German fastener importer convicted of anti dumping fraud.

German Customs authorities have issued a news release confirming that a businessman in the Baden-Weurttemburg area has received a 21 month suspended prison sentence following conviction at the Stuttgart District Court for commercial smuggling and document fraud.

The case relates to evasion of anti dumping duties worth €675,000 on stainless steel nuts between 2000 and 2003.

The nuts imported from Vietnam were of Chinese and Taiwanese origin, at that time subject respectively to 74.7% and up to 23.1% anti dumping duties. The court concluded that there was sufficient evidence, taking in account the company director's long experience in the fastener industry, for him to have been suspicious of the origin of the products.

Indicting the businessman on ten counts the court sentenced him to a 21 month suspended custodial sentence and ordered that he pay costs. The defendent has appealed the sentence.

The Customs authorities declined to name the businessman or company involved but did note that it had taken more than three years for the prosecution to collate its evidence.

While noting that the offence occurred ten years ago EFDA says that the case serves to show that circumvention is not worth the risk involved and reiterates its own commitment to free and fair trade.