U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently announced that by April 2 importers must submit post-summary corrections, with required antidumping and countervailing duty deposits, for entries missing third-country AD/CV case numbers. For entries that have already been liquidated, CBP is encouraging voluntary tenders but advises that failure to take action by early April could have consequences.
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The Department of Commerce and CBP issue third-country AD/CV case numbers enabling importers to enter goods that have different countries of origin for customs and AD/CV purposes. While CBP typically uses a substantial transformation test for origin, the DOC considers scope language and other characteristics or factors to determine if a product processed in a second country fits within an AD/CV duty order.
CBP previously provided an example where goods produced in China were further processed in Lithuania. The goods fell within the scope of an AD duty order on solar cells from China but Lithuania was the country of origin for customs purposes. While an importer would thus declare Lithuanian origin it would also use the specifically-created DOC case number corresponding to this scenario.
However, from Oct. 5, 2019, through Oct. 28, 2020, CBP’s Automated Commercial Environment entry filing system did not allow importers to file AD/CV entries with any third-country case numbers. There also are scenarios in which a third-country case number had never been requested by the importer or identified by the DOC.
Under CBP’s recent directive, in such cases it is incumbent on the importer to request a case number and declare it at entry. Although CBP’s message provided a list of current third-country case numbers, that list is by no means inclusive.
CBP’s language raises concerns of potential enforcement or penalty claims for noncompliance. It also means importers should consider submitting late deposits of AD/CV duties as part of prior disclosures in case CBP finds that a violation has technically occurred. Prior disclosures, but not voluntary tenders, allow importers to avoid penalty actions should CBP contemplate such a proceeding.
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