Showing posts from January, 2013

Pomeroy Collection

I am going to make short work of a long opinion. The Pomeroy Collection, Ltd. v. United States concerns the tariff classification of various glass and glass and metal decorative items that may or may not be used as candle holders. And that is really the gist of the case. As imported, none of the items included a candle and, unlike traditional candlesticks or candelabras, there was no cup, spike, or other mechanism in these articles to hold a candle in place. Rather, the imported merchandise consisted of the following: Concave glass plates with small pillar feet on the bottom. I am picturing a very shallow bowl with feet to make it stable when displayed on a shelf or tabletop. Glass vessels with a rounded bottoms held in a decorative metal stand to be placed on the floor. Glass vessels with rounded bottoms held in a decorative metal fixture to be attached to a wall. For this, I am picturing a fairly deep bowl or vase mounted to the wall sconce-style. Here is the best illustrat

A Core Marking Question

It has been a while since I covered a Customs and Border Protection ruling. But, HQ H171035 is right in my wheelhouse of personal and professional interest. It concerns the application of NAFTA and non-NAFTA marking rules to used motor vehicle parts imported for remanufacturing. In the industry, these are called "cores."   It is important to note that the ruling does not address the NAFTA origin of or the entry requirement for the dirty core when imported. It appears from the ruling that non-NAFTA claims were involved. The ruling also does not address the origin marking on the outermost packaging of the dirty cores imported for further processing. Rather, it focuses only on the marking of the remanufactured parts, which are presumably sold in the aftermarket. For core from non-NAFTA countries, the applicable law is that the ultimate purchaser should be able to identify its country of origin from the marking on the imported goods. For this purpose, “country of origin”

Third Time is the Charm in Active Frontier

Before you jump into this update on Active Frontier , you might want to refresh yourself here and here . You will recall that this is a case where the United States is trying to get a default judgment against an importer who falsely declared the country of origin of apparel on the entry documents. Customs and Border Protection assessed a penalty based on negligence and moved in the Court of International Trade to collect 20% of the value of the goods. In the first decision in this matter, the Court denied the claim because the pleadings did not establish that the false statement of origin was material. Materiality is required by the penalty statute, 19 USC 1529 . The Court gave plaintiff the opportunity to amend the complaint to assert facts showing that the statement of origin was both false and material. The government undertook two motion to amend, the first of which was denied and the second was withdrawn. This opinion focuses on the third amended complaint. In this motion,

NAFTA News from Canada

This is a follow up to my tweet from last week about the Canadian International Trade Tribunal determination in the long-running dispute between Frito-Lay Canada and Canada Border Services Agency . The issue had to do with Cheetos erroneously entered into Canada classified as cardboard boxes. [Insert your own cardboard Cheetos jokes here.] Frito-Lay paid the MFN duty applicable to cardboard, which was zero. Apparently because of the zero duty, Frito-Lay did not make a NAFTA claim at the time of entry, although the goods were originating. Subsequently, Frito-Lay discovered the error and corrected it under subsection 32.2(2) of the Customs Act. Because Cheetos are dutiable, Frito-Lay included a NAFTA claim and supporting NAFTA certificates of origin in the corrections. In Frito-Lay's eyes, this was a revenue-neutral correction, and should not have been very controversial. Unfortunately, CBSA disagreed. There are complications in the written decision because CBSA treated groups

Reimbursement Certificates

This is the Customs Law Blog, not the Trade Remedies Blog. Nevertheless, Customs and Border Protection is the agency that enforces the trade laws and, therefore, we sometimes run into issues involving antidumping and countervailing duty law. One such issue has to do with the reimbursement of antidumping duties. As you likely know, antidumping duties ("ADD") are assessed on imports where the Department of Commerce has found that the goods are sold in the U.S. at a price that is less than the price for the like product in the home market. So, Bruce in Sydney sells his locally made wombat food for $10 per pound in Australia and $8 per pound in the U.S., Bruce is dumping the goods and the margin on that particular sale is $2. Before the U.S. will take any action, the International Trade Commission must also find that the $2 margin on wombat food causes or threatens to cause injury to the U.S. industry producing the like product over here. If we assume that Bruce's wombat


Everyone has mentors. A funny thing about mentors is that the the person serving in that role may not always know or appreciate the fact that he or she is doing it. But, it is a fact of life. We all learn from people we know and respect and, if we are lucky, we help others along the way. This was an eventful week for my mentors. On the positive side, Michael B. Hyman was elevated to Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court. That could not have happened to a more deserving lawyer and the people of the State of Illinois will benefit from his presence on the court. Mike was my editor-in-chief for about 10 years while I wrote a column for the CBA Record on law office technology. Mike always struck exactly the right balance of supportive and demanding. He got some of my best non-professional writing and I am proud of the work we did together. Beyond my small contribution to the Record, I have always been impressed with the passion and energy that Mike puts into everything he does. He was

Happy New Year Slip Op 13-1

I hate the inevitable New Year's Day news story about the first local baby born in the new year. Not just because I am generally curmudgeonly, but also because I am skeptical of the data. I wonder how many birth certificates that should legitimately list the time of birth as 11:58 PM are fudged to 12:00:03 AM at the behest of competitive hospital marketing staffs. On the other hand, I can say with certainty that the first decision of the Court of International Trade for 2013 is: [drum roll please]  United States v. Millenium Lumber . [Insert sounds of popping corks and a band playing Auld Lang Syne.] There was a prior decision in the same case in 2012. That case was pretty procedural and held that the case should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. I'm not going to say more about that, and will move on to the merits. This is a case in which the United States is seeking to collect almost $2 million in liquidated damages fro

Update on Horizon Line and Ancient Coins

By way of update, I failed to note that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the Court of International Trade with respect to the dutiability of bottom paining a vessel in a foreign port. In this case, the painting was not done to repair the vessel but was an upgrade for compliance with environmental rules. Thus, the Court of International Trade found the painting to be non-dutiable. We covered the initial decision here . The result of this is that Customs and border Protection has revoked its original ruling on this issue. You can read the revocation here . Also, the fine folks at International Trade Today report that the Fourth Circuit has declined to grant en banc review in Ancient Coin Collectors Guild v. United States Customs and Border Protection. We covered that case here.