The Arena of EAPA: Transshipping, Pencils, and Evading Duties

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) investigates allegations of dumping or unfair foreign subsidies, but they also have the authority to investigate potential violations of any imposed Anti-Dumping or Countervailing Duties (AD/CVD) under the Enforce and Protect Act (EAPA) of 2015.

Customs describes EAPA as a “multi-party, transparent, administrative proceeding where parties can both participate in and learn the outcome of the investigation. It also maintains due process for parties to the investigation by providing an option for them to request administrative and judicial reviews of CBP’s determination as to evasion.” Self-assertions of transparency and due process aside, many have found EAPA cases to be highly secretive and not always fair.

Frequently, an EAPA case involves an allegation that Chinese goods are allegedly transshipped through another country (or only subject to minor processing) to avoid paying AD/CVD duties. Since AD/CVD duties are applicable based upon the commodities country of origin, nefarious companies can ship goods from China to for example, Vietnam, India, Mexico, Taiwan, Malaysia, or some other country, and claim that these goods do not originate from China after all. Importers, in good faith, will declare that their imports are not subject to AD/CVD duties because they are not aware of the true origin of the goods. Such importers might not be liable for penalties if their belief was in good faith and based on facts, but such importers would still be subject to massive duties. Thus, contrary to popular option, good/honest importers may also find themselves the recipient of […]

ICYMI: Commerce, Treasury, and Justice Issue Compliance Note on Obligations of Foreign-Based Persons to Comply with U.S. Export Laws

On March 6, 2024, the Department of Commerce, Department of the Treasury, and Department of Justice issued a tri-seal compliance note titled: “Obligations of foreign-based persons to comply with U.S. sanctions and export control laws.”

The note:

  1. Highlights the applicability of U.S. sanctions and export control laws to persons and entities located abroad;
  2. Outlines the enforcement mechanisms that are available for the U.S. government to hold non-U.S. persons accountable for violations of such laws; and
  3. Provides an overview of compliance considerations for non-U.S. companies and compliance measures to help mitigate their risk

Applicability of U.S. Sanctions and Export Control Laws to Foreign-Based Persons

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions, primarily against foreign jurisdictions but also against individuals and entities such as traffickers and terrorists.

The following persons/entities must comply with OFAC regulations:

  • U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens
  • All persons within the United States
  • All U.S.-incorporated entities and their foreign branches

In certain sanctions programs, foreign entities owned or controlled by U.S. persons also must comply with applicable restrictions – such as engaging in a transaction with the government of Iran. Certain sanctions programs also require foreign persons in possession of U.S.-origin goods to comply.

Non-U.S. persons are also subject to certain OFAC prohibitions. For example, non-U.S. persons are prohibited from causing or conspiring to cause U.S. persons to wittingly or unwittingly violate U.S. sanctions, as well as engaging in conduct that evades U.S. sanctions.

Applicability of U.S. Export Control Laws

The compliance […]

By |2024-03-15T13:13:23-04:00March 15, 2024|EAR, Export, U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)|Comments Off on ICYMI: Commerce, Treasury, and Justice Issue Compliance Note on Obligations of Foreign-Based Persons to Comply with U.S. Export Laws

Breaking Trade News: New AD and CVD Petition Filed on Paper Plates from China, Vietnam and Thailand

The Petition, filed on behalf of the American Paper Plate Coalition (the “APPC”), concerns certain paper plates that are imported from China, Thailand, and Vietnam. APPC is comprised of six producers of paper plates in the United States:

  • AJM Packaging Corporation
  • Dart Container Corporation
  • Aspen Products, Inc.
  • Huhtamaki Americas, Inc.
  • 9201 Packaging Drive
  • Unique Industries, Inc.

The petition claims the paper plates were sold at less than fair value, and that certain paper plates from China and Vietnam benefit from countervailable subsidies. Petitioners claim that these imports have caused material injury and threaten additional material injury to the domestic industry producing paper plates.

Full list of producers here. Full list of U.S. importers here.

The proposed scope language is broad and includes “Paper plates, which may be white, colored, and/or printed, and if printed, may be printed and/or laminated by any means with images, text and/or colors on one or both surfaces.” Full description and scope here.

The Commerce Department will determine whether to initiate the investigations within 20 days. The USITC will reach a preliminary determination of material injury or threat of material injury within 45 days. Final determinations will likely occur late 2024.

As with any proceeding, participation is very important to protect your rights. We urge anyone that imports paper plates to pay close attention to this case and to ensure that all appropriate steps are taken to mitigate any damage.

Diaz Trade Law will continue to monitor this case and share updates. For more information or questions get […]

By |2024-01-29T12:29:29-05:00January 25, 2024|AD/CVD, China, U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC)|Comments Off on Breaking Trade News: New AD and CVD Petition Filed on Paper Plates from China, Vietnam and Thailand

Trade News: New Petition Filed on Glass Wine Bottles from China, Mexico and Chile

On December 29, 2023, the last working day of the year, the U.S. Glass Producers Coalition filed a petition for the imposition of antidumping duties on certain glass wine bottles from China, Mexico, and Chile and countervailing duties on imports of certain glass wine bottles from China.

The Coalition is comprised of U.S. producer Ardagh Glass Inc. and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (“USW”). The petitions allege that the Chinese, Chilean, and Mexican industries have been dumping wine bottles in the U.S., harming the U.S. market and destroying American jobs.

Full list of producers here. Full list of U.S. importers here.

The petition alleges dumping margins of:

  • China: 280.10% and 620.03%
  • Mexico: 78.55% and 102.09%
  • Chile: 615.68%

The scope of merchandise covered includes a wide array of products including both clear and colored bottles in the Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, or Sparkling shapes. Full scope here.

The Commerce Department will determine whether to initiate the investigations within 20 days. The USITC will reach a preliminary determination of material injury or threat of material injury within 45 days. Final determinations will likely occur late 2024.

As with any proceeding, participation is very important to protect your rights. We urge anyone that imports glass wine bottles to pay close attention to this case and to ensure that all appropriate steps are taken to mitigate any damage.

Diaz Trade Law will continue to monitor this case and share updates. For more information or questions get in touch […]

By |2024-01-05T15:52:11-05:00January 5, 2024|AD/CVD, China, Import, Mexico, U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC)|Comments Off on Trade News: New Petition Filed on Glass Wine Bottles from China, Mexico and Chile

DOC, Treasury, DOJ, State, and DHS Issue Joint Compliance Note: Know Your Cargo

On December 11, 2023, the U.S. Departments of Commerce, State, Justice, Treasury and Homeland Security published a joint Quint-Seal Compliance Note, “Know Your Cargo: Reinforcing Best Practices to Ensure the Safe and Compliant Transport of Goods in Maritime and Other Forms of Transportation.”

The agencies highlight the increasingly complex nature of global supply chains and opportunities for nefarious actors to evade export control laws and U.S. sanctions. The note also highlights the responsibility of individuals and entities participating in the global transport of goods to assess their risk profile and implement compliance programs.

Potential Indicators of Efforts to Evade Sanctions and Export Controls

The note directs companies involved in funding and facilitating the transport of cargo to be aware of these practices that may suggest export control or sanctions evasion: 

  • Manipulating location or identification data
  • Falsifying cargo and vessel documents
  • Ship-to-ship transfers
  • Voyage irregularities and use of abnormal shipping routes
  • Frequent registration changes” that evade national provisions; and
  • Complex ownership or management

Recommended Compliance Practices

The note recommends that individuals and entities who participate in maritime and other transportation industries should implement and strengthen compliance controls as necessary, especially when operating in high-risk areas or when dealing with entities who demonstrate suspicious behavior. A non-exhaustive list of compliance practices includes:

  • Institutionalizing sanctions and export control programs
  • Establish location monitoring best practices and contractual requirements
  • Know your customer
  • Exercise supply chain due diligence
  • Industry information sharing

The note also encourages individuals and companies to report suspicious behavior to the relevant U.S. authorities.

Recent Activity to Combat the […]

By |2023-12-24T10:53:35-05:00December 24, 2023|Export, U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Department of State (DOS)|Comments Off on DOC, Treasury, DOJ, State, and DHS Issue Joint Compliance Note: Know Your Cargo

2022: A Year in Review

From all of us at Diaz Trade Law, we are immensely grateful for your support this year. While returning to a new normal post-pandemic, Diaz Trade Law still managed to save our clients MILLIONS of dollars in 2022. It is with great joy that we finish off 2022 filled with numerous achievements and accomplishments we are humbled to share with you. We look forward to assisting you in what we envision will be a better and brighter 2023!

Below we share some of our top 2022 success stories with you.

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Customs and Trade Law Weekly Snapshot

Here is a recap of the latest customs and international trade law news:

 

 

 

 

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