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Garlic Importer Facing EAPA Investigation

CBP is investigating whether IPC International evaded antidumping duties on garlic from China, according to an Enforce and Protect Act notice posted on Sept. 11. IPC is alleged to have evaded AD duty order A-570-831 on fresh garlic from China, CBP said in the notice, which is dated July 12. The allegation came from Kelley Drye lawyer Michael Coursey on behalf of the Fresh Garlic Producers Association (FGPA).

The FGPA filed the initial allegation in December last year, CBP said. While IPC claims that its imported garlic is allowed a lower AD rate because the garlic is produced by Jinxiang Zhongtian Business Company and exported by Shijiazhuang Goodman Trading Co. (see 1707240001), the FGPA said that's not true for all of the imported garlic. "According to FGPA’s allegation, Zhongtian lacks the requisite capacity to produce all of the garlic exported by Goodman to IPC," CBP said.

Following the allegations, CBP found some discrepancies in the responses from IPC to the agency's requests for information, it said. Among other things, the pictures provided by IPC show garlic processing equipment used by Zhongtian is "pristinely clean, appearing unused," CBP said. Also, the Environmental Protection Bureau of Jinxiang County, China, said in 2018 that Zhongtian was able to produce far less garlic than the amount claimed by Goodman and IPC, CBP said.

Based on the evidence, there's reasonable suspicion that the companies evaded AD order A-570-831. CBP said it will implement interim measures, including rate adjustments and suspended liquidations for unliquidated entries under investigation, meaning "any entry that has entered on or after April 8, 2019, the date of initiation for the investigation."