U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner (CBP) Robert C. Bonner acted today to ensure the collection of duties by announcing new guidelines for determining bond requirements for importers of agriculture/aquaculture merchandise who may be importing and selling products for less than the cost of manufacturing them, a practice known as "dumping".
"In addition to our priority anti-terrorism mission, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the second largest revenue generating agency for the United States. We are charged not only with the protection of our nation's revenue through the collection of duties at our borders, but we are also partially responsible for ensuring that American business is competing on a level playing field," stated Commissioner Bonner. "These new guidelines are necessary to allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection to be more proactive in ensuring the collection of all appropriate antidumping and countervailing duties."
Anti-dumping cases are brought against companies who export merchandise into the U.S. and sell products for less than manufacturing and shipping costs. This practice is illegal and damages the fair market for similar items sold in the U.S.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is responsible for the collection of antidumping duties set by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). CBP collects the initial antidumping deposits on agriculture and aquaculture merchandise at the border. Once the Department of Commerce determines the final antidumping duty rate for the merchandise, CBP is required to collect the additional duties. The time between CBP's initial collection and final liquidation of duties can take an average of 18 months. Some companies are unwilling or unable to pay the additional duties due to the significant increase in costs and lengthy processing time. To streamline the process, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has amended surety bond guidelines so that collection of duties are timely and complete.
The amended U.S. Customs and Border Protection guidelines, Customs Directive 99-3510-004, will address CPB's ability to ensure collection of the revenue that is due to the U.S. Treasury. In general, CBP will determine continuous bond amounts for agriculture/aquaculture antidumping cases based on a company's potential antidumping liability using the value of import for the previous year. Final bond amounts will be set based on the revenue risk.
Periodic reviews will be conducted to monitor whether the bonds are sufficient and CBP may adjust the rates to calculate different bond amounts as circumstances warrant. One of the primary goals of bond sufficiency is ensuring CBP's ability to collect the antidumping and countervailing duties at liquidation and ensuring that the revenue is protected.
This action will not alter DOC requirements to post cash deposits or a single entry bond for antidumping duty. In addition, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue to monitor antidumping and countervailing duty cases for all commodities. If CBP determines any comparable risk with other commodities, a similar review of bond coverage will be performed.
Importers of agriculture or aquaculture merchandise currently subject to or potentially subject to antidumping or countervailing duty cases may wish to review their records to determine if their current bond coverage is adequate.