,” AICO President David Koehler told Home News Now. He declined further comment at this time.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at and at 336-508-4616.

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