Showing posts from December, 2010

Pre-Break Update

I am going to be off the grid next week (more or less). So, to keep everyone happy while I am gone, here are some things to contemplate: The House passed its Omnibus Trade Act of 2010 on December 15. The bills contains an 18-month extension of GSP and an 18-month extension of ATPA/ATPDEA but only for Ecuador and Colombia, not for Peru. Here is a link to the bill text . The bill also contains many temporary duty rate reductions. The Senate is expected to take up the bill soon. The final text of the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement has been published and the USTR is seeking comments on it before February 15.

Costco: Tie Goes to the Circuit Court

The Supreme Court has decided the Costco grey market Omega watch case . We discussed that earlier here . Unfortunately for those seeking clarity, the case was "decided" by an eight-judge panel. Newest Justice Kagan was excluded because she worked on the case at the Justice Department. As you Supreme Court scholars know, a tie decision results in a non-precedential affirmance of the lower court decision. Thus, this is entirely anticlimactic.


I have never intended this blog to be nothing more than a repository of case law from the Court of International Trade and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. My goal is that this blog serves as a place to find analysis of developments in the area of customs law and compliance. Early on, I blogged on more general topics involving corporate compliance and regulatory changes. Lately, I have not had much inspiration to do so. I want that to change. In fact, for 2011 I resolve to post more often on regulatory and compliance developments. If you want to help me improve the blog for next year, feel free to send me questions or post ideas. My friends and readers out there have been of great assistance in making this blog work. So, to the Retired Customs Guy, the Broker in Texas, to Matt, and to Anonymous, keep the comments and questions coming. It helps keep the bold interesting for all involved. Now that I am done pleading with you, I will talk about a pleading case from the Cour

On the Horizon

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has decided the appeal in Horizon Lines v. United States . Interestingly, the CAFC affirmed the Court of International Trade but found that the lower court had committed harmless error in its legal analysis. Since you follow these things, you probably remember that this case involved duties assessed by the United States for ship repairs undertaken outside the U.S. Horizon Lines challenged the duty assessment on the grounds that the work performed on the ship was not a dutiable repair but was actually a non-dutiable modification. I know this kind of semantic distinction makes non-lawyers crazy, but there it is. That is how the law is written and that is what Customs and the Court must apply. The modification in question was an improvement to the container guide system used to place containers in appropriate locations in the cargo hold. The change improved the speed and ease of loading the ship and improved safety during the loading opera

Slow News Edition

It looks like imports from Canada will be subject to the same requirements for fumigating or heat treating wood packing materials that apply to the rest of the world. FR Notice. Also, the ITC report on modifying the tariff treatment of certain festive articles has been delayed until December 13. Here is a CBP Fact Sheet on import safety. Updated list of countries cooperating in the Arab League Boycott.