The Department of Justice reports that a U.S. company that imports goods from a European parent company for resale to domestic customers has paid $728,910 to settle civil allegations that it failed to pay proper customs duties on imported goods.
According to a DOJ press release, the U.S. alleged that instead of separately determining which HTSUS subheadings applied to each of its imported products the company classified all those goods under a single HTSUS number, one of which carried a low duty rate. The U.S. also charged the company with failing to declare the cost of repairs for products it exported and then reimported into the U.S. The allegedly violative conduct occurred over a nine-year period.
The U.S. claims that the company’s conduct violated the Tariff Act of 1930, which requires the correct classification and valuation of imported goods to determine proper import duties, as well as the False Claims Act, because the company’s false statements resulted in it paying far less in duties than were owed. The DOJ states that the settlement resolves an FCA lawsuit filed against the company by a former employee, who is eligible for a share of the penalty amount.
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