U.S. Combats Illegal Circumvention Of Antidumping of Plastic Bags

U.S. Producers Of Plastic Grocery And Shopping Bags Applaud The U.S. Government's Continued Efforts To Combat Illegal Circumvention Of Antidumping Orders At The Court Of International Trade

Washington, DC (April 6, 2015) -- This release is issued by King & Spalding:

The U.S. Department of Justice recently filed two complaints at the U.S. Court of International Trade to collect evaded antidumping duties, and associated penalties, on entries of plastic bags. These complaints arose out of a joint effort by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (''Customs'') and the Department of Justice.

In U.S. v. Costar, Inc., the United States alleged that Costar misclassified entries of plastic bags from China under the incorrect Harmonized Tariff Schedule (''HTS'') number, transshipped the plastic bags through Hong Kong, and declared the shipments as consumption entries not subject to antidumping duties. The United States is seeking $879,987.44 in unpaid duties and an additional $1,759,974.88 in penalties, pursuant to 19 U.S.C. § 1592.

Similarly, in U.S. v. Six Star Wholesale, Inc., the United States alleged that Six Star misclassified imports of plastic bags from China under the incorrect HTS number and declared that the entries were not subject to antidumping duties. The United States is seeking $54,408.29 in unpaid antidumping duties and an additional $122,271.88 in penalties.

Joe Dorn, a partner at the law firm of King & Spalding and counsel to the coalition of U.S. plastic bag manufacturers that brought the antidumping petition, applauded the government's enforcement efforts. ''We appreciate the dedication and hard work of Customs and the Department of Justice that resulted in the filing of these two actions. It is clear that Customs officials are working hard to detect and eliminate schemes by importers to circumvent the antidumping and countervailing duty orders.'' Mr. Dorn also explained that ''there are stiff penalties for importers caught trying to avoid antidumping duties, and these new cases confirm that Customs actively is looking for importers who are attempting to circumvent the antidumping duty orders on imports of plastic bags.''

Currently, there are antidumping orders on plastic grocery and shopping bags from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. The purpose of the antidumping law is to offset the unfair competitive advantage that foreign exporters enjoy as a result of selling merchandise in the United States at less than fair value. The law is intended to provide relief to U.S. manufacturers and U.S. workers by requiring antidumping duties to be collected on the unfairly traded imports. The failure by importers to declare entries as being subject to an antidumping order undermines that relief and may result in severe civil or criminal penalties, including imprisonment.

For Further Information Contact:

    J. Michel Taylor, King & Spalding, (202) 626-2385, jmtaylor@kslaw.com

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