EU fraud office points to imports via Taiwan


BRUSSELS — The European Anti-Fraud Office has discovered a network of companies that fraudulently imported Chinese tube and pipe fittings via several Asian countries to evade high EU customs duties. The discovery followed investigations carried out in cooperation with Indian and Taiwanese customs, according to a statement released by the office Thursday.

It has led to the recovery of 9 million euros in customs duties, 6.5 million euros of which were related to imports from Taiwan and India, the office said.

In the investigations, a shipment of tube and pipe fittings, claimed to be made in Japan, was found to have been loaded in the Chinese port of Dalian and then routed via Japan to the EU, the office said.

That led to the detection of further fraudulent imports into the EU from India and Taiwan with false commercial documentation of origin, the office said.

Also, a Taiwan exporting producer of tube and pipe fittings was found to have channeled the Chinese products to the EU market. The supposedly semi-finished products, imported into Taiwan from China for further processing, were in fact tube and pipe fittings that were subsequently re-exported to the EU, the office said.

Taiwanese authorities requested that the company pay approximately 1.8 million euros to cover the imports duties and a fine for breaching the country’s customs laws, the anti-fraud office said.

In 1996, the EU imposed an anti-dumping duty rate of 58.6 percent on certain Chinese tube and pipe fittings of iron or steel. The duty was later extended to include imports from Taiwan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines as a result of circumvention practices.