Background

In a final determination under the Enforce and Protect Act, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has determined that there is substantial evidence that a U.S. importer evaded the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on lightweight thermal paper from China by declaring entries of subject goods as type 01 instead of type 03.

According to CBP, the importer argued that it did not participate in any fraudulent scheme and did not intentionally, purposefully, knowingly, or negligently engage in evasive conduct. It further argued that it does not have much experience or knowledge regarding the importation of thermal paper, nor does it sell products to U.S. customers. However, CBP responded that the company acted as importer of record for the entries at issue and is therefore responsible for exercising reasonable care with respect to those entries. CBP added that under EAPA it does not need to determine any level of culpability, only that evasion occurred.

As a result of its determination, CBP will (1) subject the subject entries to the China-wide rate for the AD duty order and the all others rate for the CV duty order, (2) suspend or continue to suspend liquidation of all subject entries, (3) rate adjust entries previously extended in accordance with the interim measures, change those entries to type 03, and continue suspension, and (4) evaluate the importer’s continuous bonds and require single transaction bonds as appropriate.

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 investigate these claims and can impose initial remedial measures that can 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 attorney Kristen Smith at (202) 730-4965 or via email.

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