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Transshipment Used to Evade AD Duties on Clothes Hangers, CBP Finds

Thursday, March 29, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

In its second final determination in an antidumping duty evasion investigation under the Enforce and Protect Act, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has found substantial evidence that eight companies evaded the AD duty order on steel wire garment hangers from China by transshipping them through Malaysia.

As a result, CBP will continue to (a) suspend liquidation for any entry of subject goods entered on or after May 12, 2017, (b) extend the period for liquidation of all unliquidated entries entered before that date, (c) require live entry, which requires the importer to post the applicable cash deposit rate (currently 187.25 percent) prior to entry release, and (d) evaluate the continuous bonds of these eight companies. CBP also said it would pursue additional enforcement actions (e.g., initiating section 1592 penalty proceedings against the importers and referring this matter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for civil and/or criminal investigation, both of which were requested by the complainant) as appropriate.

The EAPA, part of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, gave CBP a significantly expanded role in investigating AD/CV duty evasion and the authorities to match. Under CBP regulations implementing the EAPA any interested party, including competing importers and federal government agencies, may submit allegations that AD/CV duties are being evaded; e.g., through misrepresentation of the goods’ true country of origin, false or incorrect shipping and entry documentation, or misreporting of the goods’ physical characteristics. CBP has broad authority to conduct investigations of these claims and can impose initial remedial measures that could interrupt a supply chain in as little as 90 days.

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