Federal Circuit - Effect of liquidation extensions in pending transshipment investigations 

June 24: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today affirmed the trade court’s findings that it lacked jurisdiction with respect to investigations of possible transshipments of citric acid from China through other countries. The court concluded that the importers could not challenge the liquidation extensions without first filing a post-liquidation protest. Chemsol LLC v. United States, 2013-1402, -1403 (Fed. Cir. June 24, 2014)

Read the Federal Circuit’s 18-page decision [PDF 126 KB]

Summary

At issue in this case were 19 entries of citric acid “purportedly” imported from the Dominican Republic and India. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) opened an investigation to determine whether Chinese citric acid was being transshipped through other countries to avoid antidumping duties (ADD) and countervailing duties (CVD) that would otherwise apply to imports of citric acid from China.


To allow time for CBP to complete the transshipment investigations, CBP extended the deadlines for liquidation of the entries (with the entries not being liquidated). In response, the importers filed suit in the U.S. Court of International Trade seeking a declaration that the liquidation extensions were unlawful and that the entries were “deemed” liquidated by operation of law.


Before the trade court, the government moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, asserting that the importers first had to challenge the extensions by means of a post-liquidation protest—after which they could seek judicial review. The trade court agreed with the government that it did not have jurisdiction, and granted the government’s motion to dismiss. Today, the Federal Circuit affirmed.



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