ANNOUNCEMENT 24 Apr 2012In April 2012, the US government intervened in a private lawsuit related to the enforcement of trade defence duties.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
See the hyperlinked material and the Washington Trade Report (http://www.washingtontradereport.com).
The U.S. Department of Justice has intervened in a case that a private whistleblower has brought under the False Claims Act (FCA) against alleged evasion of the anti-dumping and countervailing duty laws. The results of this case could encourage private individuals and the United States in the collection of unpaid anti-dumping and countervailing duty entries. The FCA (31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-33) permits claims against those who have falsely claimed Federal funds or made misrepresentations to avoid paying funds owed to the government. On April 24, 2012 the United States intervened in a lawsuit against a Japanese company, Toyo Ink Manufacturing Co. Ltd., and its U.S. subsidiaries alleging that they misrepresented the country of origin of imported products to avoid anti-dumping duties. While the vast majority of FCA cases are in the health care and defense contracting industries, the law is broad enough to cover customs fraud and the United States' intervention in this case is consistent with efforts to recover unpaid anti-dumping duties. The Toyo suit was filed in October, 2009 by whistleblower John Dickson in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina. The suit alleges that the Toyo companies 'knowingly misrepresented the country or origin on documents presented to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to avoid paying anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imports of the colorant carbazole violet pigment number 23 (CVP-23).' Department of Justice Press Release. Imports of CVP-23 from India and China have been subject to anti-dumping and countervailing duties since 2004. The suit states that Toyo claimed that Japan and Mexico were the countries of origin for the imported products. Apparently the Chinese and Indian CVP-23 underwent finishing processes in Japan and Mexico, but the complaint alleges that these processes were not sufficient to change the country of origin. Thus, the origin should have been claims as China or India and anti-dumping and countervailing duties should have been paid.