CBP Rules Time Limit for Liquidation Begins Day After Triggering Event

In Headquarters Ruling Letter H173819, dated September 12, 2014, Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") determined that it had correctly liquidated an entry made by Coaster Corporation of America within the six-month required timeframe that starts the day after the triggering event.

Coaster Corporation imported furniture from China in 2008.  At the time of entry, Coaster paid antidumping duties of 7.24%.  The antidumping order dated January 4, 2005 regarding the imported product actually set the duty at 6.65% and instructed CBP to suspend liquidation of all entries of the subject merchandise.  On August 18, 2010, the Department of Commerce published the Federal Register dictating a new antidumping duty of 216.01% for the subject merchandise.  On February 18, 2011, CBP liquidated the subject entry and assessed the 216.01% antidumping duty.

“CBP is obligated to suspend the liquidation of entries once Commerce makes an affirmative preliminary determination of dumping pursuant to 19 U.S.C. § 1673b(d)(2).  Once suspension is removed, 19 U.S.C. § 1504(d) requires CBP to liquidate the entry within six months after receiving notice of lifting of the suspension, unless liquidation is properly extended.” HQH173819.  If CBP does not liquidate within six months of receiving notice, the entries are deemed liquidated at the rate of duty declared by importer.  The court has determined that publication of the final results of the Federal Register constitutes notice from the Department of Commerce to CBP that the suspension of liquidation on entries subject to the administrative review is removed.  

Coaster argued that CBP did not liquidate “within” the required six-month time period after receiving notice from the publishing of the Federal Register and that the entry should be deemed liquidated at the 7.24% duty initially entered.  Coaster asserted that the statutory time limit expired at the end of the day on February 17, 2011, which is six months after the Federal Register was published on the August 18, 2010.  CBP, however, ruled that the end of the day on February 18, 2011 was the last day to liquidate within the six-month required timeframe.  CBP declared that both the courts and the CBP have consistently calculated statutory deadlines starting the day after the triggering event and including the entirety of the deadline day.  CBP ultimately concluded that the end of the day on February 18, 2011 was the last day to liquidate within the six-months because the time limit begins the day after the triggering event.  

Aaron Ambrite, Extern, Global Trade Expertise