ASPA criticizes customs for failing to collect duties


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
July 21, 2014

The American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA) testified before a United States Senate committee last week that shortfalls in antidumping duty collections and trade-enforcement circumventions are harming United States fishermen.

Edward T. Hayes, partner of Leake & Andersson LLP and legal counsel to ASPA, told the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee that unpaid duties on seafood alone account for about 40 percent, or USD 689 million (EUR 509.7 million), of the more than USD 1.7 billion (EUR 1.25 billion) in unpaid antidumping and countervailing duties since 2001.

ASPA lauded committee chairman Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) for bringing attention to the duty-collection shortfalls at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

“We commend Chairman Landrieu for this hearing that highlights trade duty collection difficulties for shrimp and other U.S. industries and shows her keen interest in leveling the playing field for Gulf shrimp processors, shrimpers, and docks,” said David Veal, executive director of ASPA. “We look forward to working with her and Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran to correct the egregious transshipment and duty evasion practices of our foreign competitors.”

Hayes spoke at length about Louisiana’s shrimp and crawfish industries and condemned transshipping, a commonly used method for avoiding import tarrifs.

“We also thank Chairman Landrieu for directing Customs to report on cash deposit requirements for new shipper reviews,” says Hayes. “Currently, a new exporter or producer enjoys the privilege to post bonds rather than cash deposits pending a new shipper review. This should be abolished.”

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