Ford Motor Co. fined $20 million by trade court
In two recent decisions by the U.S. Court of International Trade, Ford Motor Co. has been fined more than $20 million for civil violations of Customs Service regulations in connection with a series of importations in the late 1980s and early 1990s, according to a report in the Aug. 1 edition of a newsletter from the Tuttle Law Offices in San Francisco.
The report said the CIT fined Ford more than $17 million for a series of Customs entry violations between 1987 and 1992. In a second, parallel case, the fines totaled $3 million, plus interest.
In the case that led to the smaller fine, the court said Ford failed to notify Customs that the prices of auto parts imported into the U.S. were provisional and subject to adjustment; certified on entries that the prices declared were true and correct when they failed to include engineering charges; and failed to notify Customs in a timely manner when Ford received post-importation information that indicated the prices needed to be increased due to engineering charges.
In the case that led to the larger penalty, which was actually the second of the two decisions, Customs sought to collect duties and penalties for entries of vehicles and components imported between 1987 and 1992. The problem was related to omissions of information in the entry process, the newsletter explained.
The report said that in assessing the penalties, the court determined that these violations did not constitute fraud, but did rise to the level of gross negligence.