Import Duties:

Assessment of Duties on Unfairly Priced Imports Not Reviewed

GGD-89-124: Published: Sep 29, 1989. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Customs Service's and Commerce Department's administration of antidumping and countervailing duty assessment procedures, focusing on: (1) whether Commerce is effectively using Customs duty estimates to assess the established amounts; and (2) Customs' reporting accuracy and the content of the Commerce-established duties.

GAO found that: (1) about 30 percent of the commodity entries it reviewed had reporting discrepancies, largely because of Customs data entry problems; (2) because of reporting errors, Commerce did not effectively review Customs' duty assessments; (3) Customs officials expressed their intention to improve report accuracy through automation improvements; (4) Customs plans to establish a task force to consolidate guidance on reporting procedures; and (5) Customs officials were not reporting data needed for verifying duty settlement amounts, but neither agency studied the feasibility of collecting those data.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Customs and Commerce officials stated programming problems affecting the accuracy of AD/CVD transactions have been corrected and semiannual reports are provided to Commerce.

    Recommendation: To enhance the administration of antidumping duty and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) laws, the Secretary of the Treasury should direct the Commissioner of Customs to ensure that accurate reports are provided to Commerce. In doing so, Customs should implement existing plans, such as instituting computerized control checks, and test the reports' accuracy after these changes to determine whether further improvements are needed.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The precise recommendation has been achieved and the team determined that information on final settlement amounts by commodity should be collected.

    Recommendation: To enhance the administration of antidumping duty and countervailing duty laws, the Secretaries of Commerce and the Treasury should designate a team from their agencies to determine the feasibility of collecting additional data needed to review antidumping and countervailing duty settlements.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The precise recommendation has been achieved and the team determined that information on final settlement amounts by commodity should be collected.

    Recommendation: To enhance the administration of antidumping duty and countervailing duty laws, the Secretaries of Commerce and the Treasury should designate a team from their agencies to determine the feasibility of collecting additional data needed to review antidumping and countervailing duty settlements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Commerce

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: A team of Commerce and Customs staff has established procedures for using Customs' reports on AD/CVD collections to ensure that established amounts of duties have been assessed on individual entries. Procedures to be followed include checks on the accuracy of collections reported.

    Recommendation: To enhance the administration of antidumping duty and countervailing duty laws, the Secretary of Commerce should establish procedures for using Customs' reports, to the extent possible, to ensure that the established amount of estimated antidumping and countervailing duties are assessed on individual entries.

    Agency Affected: Department of Commerce

 

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