Epson America Inc. of CA
ITA Utilizes Free Trade Agreement to Ensure Proper Customs Valuation and Appeal Procedures in Chile
The Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) worked with Epson Chile (Epson), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Epson America Inc., based in Long Beach, CA, to ensure that Chile’s customs valuation methods and appeal procedures complied with the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Customs Valuation Agreement and the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Why it Matters
If the U.S. government (USG) had not ensured Chile’s adherence to the relevant provisions under the WTO Customs Valuation Agreement and the U.S.-Chile FTA, the additional costs that Epson faced would have significantly impacted the competitiveness of its exports to the Chilean market. Inconsistent customs valuation procedures can cause uncertain business transactions and reduce the confidence of U.S. companies seeking to export to new markets.
Courtesy of Epson America
In February 2008, Epson reported to that Chile’s respective customs agency had accused the company of undervaluing its imports of ink cartridges and other printing supplies. Epson maintained that it had not undervalued its goods and that it should not be subject to over $4 million in potential penalties and fines.
Advocating on behalf of Epson, ITA officials, along with other USG agencies, supported Epson by raising its concerns with the Chilean government and pressing the importance of transparent customs valuation procedures and predictable appeal mechanisms consistent with its trade agreement obligations. In early 2012, the Chilean Customs’ administrative review system found that Epson was not guilty of undervaluing its products, in turn demonstrating the value of the WTO Customs Valuation Agreement and the U.S.-Chile FTA.
Working closely with U.S. companies, ITA creates, expands and defends market access for U.S. goods and services overseas through the Trade Agreements Compliance Program. “We promote policy that develops a more favorable business climate for U.S. companies in global markets; we employ commercial diplomacy to resolve trade barriers; and we leverage our bilateral and multilateral trade agreements to ensure our trading partners live up to their commitments so that our businesses can compete on a level-playing field.” - Assistant Secretary for Market Access and Compliance, Michael C. Camuñez.