Showing posts from June, 2011

Exclusions Seized are not Excluded from Court

I rarely mention specific judges of the Court of International Trade. I generally never want my blog posts to be personal and I certainly do not want to risk having a judge think I am taking pot shots. But, I presently feel compelled to call out Judge Timothy Stanceu. Happily, it is because he is my hero of the moment due to his decision in CBB Group, Inc. v. United States . Anyone interested in how Customs and Border Protection treats merchandise detained, excluded, and ultimately seized for alleged intellectual property violations should read this case. The important point of background is that Customs can’t hang on to imported merchandise indefinitely without going through several procedural steps. When merchandise first arrives, Customs has five days in which to release it. After that, it is considered to be “detained.” Detention is sort of importer limbo. But, after 30 days of detention, the goods are considered to have been “excluded.” Keep in mind that “exclusion” is not a seiz

Who Left USTR In Charge?

Usually, when a federal agency takes some action, it provides a statement of legal authority. While this may look like boilerplate, it can be important. For example, the statute providing legal authority might include procedural steps that must be followed before the action can be taken. Or, the legal authority might dictate whether a court has jurisdiction to review the action. Almond Bros. Lumber v. United States , is an example of the latter. This case from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit involves the long-running dispute between the United States and Canada over softwood lumber imports to the U.S. Softwood lumber is possibly the Jarndyce v. Jarndyce of the trade world. [Note: I never actually read Bleak House, I just like the metaphor.] All you need to understand this case is the gist, and that is all I will give you. Canada sells lots of softwood lumber to the U.S. Back in 1986, a coalition of U.S. lumber producers filed a petition seeking the imposition of counter

Things that are on my Mind

Did you know that Customs had previously ruled that imported business cards required country of origin marking on every card, not just the box? If not, scroll down to page 16 in this Bulletin . Happily, the notice is a revocation of the rulings. In the revocation, Customs agrees that marking on the box in which the cards reach the purchaser is enough. Customs has reminded (?) the trade that if you are making a post-entry NAFTA claim that includes a change in tariff classification, the HTSUS change needs to be handled via either a protest or a PEA. The NAFTA change is to be handled via a 520(d) claim. So says CBP here . I have three decisions on my desk to review and possibly blog. At least two are interesting to me. One involves a jurisdictional dispute over an intellectual property seizure. Another involved a denied drawback claim. The third is a penalty case. You tell me which you want first. Lastly, and very important, is a note that the Border Patrol (a unit of Customs and

Revenge of the TSUS: "More Than" Rides Again

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has decided the appeal in Camelbak Products LLC v. United States . And, in this case, the Camelbak is the winner. You may recall we discussed this case earlier here . In that post, my main gripe was that the Court of International Trade did not perform much of an analysis of whether the combined backpack/hydration system was a composite good for tariff purposes. It turns out that I was basically right, though the Court of Appeals went further than I thought it might. This is a very interesting opinion. The Federal Circuit first had to deal with the question of whether the Court of International Trade was correct that the backpack/hydration system falls within the scope of the eo nomine provisions for travel, sports, and similar bags in HTSUS heading 4202. If it does, then the goods are classifiable there pursuant to GRI 1. On the other hand, there is also an eo nomine provision for beverage bags. In deciding whether Customs and Border Pr

Things I Should Have Said

I have a bad habit of assuming that people who visit this site are completely up to date on what is going on administratively. So, I failed to let people know about something fairly important: Customs issued new guidance to the ports on the proper use of the CF 28 (Request for Information) and CF 29 (Notice of Action) and how those documents relate to the commencement of an investigation. I posted about the issue her e. Due to my confirmed belief that there is no copyright in works created by the federal government, I am posting the notice in its entirety. Note, I have no idea why there are numbers throughout. GUIDANCE:   PASS TO:        Please pass this information to port directors, assistant port directors, import specialists, entry specialists, brokers, and importers.5 CONTACT:     For questions regarding this memorandum, please contact Ms. Laurie Dempsey,   Chief, Entry, Summary, and Drawback at (202) 863-6509,