US CBP collects US$2.5b in tariffs on goods
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin McAleenan has told the CBP 2018 Trade Symposium in Atlanta that the agency has collected more than US$2
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin McAleenan has told the CBP 2018 Trade Symposium in Atlanta that the agency has collected more than US$2.5 billion in Section 201, Section 232 and Section 301 duties since those trade remedies were respectively implemented.
CBP executive director for Trade Policy and Programmes John Leonard said during a session with the media at the symposium that CBP has collected $2 billion worth of Section 232 duties on steel and aluminum, $477 million worth of Section 301 duties on various goods from China and $263 million worth of Section 201 duties imposed on solar cells and washing machines, including washer parts.
Section 232 metal duties took effect for most countries on March 23, expanding to include Canada, Mexico and the EU on July 1. Section 301 duties on China started on July 6 while Section 201 tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) on solar cells and modules and washing machines and washer parts started on February 7.
The TRQ for washer parts has been filled since July 23, according to CBP's most recent quota status report.
Mr Leonard said CBP is looking into transshipment in the context of Section 301 duty evasion, noting that enforcing against such actions is difficult and requires vast resources.
'China is subject to the tariff, he said. 'A country like Malaysia is not - or Thailand. So, what they'll do is take the Chinese good and transship it through Malaysia, remark the goods - it might stay in a Malaysian free trade zone or port for a couple weeks - and then they ship it to America and say its country of origin is Malaysia and avoid paying the duty. However, we know its country of origin is China.
Depending on the importance of the case, CBP will conduct in-country verifications as part of its enforcement activities. Yet it's too early to definitively comment on any trends in Section 301 duty evasion, Mr Leonard said. 'But it's something we're prepared to have enforcement on.
CBP conducts Enforce and Protect Act (EAPA) investigations to investigate whether goods are being transshipped to evade duties, but EAPA only applies to antidumping and countervailing duty evasion and not evasion of other duties, Mr Leonard said.
The agency is implementing a Section 232 duty-exclusion process through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), which shows CBP that a shipment is not subject to duty, reports American Shipper.
'It adds extra work and complexity because we have to make sure that it's legitimate and are you the one that really has this [exclusion] letter, and we're taking steps to do that,' Mr Leonard said.
'We really haven't started this in earnest yet; it's just begun. So, we'll see how it plays out, he added.