Tokyo Ink has agreed to pay $45 million in penalties for concealing the import of a high performance pigment from India and China to the US with the purpose of avoiding antidumping and countervailing duties, federal authorities here have said.

Since import of colorant carbazole violet pigment number 23 (CVP-23) from India and China have been subject to high antidumping and countervailing duties since 2004, Tokyo Ink, a Japan-headquartered speciality chemicals maker, concealed their origin and told the US authorities that these were from Japan and Mexico, the Department of Justice said yesterday.

Although Tokyo Ink’s CVP-23 from China and India underwent a finishing process in Japan and Mexico before it was imported into the US, the government alleged that this process was insufficient to constitute a substantial transformation to render these countries as the countries of origin.

“Importers seeking access to United States markets must comply with the law, including the payment of customs duties meant to protect domestic companies from unfair competition abroad,” said Stuart Delery, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division.

“This settlement demonstrates that the Department of Justice will zealously guard the public fisc – taking action not only against those who fraudulently obtain government funds, but also against those who inappropriately avoid paying money owed to the United States,” he said.

The government alleged that Tokyo Ink knowingly misrepresented, or caused to be misrepresented, the country of origin on documents presented to US Customs and Border Protection to avoid paying duties, particularly antidumping and countervailing duties, on imports of the CVP-23 between April 2002 and March 2010.

(This article was published on December 18, 2012)
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