International

International Trade

Blog

http://internationaltrade.foxrothschild.com/

The laws and regulations governing international trade are especially complex and can be overwhelming for companies doing business across national borders. The rapidly expanding global marketplace, however, has made compliance more important than ever. Failure to heed these laws can have serious and lasting consequences as dire as criminal charges against the company and individual employees. This blog will offer a steady stream of updates on a broad range of international trade issues, including customs/import compliance, export controls and sanctions, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and cross-border contracts.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Temporary Fix: President Trump Extends the Iran Nuclear Deal On January 12, 2018, President Trump issued a statement announcing that he will approve certain sanctions waivers necessary in order to preserve the Iran nuclear deal. At the same time, he called on the U.S.’s European allies to work with the U.S. to fix the flaws of the Iran nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or the JCPOA), or he would terminate the deal. President Trump began his statement by condemning the Iranian regime as the world’s leading state... More
  • Shenzhen Creating One Arbitration Center In an attempt to become a modern hub in Southern China for domestic and international arbitration, the Government of Shenzhen announced at the end of December 2017 that it was combining two arbitration centers. The previous Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (“SCIA”) and the Shenzhen Arbitration Commission will be combined into one center called the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration. The merger of the two institutions will help integrate the resources of both institutions and further build the Shenzhen arbitration platform. This... More
  • Revisions to FCPA Enforcement Policies Still Pose Tough Questions for Honest Companies In recent remarks, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced significant revisions to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) policies for enforcing the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  The policy revisions make permanent many of the aspects of the FCPA Pilot Program which began in 2016 and sought encourage voluntary self-disclosures of FCPA violations by formalizing the benefits to corporations for doing so.  The recent policy revisions even went a step farther than the Pilot Program, announcing that if company voluntarily discloses FCPA... More
  • Chemical Duties: Federal Circuit Affirms Decision of U.S. Court of International Trade In a customs classification case, Chemtall, Inc. v. United States, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a U.S. Court of International Trade (“CIT”) ruling that the vinyl polymer acrylamide tertiary butyl sulfonic acid was properly classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). The Federal Circuit was called on to distinguish between “Amides” and “Other” in a heading of the HTSUS that covers amides, their derivatives and salts thereof. The case considered the appropriate... More
  • E.U. Financial Leaders Respond to the Proposed U.S. Tax Plan Some of the most important trade partners of the U.S. are raising concerns about the proposed U.S. plan to overhaul its tax code. The finance ministers of Europe’s five largest economies voiced concerns about the tax plan in a letter sent to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday, December 11, 2017. The letter was signed by Germany’s Peter Altmaier, France’s Bruno Le Maire, the U.K.’s Philip Hammond, Italy’s Pier Carlo Padoan and Spain’s Cristobal Montoro Romero. The E.U. leaders are generally concerned... More
  • Enhanced Sanctions on Russia’s Energy Sector In consultation with the Department of State and pursuant to Executive Order 13662, the Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) has updated Directive 4, which will expand sanctions on the Russian energy industry. The new rules issued by OFAC prohibit certain activities by a U.S. person or within the United States, except where such activities are otherwise authorized by law or a license. The rules bar persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction from providing, exporting, reexporting (directly or indirectly)... More
  • CBP Holds That Roasting Changes Coffee’s Country of Origin In a recently issued Final Determination, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed that the roasting of coffee beans substantially transforms the beans into a product of the country in which the beans were roasted. Coffee producer Keurig Green Mountain (“Keurig”) requested the determination as to the country of origin assignment to green coffee beans that it imported into the United States and Canada and then roasted in those countries.  Specifically, Keurig sought the determination as it relates to the procurement... More
  • Santa Claus Costume Classified as “Fancy Dress” for Import Duty Just in time for the holiday season, the U.S. Court of International Trade (“CIT”) recently held that certain components of a Santa Claus suit were of such quality that they should be subject to apparel duties, not the free duty assessed on costumes and other “festive articles.” The articles at issue were imported by Rubies Costume Co. (“Rubies”) as a complete Santa Clause costume. Included in the “premier” set, which carried a retail price of $100, were red polyester and acrylic pants,... More
  • Trump Nominates Commissioners to the International Trade Commission President Donald Trump announced his nomination of two Commissioners to the United States International Trade Commission (“ITC”) on September 28, 2017. The two nominees are Dennis M. Devaney and Randolph J. Stayin.  If approved, Devaney of Michigan will serve the remainder of a nine-year term expiring June 16, 2023, and Stayin of Virginia will serve the remainder of a nine-year term expiring June 16, 2026. Devaney and Stayin were nominated to fill the Commissioner positions of Commissioners Kieff and Pinkert, who left the... More
  • CIT Upholds CBP Classification of “Optical” Data Modules In a recent decision, the United States Court of International Trade (CIT), upheld the classification of United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with regard to fiber optic telecommunications modules, finding that the “optical” quality of fiber optics trumped their use for data transmission. ADC argued that, although fiber optic technologies use light (transmitted along glass cables), the technologies, including the modules at issue, are not “optical” instruments.  Further, ADC argued that the classification for optical products should be limited to articles... More