A tariff tiff between insolvent recreational vehicle manufacturer Erwin Hymer Group North America and the U.S. government worth hundreds of thousands of dollars may live on despite the company’s receivership, and it could have implications for other RV companies in Canada.
The Record reported that in 2014, the Cambridge-based manufacturer, then called Roadtrek, delivered 149 Class B motorhomes to the U.S. when they were hit with the usual 2.5% tariff that applies to all Class B motorhomes sent south of the border.
A U.S.-based lawyer has been fighting ever since to have that money — approximately half a million dollars — returned to Erwin Hymer Group North America and to have other Class B motorhomes made exempt from the tariff, arguing the vehicles are built in the U.S. and only sent to Canada temporarily to be modified into campers.
On Monday (July 22), three judges on the federal circuit of the United States Court of Appeals ruled against the insolvent RV manufacturer, but John Peterson of New York law firm Neville Peterson LLP hopes to continue with the case despite the company’s recent financial woes.
“We’re probably going to move to have the whole case reheard by the full appellate court,” Peterson said in an interview with The Record. “I’ll have to get in touch with the receiver (Alvarez and Marsal Canada Inc.) and get permission to pursue this case.”
Past actions against the tariffs have gained little traction in court, but in an unprecedented move the Erwin Hymer Group North America protest over the 149 vehicles was approved by a customs import specialist in late December 2015, meaning the $500,000 should have been returned, Peterson said.
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