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e-Allegations Program

The e-Allegations program provides an electronic portal through which the trade community and the general public can report suspected trade violations to CBP.  The e-Allegations process enables CBP, in collaboration with our partners, to protect our economy from the effects of unfair trade practices and guard against the entry of products that could pose a threat to health and safety.

 

Report Trade Violation

 

When filing a trade violation allegation, please provide:

  • Your contact information - This permits CBP to contact you should additional information be required in order for us to conduct the most thorough investigation possible. We will protect your personal information to the extent possible by means of the Privacy Act, the Trade Secrets Act, and CBP regulations.  
  • Alleged violator information - Individual or business name, address, website address, etc.
  • Type of trade violation involved - Counterfeit goods, duty evasion, forced labor, etc.
  • Name of product or commodity involved, if applicable.
  • Documentation/evidence to support allegation.
  • Any other information that would assist our investigation.

There are multiple types of trade violations. If you are unsure of which type of trade violation describes an importation-related situation you suspect is illegal, select the categories below to learn more.

Forced Labor Violations

A forced labor violation involves importation of merchandise that is made or produced through the use of forced labor, including forced or indentured child labor, prison labor, slave labor, and labor forced on anyone because they have been trafficked.

For More Information on Forced Labor Violations...

Report Trade Violation

Duty Evasion Violations: Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duty (AD/CVD)

Anti-dumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) are additional fees owed on merchandise subject to an AD/CVD order. They help ensure that American businesses are not harmed when foreign countries under price their goods. Importers who do not want to pay AD/CVD duties avoid payment by various means, including illegal transshipment, re-marking country of origin on packages and/or merchandise, undervaluation, falsely declaring the manufacturer, and falsely described merchandise and/or misclassification.

NOTE: There are two allegation options for AD/CVD evasion violations.  Please read the following to determine which allegation option, e-Allegation or EAPA (Enforce and Protect Act) Allegation, is appropriate.

 
e-Allegation Option RequirementsEAPA e-Allegation Option Requirements
May remain anonymous but if you provide your identity and contact information, CBP can follow up to obtain more information if needed.Must provide your true identity and contact information.
 May only be filed by interested parties, as defined by the statute. 
Must provide adequate description of the merchandise involved.Must provide a statutory description of covered merchandise and the applicable AD/CVD order(s).
Must provide circumstances and/or evidence that suggests evasion of an AD/CVD order.Must provide circumstances and/or evidence that suggest evasion of an AD/CVD order.Must provide circumstances and/or evidence that suggest evasion of an AD/CVD order.Must provide circumstances and/or evidence that suggests evasion of an AD/CVD order.
If alleger's identity not provided, may not be eligible for an award of up to 25% of net revenue recovery, fines, or penalties (not to exceed $250,000).  For more information, click on link to Filing a Claim for Informant Compensation under Additional Resources below.May be eligible for an award of up to 25% net revenue recovery, fines or penalties (not to exceed $250,000). For more information, click on link to Filing a Claim for Informant Compensation under Additional Resources below. 
CBP will process these as quickly as feasible.Set timelines for determining applicability of interim measures to protect the United States from revenue loss (90 days from initiation of investigation) and making a final determination (300 days from initiation of investigation).
CBP will provide a tracking number but cannot share information protected by statute, including the Trade Secrets Act, Privacy Act, and regulations.Parties will be informed of the initiation and outcome of the investigation.
Assigned to CBP offices with subject matter expertise to review and validate.Assigned to a team of CBP experts, including case investigators, targeters, Import Specialists, and Regulatory Auditors to investigate the allegation from initiation until final determination.
No ability to apply an adverse inference if a party does not respond to CBP's request for information.CBP may apply an adverse inference if a party fails to cooperate in the investigation to the best of its ability.

 

Report Trade Violation

 

Report EAPA Violation

Additional Resources:

Duty Evasion Violations: Other Than AD/CVD

Other Duty Evasion There are numerous methods used by violators attempting to avoid paying lawfully-owed duty on imported merchandise.  Click on the “More Information” option below to see a list of the most commonly attempted duty evasion methods CBP has encountered.

Evasion Method

 Brief Explanation

Links to In-Depth Information

Safeguards/Trade Remedy Duty EvasionSafeguards/Trade Remedy Duty EvasionSafeguards/Trade Remedy Duty Evasion

Additional duties are assessed based on the Presidential enactments of safeguard actions.  Violators attempt to evade these additional duties through false description of merchandise, misclassification, undervaluation, false country of origin claims, etc.

Safeguards

Undervalued Merchandise

The undervaluation of merchandise can result in the evasion of significant amounts of duty, fees, and taxes.  Sometimes merchandise is undervalued due to the failure to include the cost of material assists, royalties, selling commissions, packing, overhead, portions of merchandise resale proceeds remitted to foreign supplier, etc.

Informed Compliance Publication: Customs Value

Falsely Described Merchandise

Falsely describing merchandise generally results in misclassification of the merchandise with a significantly lower (possibly free) rate of duty and may also put it outside the scope of an anti-dumping and/or countervailing duty order.

Fraud Statute

Misclassified Merchandise

Deliberate misclassification of merchandise can result in a significantly lower (possibly free rate of duty) and may also put it outside the scope of an anti-dumping and/or countervailing duty order.

Informed Compliance Publication: Tariff Classification

False Country of Origin Declaration

By falsely declaring the country of origin of merchandise, the importer will pay significantly less in duty, fees, and taxes than what is legally owed and may also be evading anti-dumping and/or countervailing duties.

Fraud Statute

False Manufacturer Declaration

By falsely declaring the manufacturer of merchandise, the importer may be evading anti-dumping and/or countervailing duties or avoiding seizure of unsafe merchandise.

Fraud Statute

False Trade Agreement Claim

By falsely declaring that merchandise is eligible under a special trade program, the importer will pay significantly less in duty, fees, and taxes than what is legally owed.

Fraud Statute

False Preferential Treatment Claim

By falsely declaring that merchandise is eligible under a special trade program, the importer will pay significantly less in duty, fees, and taxes than what is legally owed.

Free Trade Agreements Fact Sheet

Tariff Quota Evasion

Import quotas control the amount or volume of various commodities that can be imported into the United States during a specified period of time. Quotas are established by legislation, Presidential Proclamations or Executive Orders. Quotas are announced in specific legislation or may be provided for in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

Quota Enforcement and Administration

False Drawback Claims

Some importers and individuals submit false statements to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to obtain improper drawback refunds.  Under the Drawback program, U.S. importers may have 99% of the duty paid upon importation refunded when they export merchandise.

Drawback Program Fact Sheet

Additional Resources:

Report Trade Violation

Merchandise Violations: Counterfeit/Fake Goods (IPR)

There are two allegation options for counterfeit merchandise. See the table below.

Personal Online OrdersCommercial Quantities
If you placed a personal online order and received IPR/trademark-violative (counterfeit) merchandise, please submit an allegation at this site:If you are aware of commercial quantities of counterfeit merchandise being imported by a U.S. company or individual, please file an e-Allegation:
Report IPR Theft 

Report Trade Violation 

Additional Resources:

www.cbp.gov/FakeGoodsRealDangers

Merchandise Violations: Import Safety and Others

Some merchandise is illegal to import because it is unsafe for humans or animals, unsafe for the environment, or facilitates the use or production of illegal merchandise (Examples: precursor chemicals used for producing illicit drugs and electronic gaming adapter devices).  See below a list of violative merchandise intercepted by CBP and other border agencies.

Type of Violative MerchandiseBrief ExplanationLinks to In-Depth Information
Health and Safety-Violative MerchandiseThe Import Safety Priority Trade Issue is designed to ensure that unsafe products do not enter the commerce of the U.S.  Many imported products pose a threat to human health and safety, such as toys with choking hazards, unsafe car tires, dangerous electrical appliances, and internally-consumed products.  Such products are sometimes counterfeit versions of legitimate safe brand name products, including those with counterfeit Underwriter Laboratory (UL) labels.

Import Safety Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center

Fake, Counterfeit or Expired Drugs/PharmaceuticalsIn most circumstances, it is illegal for individuals to import drugs into the United States for personal use. This is because drugs from other countries that are available for purchase by individuals often have not been approved by FDA for use and sale in the United States.U.S. Food & Drug Administration FAQs
Environmental CrimesEnforcing environmental laws is a central part of Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Strategic Plan to protect human health and the environment.  The EPA works to ensure compliance with environmental requirements. When warranted, the EPA will take civil or criminal enforcement action against violators of environmental laws.United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute
Dog and Cat Fur ProductsIt is illegal in the United States to import, export, distribute, transport, manufacture or sell products containing dog or cat fur in the United States. As of November 9, 2000, the Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000 calls for the seizure and forfeiture of each item containing dog or cat fur.Dog and Cat Protection Act
Conflict/Blood DiamondsThe Clean Diamond Trade Act was signed into law on July 29, 2003 which prohibits the "importation into, or exportation from, the U.S. of any rough diamond, from whatever source, unless the rough diamond has been controlled through the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS)". Rough diamonds, which have become known as conflict diamonds, are defined as diamonds used by rebel movements to finance military action opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments.Kimberley Diamonds Process Certification
Endangered SpeciesUnder the Endangered Species Act (ESA), species may be listed as either endangered or threatened. "Endangered" means a species is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. "Threatened" means a species is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future. All species of plants and animals, except pest insects, are eligible for listing as endangered or threatened. For the purposes of the ESA, Congress defined species to include subspecies, varieties, and, for vertebrates, distinct population segments.Endangered Species Act Overview
Illegal Drug ParaphernaliaIt is illegal to bring drug paraphernalia into the United States unless prescribed for authentic medical conditions such as diabetes. CBP will seize any illegal drug paraphernalia. Law prohibits the importation, exportation, manufacture, sale or transportation of drug paraphernalia.Drug Paraphernalia Statute
Stolen Cultural Artifacts or Cultural PropertyMost countries have laws that protect their cultural property. Art/artifacts/antiquities; archeological and ethnological material are also terms used to describe this material. The law includes export controls and/or national ownership of cultural property. Even if purchased from a business in the country of origin or in another country, legal ownership of such artifacts may be in question if brought into the United States.Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
Merchandise from Embargoed CountriesGenerally, you may not bring in any merchandise from Cuba, Iran, Burma (Myanmar) or most of Sudan. The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of Treasury enforces economic sanctions against these countries. To bring in merchandise from these countries, you will first need a specific license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control. Such licenses are rarely granted.Office of Foreign Assets Control - Sanctions Programs & Information

Additional Resources:   

Prohibited and Restricted Items

 

Report Trade Violation

 

Shipping Violations

Various methods are used in an attempt to avoid scrutiny by various border agencies and evade duties, penalties, and seizures.  These include:

ViolationBrief ExplanationLinks to In-Depth Information
Smuggling

Smuggling may cause the evasion of duties and taxes, goods to be entered in violation of U.S. laws (including goods produced through forced labor), and the entry of potentially harmful goods.

Smuggling Statute

Tobacco Smuggling

Tobacco smuggling includes, but is not limited to, the domestic and international smuggling of cigarettes, trafficking in counterfeit cigarettes, trafficking in stolen cigarettes, trafficking in counterfeit tax stamps, in-bond and duty free diversion of tobacco products, smuggling of cigarettes in violation of foreign import laws, and money laundering where one of the underlying crimes is tobacco-related.

Tobacco Smuggling Fact Sheet

Jones Act Violation

The Jones Act, 46 U.S.C § 55102, prohibits vessels not entitled to engage in coastwise trade (i.e., vessels with foreign registry over 200 gross tons, foreign-built/rebuilt vessels) to transport, either directly or by way of a foreign port, any passenger or merchandise between points in the United States.

Jones Act

Transshipment Violation

Transshipment of merchandise to falsify the actual country of origin may cause the evasion of duties and taxes, goods to be entered in violation of U.S. laws (including goods produced through forced labor), and the entry of potentially harmful goods.

Unlawful Unlading or Transshipment Statute

Diversion of In-Bond Merchandise

Diversion of in-bond merchandise may cause the evasion of duties and taxes, goods to be entered in violation of U.S. laws, and the entry of potentially harmful goods.

In-Bond Diversion Program

 

Report Trade Violation

Violations: Miscellaneous

Some import and export violations are perpetrated by personnel involved in the international trade industry.

 

ViolationBrief ExplanationLinks to In-Depth Information
Unauthorized Import or Export of Defense Articles or Items with Military or Proliferation Applications

Classified and Unclassified Items that have military application that are considered defense articles, thus require a license before the permanent export, temporary import and temporary export abroad. Such items may include software or technology, blueprints, design plans, and retail software packages and technical information. If CBP officials suspect that a regulated item or defense article has been temporarily imported/exported or permanently exported without a license, they are subject to detention and possible seizure for violation of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

Directorate of Defense Trade Controls

Customs Broker Violations

Each broker must exercise due diligence in making financial settlements, in answering correspondence, and in preparing or assisting in the preparation and filing of records relating to any customs business matter handled by him as a broker.  Some customs brokers also act as the Importer of Record and therefore must exercise Reasonable Care.  If you have knowledge that a customs broker has perpetrated a civil or criminal violation, please contact Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.

Customs Brokers Statute

 

Informed Compliance Publication: Reasonable Care

Consumer Complaints

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy. FTC’s work is performed by the Bureaus of Consumer Protection, Competition and Economics. That work is aided by the Office of General Counsel and seven regional offices.  For a list of complaints processed by the FTC and other consumer information, please visit their FAQ website: https://www.ftc.gov/faq/consumer-protection

 

NOTE: An allegation can be filed through CBP’s e-Allegation program or by contacting the FTC directly: Submit a Consumer Complaint to the FTC

CBP or DHS Employee Suspected of Illegal Activity

To report misconduct, please call the 877 number or click on the link listed in the next column.

Call 1-877-246-8253 or send an email message to jointintake@cbp.dhs.gov

OTHER: Unlisted Violations

If the trade-related violation you want to report is not covered in this website or you are not sure what trade violation applies to the alleged illegal activity of which you have knowledge, you can still file an e-Allegation.  Provide as much information as you can, so that CBP can determine the nature of the allegation and a course of action.

Report Trade Violation