Background

In a final determination under the Enforce and Protect Act, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has found substantial evidence that two U.S. importers evaded the antidumping duty order on carbon steel butt-weld pipe fittings from China by transshipping them through Vietnam. Among other things, CBP identified multiple sales contracts involving these importers with fine print indicating that transshipment was “to be allowed,” identified “vast inconsistencies” between the equipment purchase documentation provided by the importers and a response from the Vietnamese company, and found evidence suggesting that the importers shifted their business from Malaysia to Vietnam after the Department of Commerce’s determination of circumvention with respect to pipe fittings from China through Malaysia.

As a result of this determination, CBP will take the following measures.

- suspend or continue to suspend the liquidation of all entries imported by the importers that are subject to this case until instructed to liquidate

- rate adjust those entries previously extended, change those entries to type 03, and continue suspension until instructed to liquidate

- continue to evaluate the importers’ continuous bonds and to require single transaction bonds 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., by misrepresenting the goods’ true country of origin, submitting false or incorrect shipping and entry documentation, or misreporting 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. Any final determination of evasion may be met with not only AD/CV duties but also other enforcement measures such as civil or criminal investigations.

For more information on AD/CV duty evasion, please contact Kristen Smith at (202) 730-4965.

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