Showing posts from January, 2020

Foiled Again

The tariff classification of laminated plastic and aluminum foil has been a recurring issue. In Amcor Flexibles Singen GMBG v. United States , newly minted U.S. Court of International Trade Judge Timothy Reif waded into the question with notable stylistic flourish. Before we get to the legal details, take a second to read my prior post “ On 4202: Legal Briefs, Boxer Briefs, and Boxer Dogs ,” in which I recounted the difficulty I had trying to exercise my creative writing ambitions as a law clerk. In that post, I was happy to note that Judge Katzmann used anecdotes about Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman to contextualize a case on the tariff classification of textile pet crates. In Amcor, Judge Reif used the literary tool of “ bookending ” to set up his decision. To illustrate the importance of both the plastic and the foil in the combined product, the Judge begins his decision with the famous quip from Casablanca  in which Rick Blaine (Humphry Bogart) tells Captain Louis Renault (C

CAFC Gives CBP Suspension Authority for Ambiguous Orders

When an imported product is potentially subject to antidumping or countervailing duties, there has long been a tension between the roles of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Commerce Department in making the final decision of whether CBP should collect duty deposits. On the one hand, CBP is right there at the port and is the agency responsible for revenue collection. On the other hand, Commerce has the technical expertise in the dumping laws and drafted the scope description for the investigation and the order (with input from interested parties). Sunpreme, an importer of solar modules, has been engaged in a long-running dispute over the whether its imports are within the scope of an order on U.S. imports of certain solar cells from the People’s Republic of China. I'm not going to focus on the scope question here. For customs lawyers, the more interesting question is which agency gets to make the scope decision and how that impacts the process of importation. In Sunp

A Bag Of Classification

Everyone knows what a Ziploc-brand sandwich bag is and has a general sense of the range of uses for them. Personally, I use a small resealable (and probably not Ziploc-brand) bag every time I go out for a bike ride to hold my phone, ID, a key and a little cash. It helps me organize and protect my items while I transport them and myself around the neighborhood. I also use a larger ( i.e., non-sandwich sized )  resealable bag to collect loose change that I don't want jangling around in my pockets. [Note to younger readers: Old people like me sometimes use currency. Such transactions occasionally result in an over payment that is offset with coins in a process we used to call "making change."] What may be less clear is the tariff classification of resealable sandwich bags. That was the issue in S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. v. United States . We covered the lead up to this decision here . Rereading that post and the paragraph above, I realize I am low on creativity. More