Bonding requirement ends


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
March 31, 2009

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced in the Federal Register on Wednesday that it is discontinuing its enhanced bonding requirement (EBR), as mandated by a World Trade Organization ruling.
Shrimp importers subject to the EBR may request termination of any existing continuous bonds, said the agency.
Wednesday's announcement came just over a year after a WTO panel determined that the EBR violated international trade law, upholding a complaint brought in 2006 by Thailand and India, two of the six Asian and South American countries subject to U.S. antidumping tariffs for shrimp.
CBP - the U.S. government's No. 2 revenue-generating agency - enacted the EBR in 2004 to prevent tariff evasion. But the measure was applied to only shrimp, a product with no history of tariff evasion at the time. Shrimp exporters went from paying a USD 50,000 (EUR 37,800) bond annually to a bond totaling hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars, money that's tied up for a year or more.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office reported in 2006 that the EBR's "degree of success cannot be known yet."
CBP announced in mid-January that it is accepting public comment through 11 February and then issuing a final notice soon after, at which point the EBR will no longer be mandated.

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