CBP halts antidumping duty-evading glycine import scheme

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   U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has found “reasonable suspicion” that an importer of glycine is bringing the product into the United States from China via Cambodia as part of a transshipment scheme to evade U.S. antidumping duties, and has issued interim measures to the put the brakes on these shipments, the agency said in a statement.
   The importer, Ceka Nutrition, is part of an ongoing CBP Enforce and Protect Act (EAPA) investigation that concerns the evasion of an antidumping duty order for glycine from China.
   CBP’s interim measures against Ceka Nutrition include:
     • Requiring “live” entry for all glycine imports, meaning Ceka Nutrition must submit proper import documentation and duties prior to the release of its merchandise;
     • Implementing rate adjustments for all unliquidated entries of merchandise subject to this investigation to show that they are subject to the antidumping duty order;
     • Suspending or extending unliquidated entries of glycine, as appropriate;
     • Rejecting any entry summaries that fall within the entry summary reject period;
     • As well as reviewing Ceka Nutrition’s continuous bond and application of single transaction bonds for it, as appropriate.
   CBP said the move “halts the potential evasion of several million dollars’ worth of antidumping duties annually, noting that the antidumping duty rate for glycine from China is set at 453 percent ad valorem.
   Deer Park, Texas-based GEO Specialty Chemicals filed the EAPA allegation against Ceka Nutrition on Aug. 1. Geo Specialty Chemicals is one of the largest U.S. producers of glycine, and a petitioner for the antidumping duty order on glycine from China. 
   “The allegation provided evidence that reasonably suggested that Ceka Nutrition had imported glycine that was transshipped by LG Chemicals Ltd. from China through Cambodia,” CBP said.
   In response, CBP requested detailed information from Ceka Nutrition about its foreign supplier and carried out an on-site visit of the alleged foreign supplier in Cambodia to assess the validity of the importer’s information. 
   “At that site visit, CBP learned from employees who operated the supplier’s purported factory that the facility only further refined Chinese-origin glycine and did not produce it, thus rendering it subject to the antidumping duty order on glycine from China. Moreover, there was insufficient equipment, product, and employees on hand to support claims that the factory could produce the quantity that had been exported to the United States in the prior year, further supporting CBP’s determination that this glycine was transshipped from China through Cambodia,” the agency said.  
   The notice of final determination in this glycine investigation is due on July 2, 2018.
   “CBP is committed to aggressively pursuing allegations that we receive of duty evasion with all of the available legal tools we have at our disposal, as we did in this case,” said Acting CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan in a statement. “Through partnering with the trade community in combatting evasion, CBP can work to level the playing field for U.S. businesses by facilitating legitimate trade, while penalizing and deterring the violators of U.S. trade laws. To that end, I encourage those with knowledge of evasion of our trade laws to file an allegation with CBP.”
   On Aug. 22, 2016, CBP published guidance for filing allegations of evasion of antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) orders under the 2015 Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (TFTEA). Title IV, Section 421 of TFTEA, commonly referred to as EAPA, establishes formal procedures for submitting and investigating AD/CVD evasion allegations against U.S. importers. CBP is in charge of tracking and reporting these allegations from initial receipt, vetting and enforcement actions, to final disposition of an investigation.
   Since the EAPA enforcement program’s inception, CBP’s Office of Trade has investigated AD/CVD duty evasion allegations ranging from wire hangers and diamond saw blades to circular welded pipe and wooden bedroom furniture.

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