US Customs Finds Dominican Company Kingtom Aluminio Guilty of Evading Tariffs

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has determined that Dominican company Kingtom Aluminio SRL evaded U.S. aluminum extrusion tariffs, according to a report filed by Brian Hoxie, a CBP director.

“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,” says the report. It 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. That 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. It indicated 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.”

Bird-Safety Glass Act Now Law in Illinois

The start of 2022 marked a positive beginning for birds in, and migrating through, Illinois. According to the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors, a volunteer conservation project, an estimated billion birds die and are injured each year in North America due to window collisions. A bird-friendly act took effect in Illinois on January 1, 2022, in hopes of reducing the number or bird fatalities.

The act explains the standards for 90% of façade materials from the ground level to 40 feet of a structure should use secondary facades, netting, screens, shutters and exterior shades to mitigate bird collisions and not obscure vision from inside. The glass used in this part of the façade must be opaque, etched, stained, frosted or translucent. If not, it has to be “ultraviolet (UV) patterned glass that contains UV-reflective or contrasting patterns that are visible to birds, patterns on glass designed in accordance with a rule that restricts horizontal spaces to less than 2 inches high and vertical spaces to less than 4 inches wide.”

On areas of the façade above 40 feet, 60% of the exposed material must follow these standards. Additionally, there cannot be any transparent corners and any glass adjacent to atria or courtyards containing water features, plants and any other materials that birds could find attractive must also meet the standards.

According to the act, “the requirements… shall only apply to State buildings under the management or control of the Department [Bureau of Property Management], but does not include buildings leased by the Department.”

The legislation also allows the director of the Bureau of Property Management to take necessary actions to ensure bird mortality is monitored at each state building. Additionally, it does not apply to buildings or sites listed, or eligible for listing, on the National Register of Historic Places; the Governor’s Mansion; the state’s Supreme Court Building, the Old State Capitol Building in Springfield, Ill.; the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Illinois State Capitol Building.

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