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AD/CVD Investigations on Paper Shopping Bags from Multiple Countries

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

Initiated on June 20, 2023, antidumping (less-than-fair-value) and countervailing duty investigations by the Department of Commerce from Cambodia, China, Colombia, India, Malaysia, Portugal, the Republic of Turkey, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and Taiwan are under way.

Scope of Merchandise Covered by Investigation

Paper bags with any type of handles, regardless of printing, color, and finishing and sealing material for top edges, are subject to investigation. Below are the traits of paper shopping bags included and excluded from the scope according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Bags included in the scope are:

  • a width of at least 4.5 inches (from the left to right edges of the front and back panel (typically the panel with handles))

  • a depth of at least 2.5 inches (from the front edge to the back edge of the bag)

  • paper shopping bags made from kraft paper or any type of cellulose fiber, paperboard, or pressboard with a basis weight less than 300 grams per square meter (GSM)

  • handles made from any material such as twisted paper, flat paper, yarn, ribbon, rope, string, plastic, and die-cut handles (whether the punchout is fully removed or partially attached as a flap)

Excluded from the scope are paper sacks or bags that are of a 1/6 or 1/7 barrel size ( i.e., 11.5–12.5 inches in width, 6.5–7.5 inches in depth, and 13.5–17.5 inches in height) with flat paper handles or die-cut handles;

  • Paper sacks or bags with die-cut handles, a grams per square meter paper weight of less than 86 GSM, and a height of less than 11.5 inches (excluding the height of the handles that extend above the top edge, from the bottom fold edge to the top edge); and

  • Shopping bags (i) with non-paper handles made wholly of woven ribbon or other similar woven fabric and (ii) that are finished with folded tops or for which tied knots or t-bar aglets (made of wood, metal, or plastic) are used to secure the handles to the bags.

The dimensions used by the U.S. CBS are for bags in open position. The merchandise is currently classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings 4819.30.0040 and 4819.40.0040. Parties may comment on the scope of investigations.

Reasons for Investigations

The AD and CVD petitions for the case was filed by the Coalition for Fair Trade in Shopping Bags on May 31, 2023. The Coalition consisted of Novolex Holdings and union workers at U.S. paper shopping bag manufacturing facilities. The petitions were due to the recent bans and taxes on single-use paper shopping bags by some states and cities, resulting in a lower demand for the merchandise. According to a blog from Harris Bricken, Novolex Holdings have been able to lower import competition with AD petitions before with plastic bags, and is hoping to do so again with paper shopping bags. The blog states, "Although AD/CVD duties certainly will increase the cost of paper shopping bags, it is uncertain whether those duties will do anything to stop that trend towards using fewer paper shopping bags."

Initiation notices may be found at

For more information and advisory on importing these goods and about the scope of investigation, feel free to call Spirit CHB, Inc, Trusted Custom Brokers,

at the phone number (714)383-9973, or email:



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