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CBP Finds Evasion Didn't Occur for First Time in EAPA Final Determination

CBP didn't find "substantial evidence" to demonstrate that glycine importer Newtrend USA evaded an antidumping duty order, the agency said in a final determination posted Oct. 4. The finding, which is dated Sept. 25, seems to be the first time CBP did not find evidence of evasion under CBP's Enforce and Protect Act process. CBP began its investigation following an allegation filed by Salvi Chemical Industries in 2018 (see 1903180021) that said Newtrend USA used transshipment through Thailand to avoid AD order A-570-836 on glycine from China.

CBP performed an "onsite verification at Newtrend Thailand's facility" as part of the agency's investigation, it said. "Because the allegation involved the transshipment of Chinese-origin glycine through Thailand, CBP’s focus at the verification was to examine whether Newtrend Thailand could have produced the quantity of glycine that Newtrend USA imported," the agency said. CBP verified that Newtrend Thailand "had the capacity to produce both crude and finished glycine," the agency said. In addition, "CBP’s examination of the production-related documentation established that Newtrend Thailand manufactured both the crude and finished glycine sold to Newtrend USA, and did not reveal any facts or discrepancies indicating that Newtrend Thailand did not produce the glycine."

Based on the site visit and other information on the record, "CBP finds that substantial evidence does not exist to determine that Newtrend USA entered Chinese-origin glycine, either in crude or finished form, into the customs territory of the United States through evasion," it said. Salvi's lawyer, Lizbeth Levinson of Fox Rothschild, said by email that "while we are disappointed in CBP' s decision, we note that the [Commerce Department] has imposed duties on Newtrend's imports of over 200 percent. So we have obtained the relief we sought." Commerce is currently set to issue an AD duty order on glycine from Thailand (see 1909190039), and set a 227.17% AD rate for Newtrend Thailand in its August final determination (see 1908060033),

Newtrend's lawyer, Randy Rucker at Drinker Biddle, said in an email that the company is "extremely pleased with the result and feels vindicated by CBP’s finding of no evasion." During the investigation, "the company maintained that the allegations against it were unfounded," he said. "I believe this is the first time that an importer was hit with interim measures under EAPA and then received a finding of no evasion. This is certainly one of the only EAPA cases where CBP found no evasion (if not the only one) after a full investigation."