In September 2018, Salvi Chemical Industries Ltd. (“Salvi”) submitted an anonymous whistleblower complaint to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) requesting that CBP commence a formal investigation of Newtrend USA under Title IV, Section 421 of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, commonly referred to as the Enforce and Protect Act (“EAPA”). The complaint alleged that Newtrend USA evaded payment of U.S. antidumping duties by transshipping Chinese-origin glycine through its Thai affiliate. The Drinker Biddle team assisted Newtrend USA in responding to numerous requests for information involving the operating, financial, and accounting records of Newtrend Thailand and Newtrend USA and assisted it in an intensive CBP on-site audits at its affiliate in Thailand. CBP’s recent decision validated that Newtrend USA was not involved in any transshipment scheme and that the allegations by its competitor were completely false.
Despite several EAPA investigations being conducted since the passage of the EAPA statute in 2017, this is the only instance in which a company has successfully proven that it was not involved in a transshipment scheme. Therefore, not only is this a huge victory for the client, but a significant accomplishment for the Drinker Biddle team.