The US Court of International Trade (CIT) has overruled the antidumping duty order imposed by the Department of Commerce (DoC) on uranium enrichment services that US utilities buy from non-US enrichment companies.

Responding to the latest development in the trade case brought by USEC against European importers of low enriched uranium (LEU), USEC said: “Nothing changes; all countervailing and antidumping duties remain in effect until the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit finally rules on these appeals.” The DoC had found that both the separative work unit (SWU) contracts and the enriched uranium product (EUP) contracts constitute sales of goods subject to antidumping and countervailing duties. However, the CIT said that, in the case of SWU contracts, the utility owns the uranium and the enrichment company provides enrichment services. The three-judge court determined: “The transfer of LEU by the enricher to the utility cannot constitute a sale of merchandise.” On two other issues, the court sided with the DoC. The court agreed USEC had the right under trade laws to bring the case to court. Secondly, the CIT ruled that the DoC is correct to insist US countervailing duty law applies to enrichment services ­ so DoC can impose duties on such imports where it finds that a foreign government is subsidising its enrichment industry.

In response to the claims made by USEC, the DoC had imposed countervailing duties of 13.21% against Eurodif and 2.26% against Urenco, and an antidumping duty of 19.57% against Eurodif.