Showing posts from July, 2010

Reminder from BIS: We Don't Do Jurisdiction

In one my rare forays into blogging on exports, I will point out this reminder from the Bureau of Industry and Security. This interim final rule will amend the Export Administration Regulations to clarify that CCATS determinations by BIS only tell the applicant the relevant ECCN for the product. Having it classified for export purposes, however, does not mean the product is actually subject to the EAR. Currently, BIS does not issue jurisdiction rulings as the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) does for ITAR. The Federal Register notice solicits comments on this rule. Perhaps the thing that might be valuable to tell BIS is that it should start issuing jurisdiction rulings. Maybe this will be moot if and when the export regimes are merged and there is a single list administered by a single agency. Wouldn't that be nice?

News slap: One Really Small Step

PETA complains to CBP after the death of a CBP dog in a hot CBP car. Aphids stopped at border . US stops computers bound for Cuba from Canada. Customs and Border Protection employee stole Neil Armstrong's declaration and tried to sell it. For those of you under 30, Neil Armstrong is kind of big deal. He used to be more famous than Justin Bieber. More here . A couple cases from the Court of International Trade: Delphi Petroleum, Inc. v. United States , denying Delphi's effort to force the United States to pay attorney's fees following the decision on the merits . The Court denied the motion. Ford Motor Company v. United States , is a somewhat confusing case involving protests from the lack of explicit liquidation of reconciliation entries. The question has to do with whether the liquidations were extended or whether they should be treated as having liquidated by operation of law. In the end, the Court found that the case as presented was either not properly b

Passing this on . . .

I rarely get what amounts to a press release, but I recently received one from the University of Minnesota regarding a symposium on international economic law. I consider myself a workaday administrative law practitioner. I tend to find these things to be more theoretical than practical and I am all about being practical. nevertheless, there are people interested in these things, so I will pass it on. The International Economic Law Interest Group of the American Society of International Law wishes to solicit paper and panel submissions in connection with its Biennial Conference at the University of Minnesota from November 18-20, 2010.  The conference is a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with a broad cross-section of international economic law specialists and hear from prominent keynote speakers including Professor Jose Alvarez at NYU and WTO Appellate Body member Ricardo Ramirez (Mexico). Under the theme of International Economic Law in a Time of Change: Reassessing Legal

Monkey Business

It has been a while since I reported on the nastiness that is exotic animal smuggling. Here is a story from the BBC about a man arrested in Mexico City for smuggling titi monkeys from Peru. He had them rolled up in socks under his clothing, to protect them from having to be x-rayed as cargo. He had 18 monkeys with him, two of which had died when he was arrested.

APHIS Wins One

Sometimes, interesting court decisions come from someplace other than the Court of International Trade or Federal Circuit. In this case, it is the Second Circuit. In Natural Resources Defense Council v. Department of Agriculture , the NRDC, California, Connecticut, and my state of Illinois sued the Department of Ag over its implementation of regulations regarding imported solid wood packing materials. If you are event tangentially involved in international logistics, you know that wood packing materials have been identified as a vector for plant pests entering the United States. Emerald ash borers and Asian longhorn beetles have destroyed trees throughout the U.S. and in my neighborhood. Given the danger posed by these and other pests, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service decided to regulate the importation of SWPM. The issue in this case is whether APHIS properly considered the alternatives, including the possibility of a phased-in complete ban on SWPM. The legal basis fo

DNA in the CIT

Remember the scene in Jurassic Park in which the characters watch a cartoon Mr. DNA explain how the bad guys sequenced bits of dinosaur DNA taken from amber-preserved mosquitoes then strung the strands together to form the full genome of the various soon to be rampaging Triassic (not Jurassic) critters? If you do (or if you are familiar with the phrase "polymerase chain reaction"), you will understand what was at issue in Applied Biosystems v. United States . If not, or if you just don't care, you will be happy to know that this is a straight-forward classification case. The issue was whether thermal cyclers used in gene sequencing should be classified as machinery, plant or laboratory equipment for the treatment of materials by a process involving a change in temperature. The alternative advanced by the plaintiff was classification as automated regulating or controlling instruments. If Mr. DNA were explaining this, he would say, "What it comes down to is whether t

A Material Question

A problem with which I have been grappling lately is how to advise clients on when raw materials are processed far enough to be considered unfinished articles. Sometimes it is a tough call. In Canex Int'l Lumber Sales v. U.S., the Court of International provided a good review of the law. The issue in Canex was whether certain sawn lumber was classifiable as wood in 4407 or as builders' joinery in 4418. In other words, is the merchandise wood, a basic material, or parts suitable for use in assembly. To cut to the chase on Canex, Customs and Border Protection won this one. The goods are not advanced enough to be considered dedicated to use in trusses (the apparent intended purpose) and the documentation did not show how the individual pieces would be assembled into a truss. More relevant to my question is the general discussion on differentiating materials from articles. On this point, I will rely on the text from the decision: Heading 4418, HTSUS covers “[b]uilders’ joinery

The Elena Kagan Hearings

What I want to know is: Where was Lindsay Graham on Passover?