Showing posts from January, 2008

First Sale, Settled Law and CBP

In today's Federal Register , Customs and Border Protection is proposing to modify the interpretation of the phrase "sold for exportation to the United States" to effectively eliminate the use of so-called first sale valuation by U.S. importers. Some history is in order here. Transaction value is defined as the price paid or payable for the merchandise when sold for export to the United States. There is a long line of court decisions stating that the sale for export to the United States can be a sale between parties other than the U.S. buyer and its immediate seller. Usually, this involves a middleman who buys from the factory and resells to the U.S. buyer. When the buyer can show that the first sale was destined for the U.S. and can get documents proving the sale price, that can serve as the transaction value for appraisment. I wrote about this previously here . As far back as 1988, the Federal Circuit upheld middleman pricing as an appropriate interpretation of the valu

10 + 2 Open Thread Experiment

This is an experiment in Wiki blogging. Customs and Border Protection's Notice of Proposed Rule Making on the Importer Security Filing (so-called 10+2) is creating a big splash as people try and sort out exactly what will be required and what will happen in the case of non-compliance. Certainly, the requirements will create additional data to be collected and transmitted. Some of that may be burdensome. There are also concerns about the protection of business proprietary information. I have some practical questions. How is your company reacting? How difficult do you expect compliance to be? Can you quantify the difficulty in terms of time or expense? What do you view as the most onerous part of the proposal? Leave an anonymous comment here. Try and use this space for a discussion. Maybe acting as a group we can shed some useful light on the proposal.

In Contact

I have mentioned in the past that I provide content to the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America via their National Educational Institute magazine, CCSContact. In this post, I am providing links to some of that content, which you may find of interest. Or maybe not. Ford Dismissed and Compliance Resolutions Tariff Engineering After Heartland Record Keeping and NAFTA (Before CBP Dismissed Ford) Feeling Festive

Delevopments on the IPR Front

Customs and Border Protection, as you likely know, plays an important role in enforcing U.S. intellectual property rights at the border. CBP can seize merchandise that infringes a U.S. copyright or trademark and can enforce a U.S. International Trade Commission exclusion order for patents or other rights. What you may not know, is that CBP can include intellectual property issues in audits of importers. So, in additional to having your classification, value, marking, and rate of duty ducks in a row, you also need to be certain that you have the right to import merchandise that bears a U.S. trademark or is covered by a U.S. copyright. You may not think this is a common occurrence but it is. Branded merchandise is almost always the subject of trademark protection. Granted, for CBP to engage in enforcement the mark must be recorded with Customs, but that is also very common. If you are importing goods bearing a trademark, check CBP's online IPR search and check whether the trademark

Product safety at the Ports

The Consumer Products Safety Commission is going to be assigning its own personnel to major ports, starting on the west coast. CSPC will be working with Customs and Border Protection to target suspect shipments for CPSC inspection. According to news reports, it remains unclear how many CPSC officials will be posted to the ports. Apparently, last year CPSC stopped 200 shipments. Here are two related articles. Product safety chief targets West Coast ports Safety Chief Defends Record Remember when the mantra was "One face at the border?"

All Politics is Local

In Illinois, we elect our state court judges. That puts a tremendous amount of responsibility in the hands of voters. I am not implying that judges are somehow beyond the capability of voter evaluation. The problem is more one of volume. Most voters cannot make a meaningful choice between the hundreds of candidates running for judge. The major newspapers give scant attention to judicial elections and the Chicago Bar Association judicial evaluation results are not yet out and who knows how well distributed they will be. So, judicial elections unfortunately often turn on ballot position, the ethnicity of surnames (more on that below), and gender. That is why I want to let Cook County voters know about my friend Mike Hyman who was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill a judicial vacancy and is now running to keep the seat. Mike is the candidate endorsed by the Democratic Party for the position. The Chicago Bar Association has called him "Highly Qualified" for the job a

Did You Miss Me?

I am back from the tour of Orlando theme parks. I'll assume you are all up-to-date on the fact that Customs and Border Protection finally published some details on the 10+2 data requirements. If not, read this . A couple other things of interest: The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had to deal with a problem relating to the Court of International Trade's electronic filing system. In brief, the lawyer did not successfully file an appeal in the system. The CAFC decided that a defective notice of appeal means the case never left the CIT, which can, therefore, act on the plaintiff's motion for an extension of time in which to file the appeal. There is not much law here, it is just interesting because it is the first case I recall seeing relating to the CM/ ECF system. In another case, the CAFC upheld a CBP regulation requiring notice of intent to export for unused merchandise drawback claims. This case has to do with rulemaking authority and is mostly inter