25 Oct 2019
Import Restrictions Imposed on Plywood Alleged to Evade AD/CV Duties
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has determined that there is a reasonable suspicion that three importers are evading the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on hardwood plywood products from mainland China by transshipping such goods through Cambodia. CBP cites contemporaneous large increases in mainland Chinese exports of plywood to Cambodia and Cambodian exports of plywood to the United States, discrepancies between Cambodia’s domestic production capacity and export volume, and the fact that two of the three importers have been under investigation for transshipping plywood from mainland China through Vietnam as factors supporting this determination.
As a result, CBP is imposing the following interim measures:
- rate adjusting all unliquidated entries of subject plywood and requiring AD/CV cash deposits;
- suspending liquidation for any entry of subject plywood entered on or after 26 June 2019 and extending the liquidation period for all unliquidated entries entered before that date;
- requiring live entry for all future imports for the importers at issue;
- rejecting any entry summaries that do not comply with live entry and requiring a refile for those within the entry summary reject period; and
- evaluating the importers’ continuous bonds to determine their sufficiency.
The Enforce and Protect Act, 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.