Showing posts from January, 2010

Learning Moments

United States v. Tip Top Pant, Inc and Saad Nigri is an interesting case from the Court of International Trade that provides all kinds of useful lessons. The facts are that Tip Top imported shorts from Mexico and made a claim for duty-free treatment under NAFTA. Customs issued a CF28 Request for Information relating to the claim. In the request, Customs stated that “Due to the fact that this office is already reviewing your invalid claims, you are no longer eligible for the provisions set forth under 19 C.F.R. § 162.74.” What we have there is an effort to avoid the importer making a prior disclosure to protect itself against penalties. The regulations are clear that an importer loses the right to make a disclosure when it has notice that Customs has opened an investigation into the matter. But, an investigation is not “a review.” In theory, Customs reviews, to one degree or another, all kinds of entries: good, bad, and fraudulent. A simple entry review is not a formal investigati

Ford Focus on NAFTA

For purposes of keeping readers of this blog informed, here is a meat and potatoes summary of Ford Motor Company v. U.S., a decision relating to the documentation needed for a successful post-entry NAFTA claim. For now, I am going to leave my person views out of this. The facts are that Ford entered parts from Canada and did not make a NAFTA claim at the time of entry. Customs liquidated the merchandise as dutiable. Ford made a subsequent claim for post-entry NAFTA treatment. This is a relatively common procedure under 19 CFR 181 Subpart D . At the time of its claim, Ford did not provide NAFTA certificates of origin. When it did provide certificates, the one-year period for filing had elapsed. Because the certificates were not provided within one year of the date of importation, Customs denied the post-entry claim. Ford protested and Customs and Border Protection denied the protest. In the Court of International Trade, Ford raised several arguments in support of its claim. The Court,

First Sale Data

Because I have previously discussed my views on the Customs and Border Protection proposal to interpret the valuation statute to do away with the so-called first sale rule, I probably should have mentioned that the International Trade Commission has published its congressionally mandated report on the topic. Note that the report is 255 pages, although the narrative is in the first 35 or so, the remainder is appendices and charts. There is not a whole lot of data here. Here are some of the highlights based on data collected from September 1, 2008 to August 31, 2008: 23,520 entities reported using first sale for valuation (8.5% of all importers) Of those using first sale, 14% were in textiles, footwear, and apparel; 12% were in metals and metal products; 10% were in machinery, transportation, and computers $38.5 billion of trade was affected (2.4% of all imports) Of all first sale trade, by value 31% was machinery, transportation, and computers; 15% was electrical equipment; and 14% w

Friends Don't Let Friends Classify

I have been in a single ballroom containing a very large segment of the lawyers working in the customs law field. Basically, we all know or know of each other. I bring this up, because I might be about the piss off some friends and former colleagues. So be it. I am also about to potentially annoy the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The source of all this potential annoyance is Outer Circle Products v. United States , which the Federal Circuit decided today. I discussed this case previously . It involves the classification of zippered bottle wraps, kind of like can kozies but bigger. The Court of International Trade classified them in 4202 as "bottle cases," which are specifically listed in the heading. In doing so, the CIT had to distinguish a prior decision of the Federal Circuit in which that court held that 4202 (as it then existed) does not cover "containers that organize, store, protect, or carry food or beverages." The CIT's decision held