Issues First Final Determination of Evasion against a U.S. Importer

On August 14, CBP issued its first final determination in an Enforce and Protect Act of 2015 (EAPA) investigation, finding substantial evidence that wire hangers were imported through evasion. The agency determined the hangers were transshipped by Eastern Trading NY Inc. (Eastern Trading) from China through Thailand in order to evade antidumping duties.

The case was initiated by CBP on October 11, 2016, as a result of an allegation submitted by M&B Metal Products Company (M&B Metal), the sole remaining U.S. producer of wire hangers. On December 13, 2016, the agency issued a notice of initiation of an investigation and notified the parties of its decision to take interim measures based on reasonable suspicion that Eastern Trading imported the merchandise into the U.S. through evasion.

 Initiates Eight New Evasion Investigations against U.S. Wire Hanger Importers

As a result of CBP's action, M&B Metal filed an additional eight allegations of evasion concerning the transshipment of wire hangers through Malaysia. CBP conducted eight on-site visits in Malaysia to investigate the new allegations. It found no production of wire hangers at any of the locations, and therefore concluded there was a reasonable suspicion the wire hangers were imported through evasion, instead of being produced in Malaysia, as claimed upon entry.

On August 17, CBP issued a consolidated notice for the decision on interim measures in those investigations. The notice of the final determination for these investigations is due March 15, 2018, if the investigations are not extended.

 Investigates California Furniture Company for Evasion of Wooden Bedroom Furniture Duties

In April, the American Furniture Manufacturers Committee for Legal Trade (AMFC) filed an evasion allegation against Aspects Furniture International, Inc. of Chino Hills, CA. On August 14, CBP issued a notice of interim measures on its investigation into the company for evading AD duties on wooden bedroom furniture. The notice indicated the agency "was already reviewing Aspects' entries, covering the entire calendar year of 2016, for potential evasion of AD duties before AFMC's allegation was filed." CBP expanded the scope of their investigation to include the new allegation.

In this environment, it is more important than ever for companies to ensure that they are importing from reliable manufacturers and sources.