Showing posts from June, 2019

The Drawback of Complexity

Getting a refund from the United States Federal Government is never easy. In the case of customs duty drawback, it can also be aggravating. That is one of the lessons of EchoStar Technologies, LLC v. United States , a recent decision of the U.S. Court of International Trade. As background, duty drawback is a statutory program under which a party can claim a refund of 99% of the duties paid on imported merchandise after that merchandise has been exported, destroyed, or used to manufacture something that was exported. It is also possible to claim drawback for duties paid on something that was imported where a commercially equivalent item was subsequently exported or destroyed. The details of drawback law are set out in 19 USC 1313 and 19 CFR Part 191 and there are many details regarding how to make a successful claim. Note also that drawback has undergone a recent and significant change pursuant to the  Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 , which I discussed here

CAFC Orders U-Turn in Ford Transit Case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has issued the much-anticipated decision in Ford Motor Company v. United States . For many who have been watching this case closely, the most important takeaway is what the Court did not do. This decision does not in any way question the ongoing validity of tariff engineering for duty savings. Tariff engineering is the practice of designing products to meet the requirements for classification in a tariff provision with a beneficial rate of duty. The law on that is unchanged. So, what did just happen? First, I recommend you go back and look at the prior blog posts on this case. There is a lot of background I do not want to reiterate here. In particular, read this and this . The short version of the story is that Ford Motor Company sells a vehicle in the U.S. known as the Transit Connect. The vehicle meets all U.S. safety requirements for passenger vehicles and is built off the Ford Focus passenger vehicle platform. When imported