On March 31, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order calling for US CUstoms and Border Protection to increase its efforts to combat customs violations. One are of major focus is now transshipment frauds which involve disguising imports of country origin in order to evade the antidumping and duties. Goods are shipped to third nations of origin and are re-shipped to the US with documents designed to conceal the true nation of origin. Often there are false product markings. In one case involving Univar, the duties on imports of the artificial sweeteneer saccharin from the PRC were evaded by shipping through Taiwan, re-bagging and identifying it as from Taiwan. The whistleblower was a US saccharin distributor that competed with the violator which did a major investigation tracking the true country of origin. The whistleblower is allowed to receive between 15-30% of what the government recovers under The False Claims Act (FCA). As this law also calls for double or treble damages, the rewards can be quite substantial. To even the playing field for the U.S. the Department of Justice is hot on the trail of many companies trying to evade our customs duties.
Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers nation-wide.