Showing posts from May, 2013

The Problem with Test Cases: Deckers

UPDATE: On rare occasions, this blog generates a more detailed discussion about a particular case. This is one of those occasions. After talking it through with a respected and knowledgeable practitioner, I think a clarification is necessary. That clarification is as follows: This decision got me thinking about test cases and what it means to suspend a case under a designated test case. I used that opportunity to expound on this unique aspect of customs practice. But, in doing so, I did not make it clear that the result in Deckers did not depend on the fact that it had been suspended under a test case. Rather, the plaintiff filed a complaint. That moved the case out from suspension and after which it proceeded along as would any other case at the Court of International Trade. The decision in the test case did not ipso facto control the outcome. Instead, the Court decided the government's motion for summary judgment on the merits, which was also consistent with the decision in the t

Law Speeds Getting Snakes on a Plane (for Export)

H.R.-2158 , the Expedited Departure of Certain Snake Species Act, has been introduced in to Congress. The intent of the law is to create a Lacey Act exemption allowing for the expedited shipment of invasive snake species out of the U.S. Speaking as someone who watches a fair amount of Animal Planet, I hope this becomes law.

A Day Late and an Abomination Short

May 19 was Tariff of Abominations Day, a holiday I created for customs and trade compliance people. I hope you enjoyed yourself. If you are wondering what I am on about, please read this post from May of 2008 . And, if you are sufficiently Nerdist to get the reference, it has nothing to do with Emil Blonsky . Credit: Marvel Comics

A Laser-Like Focus on Questions of Law

The Court of International Trade's recent decision in EOS of North America v. United States  has a few interesting bits of legal analysis in it. The underlying facts of the case are simple enough. The EOS imported devices called "laser sintering machines." In more common terms, these are advanced 3D printers used to rapidly produce metal and plastic prototypes and other custom products from powdered raw material. A computer in the system interprets a three-dimensional mathematical model of the finished object and then directs a laser to melt the powder in a patter that corresponds to a thin layer of the finished object. When that layer is complete, the surface is recoated with powder and the laser melts the next layer of material. In this way, known as additive manufacturing, the system build up a possibly quite complex three-dimensional object. If you want to know how this cool technology works, watch this video: The dispute here is whether these machines are pro

Ugg. A Decision on Boots.

When last we considered the tariff classification of Ugg Classic Crochet boot , the Court of International Trade held that the boots are "of the slip-on type" and, therefore classifiable in HSTUS item 6404.19.35. Ugg appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has now affirmed the CIT . First, a note on usage. The Federal Circuit almost uniformly refers to the Court of International Trade as the "Trade Court." I wonder why that is. I am not aware of any practitioners who appear before that Court using that phrase. I think the common usage is either "CIT" as the shorthand or "Court of International Trade" in full. But, I like "Trade Court" and think I will adopt it (within the limits of satisfying Google that this is a place to find information on the Court of International Trade). Second, in this case, the majority decision decided to refer to HTSUS item 6404.19.35 as "subheading 19.35"). That is very muc

Victoria's Secret is Tariff Classification

Remember my post on the question of whether a fit model can testify on the question of whether a shelf bra provides support for her bosom? Sure you do, it's a classic of the customs blog genre. The Court of International Trade has now decided the relevant cases, which are Lerner New York, Inc. v. United States and Victoria's Secret Direct v. United States . Starting with Victoria's Secret, the issue was whether the article of clothing was properly classified as tank top or similar garment, which is the classification proposed by Customs and Border Protection. Plaintiff argued that the top was either a brassier or an unspecified "other garment." The garment was described on the invoice as a "basic tank" with "shelf bra." I am no expert on fashion, but a little time on Bing leads me to believe that this is similar to the garment in question: According to the Court: The shelf bra is formed from two pieces of fabric (front and back)

Post-Entry NAFTA Claims: Is Reconciliation a Waiver?

As you likely know, Ford Motor Company has been battling with Customs over whether it is entitled to duty refunds pursuant to post-entry NAFTA claims it made without submitting a completed NAFTA Certificate of Origin from the exporter within the required one-year period. This issue has been the subject of a number of prior posts. To catch up on it, read here , here , and here . This case follows the remand to the Court of International Trade, in which that Court considered the specific NAFTA-based requirements that an importer provide a copy of the certificate of origin with a post-entry claim made under 19 USC 1520(d). Ford had argued that is can make the claim without the certificate of origin and provide it subsequently because 19 CFR 10.112 provides: Whenever a free entry or a reduced duty document, form, or statement required to be filed in connection with the entry is not filed at the time of the entry or within the period for which a bond was filed for its production, but fa