Staying Compliant is Critical

The Customs Modernization Act increased the burden of compliance and the penalties for noncompliance dramatically for US importers. Navigating your way through the maze of Customs and other agency import requirements, new import security programs and mandates, and trade policy issues that may directly affect you requires the services not just of a trade lawyer, but one with extensive practical background in the day-to-day application of customs regulations and policies. This firm applies the skills not only of a trade lawyer, but one who is also a Licensed Customs Broker and a Certified Specialist for Export Control, Classification, and Drawback and who has dealt with the full range of import issues from a legal and practical standpoint. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Obtaining product classification rulings
  • Dealing with Customs redelivery notices
  • Preparing and filing Customs protests
  • Dealing with Customs penalty notices
  • Addressing the import requirements of the FDA
  • Interpreting the arms import requirements of the State Department and BATFE
  • Drafting and submitting Customs manufacturers petitions
  • Resolving country of origin marking issues
  • Addressing import packaging issues
  • Resolving valuation issues
  • Addressing customs import entry bond requirements
  • Dealing with HTS Chapter 98 qualifications and international carnets
  • Resolving Liquidated damages issues
  • Detailing NAFTA and other FTA certification requirements from an importer’s perspective
  • Advising on GSP Audits
  • Counseling on forced labor, child labor, North Korean labor issues
  • Drafting import compliance manuals
  • Advising on import record retention programs

Cargo security is increasingly important as the Customs Service seeks a partnership with US importers through several cargo security programs which increase the burden of security compliance on the importer while in turn granting them more leeway in conducting their import business.

  • Qualifying importers and exporters for participation in C-TPAT
  • Reviewing files of, and qualifying importers for the ISA certification review process
  • Dealing with issues arising under FAST
  • Addressing the requirements of the Importer Security Filing (ISF)
  • Dealing with customs brokers

Finally, trade policy actions that invite importer participation can adversely or positively affect your import program. The product that you import may be targeted for retaliatory tariffs due to the failure of the exporting country to resolve a purported trade dispute that has nothing to do with your product.

Scheduled tariff reductions under new free trade agreements may be accelerated, yielding import duty cost benefits. You may be getting inadequate import data for your products as they are grouped in with unrelated items in the same eight or ten-digit HTS subheading. We have extensive experience in dealing with trade policy matters before the US Trade Representative, the U.S. Congress, GSP Subcommittee, International Trade Commission, Treasury Department, and Census Bureau, including:

  • Drafting and successfully prosecuting USS FTA tariff accelerated reduction petitions;
  • Drafting and successfully prosecuting GSP withdrawal petitions for particular industries;
  • Preparing and presenting testimony before the USTR, ITC and Congress on trade issues;
  • Petitioning for and obtaining USHTS 10-digit statistical suffixes for particular industry products;
  • Petitioning for, and keeping imported products off final US retaliatory tariff lists.

Practice Areas