U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) determined Dominican company Kingtom Aluminio SRL evaded U.S. aluminum extrusion tariffs, according to a report filed on February 4 by Brian Hoxie, a director for CBP.
The report states that examining the record in the Enforce and Protect Act (EAPA) Investigation 7550, “CBP has determined there is substantial evidence that Kingtom Aluminio SRL entered merchandise covered by antidumping duty order A-570-967 and countervailing duty order C-570-968 on aluminum extrusions from China into the customs territory of the United States through evasion.” The report also says there is evidence proving Kingtom imported Chinese-origin extrusions that were either co-mingled or transshipped to the U.S. with a claimed country of origin as the Dominican Republic, and no cash deposits were applied to the merchandise at the time of entry as a result.
According to the report, Kingtom has a history of providing inaccurate information to CBP, leading the U.S. agency to find discrepancies throughout its investigation. The report adds that the company hadn’t complied with CBP’s request for information.
The investigation also determined that Kingtom has significant ties to China, stating that the company has indicated it is wholly owned by Chinese nationals located in the Dominican Republic. Additionally, Kingtom employed an undisclosed number of Chinese workers between 2016 and 2022. The report says their wages were paid in Chinese currency and deposited overseas to Chinese bank accounts because, according to Kingtom, they “do not need local currency.”
CBP looked into entries that occurred between January 8, 2020, through February 5, 2022, which “show that the timing and volume of Kingtom’s shipments of extrusions to the United States directly coincide with the Dominican Republic’s recognition and initiation of trade relations with China and indicate a marked increase in the volume of aluminum extrusions imported into the Dominican Republic from China, which exceeds the Dominican Republic’s consumption demands. Evidence shows that exports of aluminum extrusions from China to the Dominican Republic in 2019 [were] 38,618,990 pounds, which is a 10% increase from 2018, a 37% increase from 2017, and a 39% increase from 2016.”
CBP found “that Kingtom is a company owned by Chinese nationals, located in the Dominican Republic, run by Chinese workers, using Chinese supplies, Chinese equipment, and Chinese raw materials, which allows for potential transshipment or commingling of Chinese aluminum extrusions. Therefore, for the aforementioned reasons, CBP finds that Kingtom has definitive ties to China, and moreover, CBP is not able to confirm what Kingtom purchases from China, because of the conflicting information provided by Kingtom in the three investigations.”
Jeff Henderson, president of the Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) released a statement expressing his satisfaction with the investigation results.
“I want to thank the U.S. Customs and Border Protection for this excellent decision. In yet another victory for our industry, the AEC has made it clear: those that believe they can evade duties will be caught and prosecuted.”
Thank you AEC and CBP for your efforts. We know that a lot of people don’t play by the rules and many do not get caught. This is a big win for the “good guys” among us.