Expanding the Order to Cover “Dusted” Shrimp

Commerce created a significant loophole in the effectiveness of the antidumping duty orders by excluding so-called “dusted shrimp” from the duties. Commerce defined this product as shelled, individually quick frozen shrimp, dusted with between four and ten percent flour.
The SSA has opposed the exclusion as a sham that makes getting around the duties simple because the “dusting” is easily removed after purchase, leaving a typical, frozen shrimp.
After a successful appeal of an unfavorable decision by the CIT to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on July 1, 2009, the CIT rejected Commerce’s exclusion of “dusted” shrimp from the scope of the antidumping duty investigations and sent the issue back to the agency for further consideration. Based on the arguments presented by the SSA, the CIT held that Commerce failed to provide any valid reason sufficient to support the agency’s exclusion of “dusted” shrimp. Commerce’s reconsideration of the issue led the agency to conclude that “dusted” shrimp had been improperly excluded from the scope of the investigation. However, Commerce also held that it was without authority to include dusted shrimp in the scope of the antidumping duty order without additional action by the U.S. International Trade Commission. Commerce’s remand determination is currently before the CIT and a decision on the validity of the agency’s new findings is expected early in 2010.
Closure of this loophole is an important step in preventing additional volumes of dumped shrimp from entering the U.S. market and harming the domestic industry. However, the abuse of the “dusted” shrimp exclusion to circumvent antidumping duties has declined substantially over the last few years as the result of significant enforcement actions taken by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to curb the unlawful scheme.

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