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US Customs Extends Duty Evasion Rules Consultation

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

24 October 2016

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has published a notice in the Federal Register extending the comment period on the interim final rules that set out procedures for the agency to investigate claims of the evasion of US anti-dumping (AD) and anti-subsidy countervailing duty (CVD) orders.

The interim final rules were originally issued on August 22, with a period of consultation to October 21, 2016. The comment period has now been extended for a further 60 days.

In extending the comment period, the agency noted that, "with the goal of establishing the most effective and transparent procedures as possible for CBP to employ to investigate claims of evasion of AD and CVD orders, CBP believes that it is very important to have as much public participation as possible in the formulation of the final rule that establishes those procedures."

In accordance with the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, which was passed by Congress in February this year, CBP is responsible for ensuring that the appropriate duties are collected. However, it has previously been accused of not pursuing duty evasion complaints in a rigorous manner.

CBP must now initiate an investigation as a result of a petition from an interested party or a referral from another federal agency within 15 days. It is then required to determine, usually not later than 300 days after the date of initiation of an investigation, whether there is substantial evidence that merchandise covered by an AD/CVD order has entered into the United States through evasion.

The agency is also required, no later than five business days after making a determination, to communicate that decision to the interested party who made the allegation that initiated the evasion investigation; and provide a period of 30 business days for parties to request an administrative review. Not later than 60 business days after the filing of such a request for the review of an initial determination, CBP must issue its final decision.

However, so as to ensure that appropriate duties can be enforced as early as possible while the agency continues its full investigation, CBP is also given 90 days after an investigation has begun to make a preliminary determination as to whether there exists "reasonable suspicion" to believe that merchandise subject to an allegation entered through evasion.

TAGS: compliance | tax | business | tax compliance | law | anti-dumping | legislation | trade disputes | United States | import duty | legislation amendments | trade

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