NEW YORK — A La Mirada, Calif.-based tire importer is fighting a federal lawsuit claiming that it owes the government more than $5.7 million in unpaid duties because of allegedly inaccurate invoices.
The suit, filed July 15 in the U.S. Court of International Trade, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection, accuses Katana Racing Inc. d/b/a Wheel & Tire Distributors, of underpaying safeguard duties, regular customs duties, harbor maintenance fees and merchandise processing fees on 386 invoices for imported passenger and light truck tires between November 2009 and August 2012.
According to the suit, Katana listed prices for the tires that were lower than what Katana paid its Chinese vendors.
"For example," the lawsuit said, "one commercial invoice supplied by a customs broker to CBP during the entry process valued the covered merchandise at $21,220.
"Another commercial invoice, supplied by Katana to CBP during a regulatory audit, valued the same merchandise at $136,500," it said. "Using the information reflected in the latter invoice, which is the amount actually paid by Katana to the Chinese vendor, the safeguard duties alone should have amounted to $34,087.50."
In its motion to dismiss, Katana argued there were two separate avenues to dismissal of the case.