U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., has introduced the Customs Training Enhancement Bill, which is intended to facilitate the sharing of information between the private sector and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to allow the U.S. government to better identify foreign companies that illegally avoid customs duties.
“Blatant cheating by foreign firms has become more widespread at a time when American employers and workers are already at a serious disadvantage,” Lipinski said in a written statement. “The Customs Training Enhancement Act offers a commonsense approach by allowing impacted industries to provide our Customs agents the critical intelligence they need to spot the cheaters.”
Rep. Lipinski said that since 2001, importers and exporters of goods into the U.S. have avoided paying $600 million in duties, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Foreign companies have avoided duties by misclassifying and undervaluing products or by shipping goods from one country to another on their way to the U.S. in order to disguise the country of origin, he said.
Under this bill, Customs would be required to seek out companies and trade groups that have information that can identify misrepresented shipments.