Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Scrutiny on the Rise

Antidumping (ADD) and countervailing (CVD) duties have been a Priority Trade Issue for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for several years now, as they are responsible for collecting the AD/CVD duties on behalf of the Department of Commerce. Recently, CBP has ramped up their enforcement efforts with increased requests for information as well as programming efforts to combat AD/CVD non-compliance and duty evasion efforts by importers.

AD/CVD investigations are increasing

In 2014, there were a total of 297 active AD/CVD cases as reported by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC). According to the International Trade Administration (ITA), there are currently 675 active AD/CVD orders and 81 investigations for potential cases.

As more investigations are being initiated by either domestic parties or the U.S. government itself, importers need to be active to ensure they are monitoring potential cases that may impact their commodities. Importers can use the free USITC AD/CVD Search Tool to search active cases by case number, country, HTS number, or commodity.

CBP’s new national program for potentially non-complaint AD/CVD entries

On January 16, 2024, CBP implemented a national program to notify customs brokers of potentially non-compliant AD/CVD entries. C.H. Robinson collaborated with CBP to pilot this program as it was being developed.

CBP announced this program via CSMS Message 58721104, all brokers are required to review these messages and ensure the information transmitted in the entry is complete and compliant.

Specifically, CBP is targeting customs entries with:

  • Missing companion AD/CVD case: If both ADD and CVD orders cover the same merchandise from the same country, then both cases must be declared in the entry and duties paid for both. CBP is targeting entries that may have one case declared but not the other.
  • Improperly declared, company-specific case: CBP is reviewing the Manufacturer ID (MID) code declared in the entry when an exporter or producer specific rate is being declared to ensure the correct AD/CVD case and rate are being used.

Importers with goods subject to AD/CVD should work closely with their brokers to ensure the information submitted at time of entry is accurate and complete. Review the AD/CVD cases and party details, MID codes, and other entry details.

It is also important the ADD Non-Reimbursement Statement is completed and provided to your broker or uploaded in your Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Portal.

AD/CVD disclaims under careful examination 

Increased attention by CBP on entries that have disclaimed AD/CVD is putting importers in a position to defend their reasoning. Since AD/CVD evasion and duty collection remains a priority for CBP, there has been a surge in CBP Requests for Information (Customs Form CF28) regarding potentially inaccurate AD/CVD disclaims.

Be prepared to support the disclaim of AD/CVD duties on your merchandise if CBP requests information. An AD/CVD scope will provide specifications that detail what is considered “in scope” of an AD/CVD case as well as what goods are excluded from a case. HTS numbers are not dispositive, and importers should not rely on the HTS number as a determining factor of whether the goods are subject to these duties.

Additionally, arm your brokers with specific information as to why goods are not subject to AD/CVD at time of entry. A best practice would be to provide your customs brokers with specific details about the product that excludes it from the scope, such as materials used, measurements, and manufacturing details.

3 best practices to consider regarding AD/CVD

1. Educate yourself

Know what AD/CVD is and how your merchandise may be subject to AD/CVD duties. Start by reviewing our Antidumping & Countervailing Duties Webinar, it provides essential information every importer should know. You can also visit the ITA and USITC web resources to start your information gathering:

2. Connect with experts

Consult with your technical experts, like engineering and product development teams, suppliers, and other resources to gain specific knowledge of your goods and their specifications to help determine whether the commodities fall within an AD/CVD scope.

In addition to working with internal technical experts, you may also want to engage trade experts, like C.H. Robinson or trade attorneys, to help determine whether AD/CVD applies through non-binding reviews, binding scope rulings, and other processes.

3. Be prepared to support your case

If CBP requests information for potential AD/CVD, the timeframe to respond to the request is only 30 days. Often CBP requires a significant amount of information to be produced, including, but not limited to:

  • Product specification sheets
  • Manufacturing practices and records
  • Pictures or website links to the products
  • Bill of materials, components or ingredients, and purchase orders of those goods

Due to the amount of information required, starting on this step immediately is key. Having strong internal practices for your import programs is a great way to prepare before you are asked for this information.

A final word on importer preparedness

In conclusion, the escalating enforcement of AD/CVD duties by CBP underscores the importance of vigilance and strategic preparedness for importers. Navigating the complexities of international trade demands a proactive approach, and staying informed about evolving regulations is paramount. As we brace for heightened scrutiny, importers are urged to fortify compliance measures, engage in ongoing education, and leverage expert resources to ensure smooth experiences through the dynamic landscape of AD/CVD enforcement.

Stay informed

Developments in customs and trade continue to evolve—stay informed to be prepared:

Alyson Brinkman
Senior Manager Compliance
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