Customs agents track routing of illegally imported quartz countertops

Sources: CB Build Enterprises, Salt Lake City, Utah; CP staff

The U.S Customs and Border Protection Agency has determined that Utah-based Superior Commercial Solutions LLC evaded anti-dumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) by illegally trans-shipping quartz countertops or quartz surface products (QSP) by means of material false statements or omissions. An agency report notes, “There is substantial record evidence that SCS entered covered merchandise through evasion. As SCS concedes in its administrative review request, the record provides substantial evidence that SCS entered Chinese-origin QSP (i.e., merchandise covered by the AD/CVD Orders) that was trans-shipped through Vietnam into the United States. SCS did not make AD/CVD deposits on these shipments, and declared them as type ’01’ entries, not subject to AD/CVD duties. This was false and, thus, the record supports a finding of evasion.”

SCS imports and installs quartz countertops, along with cabinetry, for commercial or residential building developers and contractors. Based on publicly available information, it appears that SCS will be liable for roughly $3.5 million in AD/CVD as a result of the agency finding. Industry observers note that the determination could also have financial impacts on certain SCS accounts. 

“Our company and many of our customers have been aware of this situation for some time and the negative impact it has had on the Utah countertop supply industry,” says Chad Brown, general counsel at CP Build Enterprises, a supplier of interior finishes for commercial construction projects. “We’re even aware of one contractor who, knowing SCS was under federal investigation, decided to proceed with ordering anyway in spite of the known risk. We’ll have to see if that works out for them.”

The case was brought to the attention of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency by quartz countertop manufacturer Cambria Company LLC of LeSuer, Minn. Cambria CEO Marty Davis has been outspoken on the issue of free and fair trade policies and played a critical role in leveling the playing field for the domestic quartz countertops industry. Illegal dumping of Chinese goods is a significant and growing problem in the United States, the company contends, and has negative ramifications for U.S. jobs, wages, price of goods, plus health and safety consequences. Illegal activity likewise poses risks of penalty for purchasers of the goods, in this case, developers and general contractors ordering the countertops.

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