Showing posts from June, 2018

Let's Talk About Bugs

The United States Department of Agriculture has the important obligation to protect American farms, orchards, forests, parks and backyards against the damage that can be caused by plant diseases and pests that enter the United States through our ports of entry. This is derived from the Plant Protection Act, 7 USC 7701 . For commercial importers, the most common pest vector is the humble wooden pallet, which can house and transport a number of pests including horntails (AKA wood wasps). From The problem with these critters and many like them is that they bore into trees to lay eggs. That can result in bugs emerging from processed lumber or even from completed structures. When pests are discovered by Agriculture Inspectors at port of entry, the USDA will issue an Emergency Action Notice. Generally, the EAN requires that the offending shipment be turned around and exported from the U.S. 7 CFR 319.40-3 . To prevent that from happening, the USDA has ad

Last Stand for Active Frontier

The saga of the Active Frontier penalty case has been going on since 2011. The CIT has just issued a default judgment against the company, ending this phase of the litigation. For background, start with this post . The important take-away from this case is how the Court set the penalty amount. The alleged material false statement in this case is the country of origin. Under the circumstances, this is a non-revenue violation and the maximum penalty is 20% of the value of the goods. 19 USC 1592(c)(3) . The United States sought the maximum allowable penalty, which was about $80,000. Despite the defendant not showing up to refute the claims or assert any mitigating factors, the Court did not say it was bound to assess the maximum penalty. On the contrary, it noted that the penalty is to be set de novo by the Court on the basis of the available information. Here, the Court noted that the true bills of lading clearly showed the true origin of the merchandise. Defendant, exercising eve

OMG, a Dispatch from the Benelux

Antwerp is a lovely city in which to spend a few days talking about trade law, European privacy regulations, and eating everything in sight. There were also more than a few Belgian beers involved. I am now on a train from Antwerp to Amsterdam. On the way, I figured I would read OMG, Inc. v. United States . "Why?," you might reasonably ask. [Is that remotely the correct way to punctuate that sentence?] Well, it is what I do for you. Despite the caption, OMG is not about internet-age acronyms. Nor is it about products intended for teenage girls in poorly written CW dramas. [Note: I don't actually know that teenage girls on CW dramas ever say "OMG," but I feel like they might.] Rather, it is about the scope of the antidumping duty order on steel nails from Vietnam. The scope of that order states, in part: The merchandise covered by the Orders is certain steel nails having a nominal shaft length not exceeding 12 inches.  Certain steel nails include, but