Byline: Kristi Ellis

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Customs Service has assessed penalties against two more foreign apparel and textile companies and added their names to a hit list of firms accused of illegally transshipping apparel and textiles, or using false visas to get into the country. A Federal Register reportnamed two Hong Kong-based firms — Everlite Manufacturing Co. and Fairfield Line Co. Ltd. — to its list of 24 firms that have been penalized. The agency also removed three textile and apparel makers — Eun Sung SA, based in Guatemala; Jiang Xi Garment Importing and Exporting Corp., based in China, and Takhi Corp., based in Mongolia — from the list. Names are automatically removed from the list after three years.
Calling it a “watch list,” Janet Labuda, director of Customs’ Strategic Trade Operations, said: “This information is used by importers to make sound business decisions and to insure that they monitor more carefully for origin fraud.”
Importers who use these foreign factories can expect to have their shipments detained in port, according to Labuda. “It’s a red flag,” she said.
The violations occurred between Oct. 1, 2000 and March 31.
The Customs list, posted in the Federal Register, is separate from a list issued two weeks ago and published in these columns, which contained names of firms convicted — or otherwise cited — by their home countries for outright transshipment or production record-keeping violations that raised suspicions of transshipment.
“We deem the actions taken by foreign governments as sufficient,” Labuda said, noting that there are no crossovers between the two lists.
While providing valuable information to U.S. importers, the list does not state specific violations pertaining to each company, according to Brenda Jacobs, general counsel of the U.S. Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel.