Confidentially Report Suspected Trade Violations to U.S. Customs

August 25, 2008
By Michelle Kelley

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Concerned members of the public may now report suspected trade violations to U.S. Customs anonymously, thanks to a new online reporting system called e-Allegations.

To notify Customs of a possible violation, simply complete the following online form on their website: link to form. Personal information (such as the tipster’s name) is not required to submit a suspected violation.

However, in order to properly investigate a claim, Customs will need the tipster to include the following information:

  • the type of trade violation
  • a description of the violation
  • the products/goods involved
  • the alleged violator’s name/company name

Other information may be included on a voluntary basis.

e-Allegations can be used to report trade violations such as,

  • antidumping/countervailing duty violations
  • misclassification or description of merchandise violations
  • invalid country of origin markings
  • health and safety violations
  • intellectual property rights violations
  • smuggling
  • valuation violations

U.S. Customs has cited the following scenarios as examples of violations to report.

A party imports substandard steel but claims that it is of a higher grade. This creates a potential safety issue and should be reported.

A company claims a value that is lower than the actual value on a product that they are importing to avoid paying higher duties.

A company imports textiles from one country but states that the goods are from another country to avoid quota restrictions.

Please note that e-Allegations is not intended for reporting security issues (such as terrorist threats or weapons of mass destruction). Customs encourages anyone with information about such security issues to contact 1-800-BE-ALERT (1-800-232-5378) immediately.

e-Allegations FAQ
e-Allegations submission form