U.S. Intervenes in FCA Lawsuit Alleging Failure to Pay Import Duties by Toyo Ink, a Japanese Co.

The United States has intervened in a lawsuit against Japanese company, Toyo Ink Manufacturing Co. Ltd. and its United States subsidiaries: Toyo Ink International Corp ., located in New York; Toyo Ink America LLC, located in Illinois; and Toyo Ink Manufacturing America LLC, located in New Jersey, the Justice Department announced today.   Toyo Ink, which has operations worldwide, is a leading provider of printing inks. 

The suit alleges that the Toyo Ink companies knowingly misrepresented the country of origin on documents presented to United States Customs and Border Protection to avoid paying antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of the colorant carbazole violet pigment number 23 (CVP-23).   The Department of Commerce assesses antidumping and countervailing duties, which are collected by United States Customs, to protect United States businesses by offsetting unfair foreign pricing and government subsidies.   Imports of CVP-23 from China and India have been subject to these duties since 2004.   

The suit alleges that Toyo misrepresented Japan and Mexico as the countries of origin for its CVP-23 imports to avoid these duties.   Although Toyo’s CVP-23 imports from China and India underwent a finishing process in Japan and Mexico, the complaint alleges that this process was insufficient to change the country of origin. 

   “Companies taking advantage of United States markets must comply with the law, including the payment of import duties levied to protect domestic manufacturers and producers from unfair competition abroad,” said Stuart F. Delery, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice.   “As we have done today, the Department of Justice will take action against those we believe have inappropriately avoided paying money owed to the United States.”