MINNEAPOLIS — U.S. Customs and Border Protection has taken punitive action against several companies charged with violating U.S. trade laws by attempting to evade tariffs on quartz surface product imports from China, Cambria Company LLC announced last week.
The Le Sueur, MN-based manufacturer of quartz surface products said that Customs officials, taking action under The Enforce and Protect Act (EAPA), found that 15 U.S. importers were guilty of misclassifying, undervaluing and illegally transshipping Chinese quartz surface products through Malaysia in order to evade the payment of antidumping and countervailing (AD/CVD) duties. Days later, Customs cracked down on two additional importers for illegally misclassifying their imports of Chinese quartz surface products as “crushed glass” surfaces, said Cambria, which has charged numerous Chinese producers and exporters, several Malaysian companies involved in transshipping merchandise, and numerous importers with participating in the tariff-evasion efforts.
Customs will suspend the entries of quartz surface products by the importers subject to the agency’s investigation until it receives instructions from the U.S. Commerce Dept. as to the correct AD/CVD rates that should be applied to the entries, Cambria said. Duties will then be imposed.
“Customs should be commended for its efforts in digging into the facts of this evasion scheme to ensure that the U.S. importers that were involved are held accountable for their illegal activity,” said Luke Meisner of Schagrin Associates, Cambria’s legal counsel. “Enforcement action in this investigation targets an unprecedented large number of U.S. importers and should send a clear signal to the industry that evaders can and will be caught.”
“This illegal evasion of the antidumping and countervailing duties on quartz surface products will not be tolerated,” said Arik Tendler, chief sales officer for Cambria. “Customs’ aggressive actions are important because they hold these importers accountable for their illegal evasion, deter other importers from engaging in similar evasion tactics, and ensure that the domestic industry receives the relief to which it is entitled under the U.S. trade laws.”