On February 8, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) made final determinations that Blue Star Global, Inc. d.b.a. Blue Star Casting of Glendale California and Lino International Inc. of Flushing New York have been evading U.S. antidumping and countervailing orders on cast iron soil pipe and fittings from China by claiming that their imports had been produced in Cambodia by Hicreek Plumbing Co., Ltd.
CBP found that Hicreek was set up by Chinese pipe and fittings exporters to disguise the origin of the products. CBP’s investigators nevertheless were able to trace shipments of pipe and fittings from China through Hicreek to Blue Star and Lino and went on location in Cambodia to discover that Hicreek was not producing these products as claimed. CBP further found that Lino was an active agent in the evasion and had been making misleading statements to its customers, including Blue Star, regarding imported products. CBP also discovered that Lino set up an additional shell corporation in New York in an attempt to hide from CBP further imports from Hicreek.
Imports by Blue Star and Lino will be subject to the antidumping and anti-subsidy duties imposed on cast iron soil pipe and fittings from China, and there may be further penalties and charges according to CBP’s rulings.
“We applaud U.S. Customs and Border Protection for their hard work and diligent efforts to stop cheating and evasion of U.S. antidumping and countervailing duties on cast iron soil pipe and fittings from China,” stated David Parney, Executive Director of the Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute (CISPI). “We brought these cases in order to protect the U.S. industry and its workers from unfairly traded imports, and it is critical to ensure that these orders are not evaded through false claims that Chinese pipe and fittings were made in Cambodia. CISPI supports strong actions against this evasion and will continue to work with Customs to take action against other evasion schemes.”
These investigations into the transshipment of Chinese merchandise to avoid U.S. fair trade laws occurred under the Enforce and Protect Act, which provides enhanced tools to CBP to investigate evidence of evasion of U.S. duties. The investigations into Blue Star and Lino’s actions were initiated from information submitted by CISPI that alerted CBP to the evasion earlier this year.