Options for Collecting Revenues on Liquidated Entries of Merchandise Evading Antidumping and Countervailing Duties

GAO-12-131R: Published: Nov 2, 2011. Publicly Released: Nov 2, 2011.

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The United States imposes antidumping and countervailing (AD/CV) duties to remedy unfair foreign trade practices that cause injury to domestic industries. Evasion of AD/CV duties weakens protections for U.S. industry and reduces U.S. revenues. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sometimes detects such evasion after the merchandise has been "liquidated," i.e., the goods have entered commerce and the agency has completed processing the entry. Congress requested that we examine CBP's options for attempting to collect revenues in such cases. In this report, we examine (1) options available to CBP to assess revenues on entries of goods subject to AD/CV duties that entered the United States through evasion and have already been liquidated and (2) factors that affect the amount of revenues collected by CBP through the use of these options.

CBP has three options for assessing revenues on liquidated entries brought in through evasion of AD/CV duties: reliquidation, duty demands, and penalties. Two factors that can influence which of these options CBP will use in a given instance are (1) how much time has elapsed since the entry was liquidated and (2) whether Commerce has issued liquidation instructions conveying the applicable final duty rate. Two key factors affect the amount of revenues CBP collects on liquidated entries brought in through evasion of AD/CV duties. First, the amount of duties or penalties CBP ultimately collects may be lower than the amount initially assessed, due to successful protest or petition by the importer. Second, CBP faces difficulty in collecting revenues from importers that may be unscrupulous, difficult to locate, or outside of U.S. jurisdiction

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