U.S. Customs rules U.S. importer Vivaldi evades duties on Chinese quartz products mislabeled as crushed glass

U.S. Customs and Border Protection preliminarily found that two major U.S. importers Vivaldi Commercial LLC and Vivaldi Interiors evaded duties when they imported quartz surface products of Chinese producer Xiamen Sunrise Stone Company Ltd by describing the merchandize as ECO Glass or slabs of crushed glass and failed to report that it was subject to duties. Cambria Company LLC, headquartered in Le Sueur, MN, provided information to the Government about the evasion.

In April 2018, Cambria initiated a petition before the Department of Commerce and the United States International Trade Commission alleging unfair trading of quartz surface products from China. At that time, dumped and subsidized Chinese quartz imports harmed American industry and workers by displacing over $1 billion per year of domestic product. Cambria’s successful petition resulted in U.S. Customs levying duties of up to 500% to halt the import of unfairly traded Chinese quartz into the U.S. marketplace.

This announcement by U.S. Customs confirms that there are U.S. importers who are falsely claiming that their quartz surfaces are not covered by the anti-dumping/countervailing duty (AD/CVD) orders because they are “crushed glass” surfaces. By making these false claims, unscrupulous importers are able to continue to import Chinese merchandise without paying the applicable AD/CVD duties.

Making false claims that imports are “crushed glass” surfaces is one way that importers evade the AD/CVD duties. Another way is through transshipment of Chinese merchandise through third countries. In March 2021, Customs initiated an investigation of fifteen importers involved in an evasion scheme where Chinese merchandise was transshipped through Malaysia before entering the United States without payment of the duties.

“The industry should now know that U.S. Customs and Cambria are fully aware of the ways that importers are undermining the AD/CVD duties that were imposed to stop illegal trade violating U.S. trade law and level the playing field for American companies like Cambria,” said Marty Davis, President and CEO of Cambria. “The enforcement actions that Customs has taken are just the tip of the iceberg, because we are bringing more evidence of evasion to the agency’s attention so that they can take additional enforcement action against these illegal evaders. Cambria will never stop fighting for U.S. businesses, American workers, and domestic manufacturing, and we appreciate the outstanding work by U.S. Customs in ensuring that Americans are able to compete on a fair and equal playing field.”

Evidence provided by Cambria as well as evidence gathered independently by U.S. Customs showed that the merchandise was covered by the scope of the AD/CVD orders and thus was subject to the duties.

Additional research by Cambria shows that a significant portion of the merchandise being imported from China as “crushed glass” surfaces is actually covered by the scope of the AD/CVD orders. Cambria continues to work with U.S. Customs to identify and hold responsible any foreign exporters and U.S. importers that are evading the AD/CVD duties through this or any other evasion scheme.

Following this initial determination, U.S. Customs has seven months to continue its investigation and determine appropriate penalties. Cambria is the leading domestic producer of quartz surface products. It is a family-owned, American company that employs more than 2,000 people in the United States.

JEFFREY NEWMAN REPRESENTS WHISTLEBLOWERS NATIONWIDE, INCLUDING IN CASES INVOLVING MAJOR TARIFF EVASION. HE CAN BE REACHED AT JNEWMAN@NEWMANSHAPIRO.COM OR BY CALLING 978-880-4758