Mark A. Strauss Law PLLC Seeks Customs Fraud Whistleblowers With Information Regarding the Transshipment of Chinese-Produced Goods Through Other Countries to Evade U.S. Section 301 Tariffs
04/05/2022 | Business Wire
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mark A. Strauss Law PLLC, a whistleblower law firm, is encouraging customs fraud whistleblowers to contact whistleblower attorney Mark A. Strauss for a free consultation if they have information regarding the transshipment of Chinese-produced goods through other countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Taiwan to evade U.S. Section 301 tariffs. Whistleblowers stand to receive awards of 15%-30% of any recovery under the U.S. False Claims Act.
The U.S. imposes punitive Section 301 tariffs of up to 25% on more than $300 billion in Chinese imports, impacting hundreds of Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) categories in manufacturing, energy, technology, and other sectors. Many companies have lawfully circumvented these duties by relocating their manufacturing to countries other than China.
Other companies, however, are apparently illegally evading Section 301 tariffs through transshipment—the fraudulent practice of routing imports through third countries to disguise their true “county of origin.” Transshippers falsely relabel their goods as products of the third country, and misdeclare their origin to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). They may also conduct minor processing or finishing operations in the third country as a pretext for later claiming that the goods underwent “substantial transformation” there, which would make the redesignation of the origin country lawful.
Import duty evasion violates the False Claims Act, which imposes substantial liability on parties that defraud the U.S. government or its agencies like CBP. Customs fraud injures law-abiding importers and American taxpayers. The False Claims Act’s whistleblower—also known as qui tam—provisions authorize private parties to sue on behalf of the government and share in any recovery. Whistleblowers can be from any country.
Whistleblower lawyer Mark A. Strauss’ call for transshipment whistleblowers comes as the U.S. Commerce Department investigates whether imports of solar panels from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam are circumventing anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar materials. A California rival alleges producers in those countries are skirting the duties by assembling panels there using Chinese components.
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