The federal government has the authority to regulate imports and exports. This authority includes the power to impose certain taxes (known as "customs duty" or a "tariff") on goods entering the United States.   When foreign companies import goods into the United States and evade taxes on their products, those companies are defrauding the government and hurting American industry. ​

​According to United States government statistics, the United States imported over $1.8 trillion worth of goods in 2017

American industries face severe hardships as a result of duty evasion and customs fraud.  When foreign companies fail to pay the customs and duties due on their goods, American industries are put at a competitive disadvantage and American jobs are put at risk. 

All merchandise imported into the United States is required to be "entered," unless specifically excepted.  "Entry" means, among other things, that an importer or its agent must file appropriate documents with the an officer of the United States Customs Service that enables the officer to assess customs duties due on the merchandise being imported into the United States. 

The documents that are required to be filed with the Customs Service include, among other things: (i) a bill of lading or air waybill; (ii) a commercial invoice; and (iii) an entry summary.  The entity serving as "importer of record" is assigned the responsibility of paying the duty and using reasonable care in making and providing accurate documentation to the Customs Service. Generally, the importer is required to deposit estimated duties with the Customs Service at the time of entry. The amount of customs duty owed is equal to the value of the imported merchandise multiplied by the applicable duty rate. 

Failure to pay customs duties or tariffs can be a violation of the False Claims Act.  

If you have information that an importer or foreign company is failing to pay the full amount due of its customs duty or tariff, please contact me for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.  

As a whistleblower, you may be entitled to 15% to 30% of whatever the government recovers. 

See the following article for more information: 


Phone: 215-340-2500 or 267-994-2110

Email: pepper@jamespepperlaw.com  or  jamespepperlaw@gmail.com