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. The International Trade Law Compass blog offers a steady stream of updates on a broad range of international trade issues, including import/export compliance, U.S. sanctions programs, trends in cross-border contracts as well as significant criminal prosecutions and civil litigation.

Recent Blog Posts

  • What Do CBP’s Proposed New Verification Requirements Mean for Customs Brokers? In an August 14, 2019 Notice of Proposed Rule Making, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) announced its intent to increase requirements on licensed customs brokers to verify the identity of the importers with whom they transact.  CBP reports that each year, approximately 350,000 importers actively engage with CBP through almost 2,100 licensed customs brokers.   Ensuring that each of these importers is a legitimate entity and not, for instance, a shell corporation used to evade customs enforcement or support enemies of... More
  • Federal Circuit Squeezes Customs’ Wrench Classification In a recent opinion, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the US Court of International Trade’s (CIT) determination of the classification of certain hand tools imported by Irwin Industrial Tool Company (“Irwin”) as “pliers” over US Customs and Border Protection’s (“Customs”) classification of the tools as “wrenches.” The tools at issue were  variations of locking pliers, that is, two handled tools with two jaws that could grasp — and lock — on a variety of fasteners... More
  • Treasury Expands Sanctions for Maduro Supporters In recent weeks, the United Stated Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) expanded the scope of sanctions against current and former Venezuelan government officials who have supported controversial President Nicholas Maduro and his regime of corruption and human rights abuses. The first sanctions implemented against Venezuelan individuals and entities were authorized by President Barrack Obama in March 2015 (Executive Order 13692).  Following President Maduro’s re-election to a second six-year term on May 20, 2018, President Donald Trump... More
  • Importer Sues CBP for Delay in Releasing Products A complaint filed in the United States Court of International Trade (“CIT”) late last week highlights the practical challenges and frustration that come from delayed resolutions and parallel proceedings between federal courts and agencies, such as US Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”). In the Complaint, One World Technologies, Inc. (“One World”), a manufacturer of garage door openers sought injunctive relief and declaratory judgment against CBP for its continued detention of One World’s products contrary to the CIT’s prior order. This dispute... More
  • CIT Rejects Government’s Request to Stay Ban on Mexican Seafood In a recent decision, the Court of International Trade (CIT) denied the government’s request for a stay of the preliminary injunction that the CIT had implemented in July, banning the importation of certain seafood from Mexico. In July, the CIT upheld its preliminary order and granted the preliminary injunction sought by conservation groups to protect the critically endangered vaquita porpoise – of which just 15 remain.  In imposing the preliminary injunction, the Court found that the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) properly... More
  • Ziploc Tariff Dispute Not Sealed Up Yet In a recent Opinion, the United States Court of International Trade denied cross motions for summary judgment filed by Ziploc bag producer S.C. Johnson & Son (“S.C. Johnson”) and the U.S. government which sought competing classifications for the well-known plastic bags. S.C. Johnson argued that the 6 1/2 inch by 5 7/8 inch version of its polyethylene zipper-sealed bags should be classified under HTSUS Subheading 3924.90.56 covering “tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and hygienic or toilet articles, of plastics: other: other”... More
  • CIT Leaves No Doubt that Ban on Certain Mexican Fish is Effective Immediately In a recent opinion, the United States Court of International Trade (CIT) upheld its categorical ban of the importation of fish and fish products caught with gillnets in the habitat of the critically endangered vaquita, off the coast of Mexico. In a July 26, 2018 Order, the CIT granted a preliminary injunction sought by several conservation groups prohibiting the importation of certain fish and fish products from Mexico which had been caught using gillnet — fishing nets hung from boats that... More
  • Pool Floats Deemed Plastics, Not Textiles In a recent opinion, the US Court of International Trade (CIT) found that certain fabric covered pool floats should be classified as plastics — not textiles — for tariff purposes.  Despite the textile elements of the floats, the sequential application of the General Rules of Interpretation led the CIT to find that the air-filled plastic bladder which allowed the product to float in water gave the floats their “essential character.” The products at issue are floats for a swimming pool which... More
  • U.S. Steel Users Challenge Constitutionality of 25% Tariff Increase On June 27, 2018, a coalition of U.S. steel users, the American Institute for International Steel (“AIIS”), and two steel trading companies filed a complaint in the United States Court of International Trade (“CIT”) challenging the Trump Administration’s imposition of a 25% tariff increase for steel products.  AIIS’ challenge, however, is not made to the scope of the tariff or the countries effected, but to the constitutionality of the tariff itself. The tariff increase is was enacted in March 2018 under Presidential Proclamation... More
  • CIT Upholds Commerce Duties on UAE Nails In a May 22, 2018 Opinion and Order, the U.S. Court of International Trade (“CIT) upheld the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (“Commerce”) use of a Thai nail producer, rather than a Dubai producer, as a surrogate for the calculation of anti-dumping duties to be assessed on two nail producers from the United Arab Eremites (“UAE”).  As a result, the nails will be assessed an 0.87% duty rate, not the 7.8% rate that the nails had been preliminary assigned. In determining the... More