Bonding requirement ends
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.