Why it’s bad for your health to evade antidumping duties.

Stress is no longer the silent killer it once was. Today, many people are aware of how stress affects the human body.  Prolonged exposure to stress can result in heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, obesity, ulcers, depression, and many other unhealthy manifestations such as drug and alcohol abuse can arise from prolonged exposure to stress. Importers reducing costs by evading AD or CVD duties are vulnerable to suffering from one or more stress-related illnesses. When a material omission or false declaration decreases the amount of money due it is called evasion.  Evasion cases are subject to enforcement by US Customs (“CBP”).

Background

In 2015, the Enforce and Protect Act (“EAPA”)  was enacted giving CBP broad authority to investigate, enforce and punish cases of evasion of AD & CVD duty.  The EAPA implemented a fixed timeline based on events and utilized on every allegation.  The schedule commences with the receipt of an evasion allegation.  Within 15 days of receipt, CBP is required to decide to investigate the complaint. If CBP wants to continue the claim, the next major event is on day 90 and is also performed by CBP.  An importer who knowingly evaded an AD order and has received notification of an investigation should begin to work on collecting evidence supporting the accuracy of the declared origin, valuation, and classification.  Individuals involved in the proceeding should look for ways to reduce stress during the ten months of EAPA action.  Something portable that would make it easy to pack on the vendor site visits and trips to obtain the documents necessary to prove the accuracy of the data submitted to CBP upon entry.

Day 90

CBP must determine the reasonableness of the suspicion and issue the interim notice. Upon publication of the interim measures, the evading importer receives information on entries that potentially contain goods subject to investigation. The good news is that the scope of entries is limited to one year from the date of initiation.  The bad news is that future entries of “like products” necessitates submission as “Live” entries to obtain the Customs release. Live” entries have cash deposits attached to the paperwork.  The evading importer reads the Interim report and roughly calculates the cash on hand needed, the increase in the cost of the goods and the approximate sales price increase based on the increased costs. The evading importer’s head begins to throb, acid indigestion transforms to acid reflux, and a tightening in the neck & shoulders becomes noticeable.  Only seven more months to go.

Days 200, 230 and 245

Requires participants to submit evidence to support their positions. Between Day 90 and Day 200 the stress is causing the evading importer to take handfull of pills to keep the pain, localized in the head and jaw.  The face even hurts from grinding teeth the night before. The combination of medicines made the acid reflux spike requiring a prescription to neutralize the stomach acid.

Day 200

This marks the last day for the parties to submit factual information voluntarily. Day 230 is the deadline for submission of written arguments.  No later than Day 245 can responses to the written arguments be provided.  Completion for most cases is required no later than day 300 except “extraordinarily complex cases” which get an extension to conclude by day 360.

In the Final Determination

CBP reported evidence that the importer did participate in evasion. CBP will suspend liquidation of entries from November 5, 2016, one year before the initiation of this investigation and ALL unliquidated entries no matter the date.  In addition to adjusting historical shipments, CBP will apply the country-wide AD rate to all cargo of like merchandise, no matter the origin.  In the future, all entries of products similar to those described in the final determination must be submitted ass “Live” entries and therefore require a check for the correct amount be attached to the entry pack for CBP release.

Final Determination

By the time the final determination is available; the importer evader has lost 20 pounds, is suffering from sleep deprivation, is beginning to have issues in his esophagus due to the acid reflux and has chronic back and head pain.  He is now taking several prescription medicines for the various aches, pains, and stomach issues.  A light bulb moment occurs as the fog lifts after the conclusion of the whirlwind claim.  (A) The price to the importer was only slightly offset by the duty evaded and (B) the cost of staff resources used defending the action was also higher than the savings garnered from the evasion of AD and CVD taxes.  Going forward to avoid this situation you should seek out professional guidance.