Wednesday, August 11, 2010

U.S. Importer Hung Up On Hangars

It’s unusual to read about importers getting caught doing bad things, but recently, a U.S. importer of steel wire garment hangers was arrested and charged with fraud, smuggling and other charges related to the importation of the hangers.

Arturo Huizar-Velazquez and Jesus de La Torre-Escobara allegedly imported Chinese-made hangers to the U.S. via a third country, claiming the third country as the country of origin to avoid payment of dumping duties imposed on hangers manufactured in China. If convicted, Huizar-Velazquez and de La Torre-Escobar face maximum prison terms of five to 20 years per count, various fines and the payment of any applicable dumping duties.

Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) introduced S.3725 to reduce the evasion of U.S. import duties by certain importers. The Enforcing Orders & Reducing Circumvention & Evasion (ENFORCE) Act of 2010 will provide the International Trade Commission (ITC) and U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) additional resources to combat schemes to avoid payment of dumping duties. The act will facilitate more cooperation and information sharing between Customs and the ITC and create a faster response timeline for investigation of alleged violations. The ENFORCE Act would give the U.S. government 60 days, after an allegation of evasion is presented, to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to believe an importer is attempting to evade an AD/CVD order. If an affirmative preliminary determination is made, the ENFORCE Act would require collection of AD/CVD duties in cash until the investigation is concluded.

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