U.S. Department of Commerce Requests U.S. Customs and Border Protection to Investigate Evasion of Antidumping Duties

In a letter issued Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) informed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that “[i]t has come to the attention of [Commerce] that evasion of antidumping duties may be occurring on imports of certain frozen warmwater shrimp from the People’s Republic of China.”  The letter accompanied the transmittal of non-public, business proprietary information amassed by Commerce in the course of the agency’s conduct of the eighth administrative review intended “to assist the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (‘DHS’) with an investigation into such concerns . . .”


Summarizing the material sent to CBP, Commerce explained that “[t]he documents suggest that a respondent in our administrative review transshipped subject merchandise to its U.S. importer via a third country and that the U.S. importer entered the goods into the United States as Type 01 entries from that third country.”  Based on this evidence, Commerce requested that the agency “would like your office to review these documents and any relevant DHS documents.”


Commerce’s letter is the latest development regarding a Chinese shrimp exporter, Zhanjiang Newpro Foods Ltd., that ultimately declined to answer questions from the agency or participate further in the eighth administrative review of the antidumping duty order on Chinese shrimp.  In that proceeding, the Ad Hoc Shrimp Trade Action Committee developed and submitted analysis raising concerns regarding Newpro’s participation in the U.S. market.


“Commerce’s letter is a timely reminder that fraudulent trade is not without risk,” said John Williams, Executive Director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance.  “Over the last several years, the Southern Shrimp Alliance has worked closely with federal law enforcement agencies to identify and counter import fraud.  The fact that our government has taken this problem seriously has been a huge contributing factor to the improvements we’ve seen in the U.S. shrimp market.”


As the result of its refusal to participate, imports of frozen, non-breaded shrimp from Newpro are currently subject to a 112.81% antidumping duty cash deposit rate.  In response to this requirement, Newpro’s transition to supplying other markets has been difficult.  Australia’s Department of Agriculture reports that in September, the Biosecurity division of that agency detected either ciprofloxacin or enrofloxacin in thirteen different shipments of shrimp from Newpro.  Australia’s government also reported findings of either enrofloxacin or nitrofurans (or both) in four prior shipments of shrimp from Newpro earlier in the year.


Read the public version of Commerce’s November 14, 2014 letter to CBP here:


Read about the Final Results issued by Commerce regarding the

Eighth Administrative Review of the antidumping duty orders on Chinese shrimp here:



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