Circumvention - Industry-Wide Actions Needed!
In recent weeks we have heard a number of reports of possible circumvention of the U.S. trade orders against certain Chinese aluminum extrusion exports into the United States. It is clear from two headline-grabbing news releases in the last few months that some Chinese exporters, and U.S. importers, of Chinese aluminum extrusions subject to U.S. tariffs will stop at nothing to circumvent the law to avoid paying U.S. duties. In the most recent case, several companies are under investigation for knowingly transshipping U.S. bound aluminum extrusions through Malaysia, and other third countries, to re-label merchandise for entry into the U.S., duty free. We continue to hear accounts of such wrongdoing in many areas of the country.
Furthermore, we are now seeing advertisements coming from China offering to sell aluminum extrusions. When asked how they can be competitive with large duties in place they have responded like this (actual copy and paste from email!):
â€œTo avaid the anti dumping duties, we have three method.
Let us try one products, like car rack aluminium profile,Just send me a section darw to make the quotation.â€
- Change the name to related profile.
- Show the low price on the invoice.
- Make the intermediary trade.
You, or your customers, could be led down a path with unintended consequences. Purchasing product like this will subject you to massive penalties, and even jail time, if you knowingly participate in attempting to fraudulently conceal and purposefully evade duties. In an article published earlier this year, one of the individuals under indictment in the Malaysia transshipment case told the press he was given every assurance, even in writing, from the Chinese exporter that all duties and tariffs were handled. Even so, he finds himself under investigation spending countless hours and legal fees in an attempt to avoid fines and potential imprisonment.
The AEC is working hard to confront these issues, but we need your help. If you should hear of such activity, or receive an email like the one described above, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your report will be treated with complete anonymity, unless you otherwise indicate. By creating a clearinghouse for such reports, we can begin to triangulate activities, funnel company names to Customs, and other actions as appropriate. Customs is overloaded with many activities at any one time and greatly appreciates, and is very responsive to, this type of support from the industry.
In May we will be posting an entry on our blog specifically dedicated to circumvention duty evasion issues. In that entry we will be discussing the whistleblower program, which was instrumental in exposing the circumvention in the Malaysia transshipment case. We encourage you to keep up with what is happening on this front, but in the meantime, stay vigilant by letting us know when you suspect foul play. While the AEC is watching this closely, what will be much more effective is the â€œeyes of the entire industryâ€ standing watch and protecting our future business.