Showing posts from April, 2020

New Challenge to 232 Duties Focuses on Exclusions

On April 21, 2020, Barnes, Richardson & Colburn LLP opened a new line in the challenges to certain Section 232 imposed duties on steel and aluminum products. In this case, brought on behalf of a Michigan-based metals importer, the challenge is directed at the exclusion process implemented by the Commerce Department. Specifically, because Section 232 exclusions are not applicable to all importers of the same product and are not implemented by changes to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, the exclusions result in the HTS items being non-uniform in their application to importers of merchandise classified under the same tariff item. This system is contrary to the constitutional requirement that “all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States . . . .” We believe that companies that continue to pay 232 duties for merchandise classified in an HTSUS item for which another entity has received an exclusion are at a competitive disadvantage and may be entitled to

A Victory for the Vaquita that is Hopefully Not Too Late

The Court of International Trade has issued an order lifting an injunction aimed at protecting the vaquita from illegal fishing by banning the importation of certain fisheries products from Mexico. The vaquita is a critically endangered porpoise that is endemic to the Gulf of California. The order is the result of a favorable settlement between the government and several environmental organizations. That is a good thing. For background on this case, read this post . The Court approved the settlement stating that the Government has changed course, announcing an embargo that embraces the one sought by Plaintiffs in their complaint and preliminarily issued by the court; indeed, it expands its reach. In short, Plaintiffs have achieved the outcome they sought before the court in the suit they filed. Presented for the court’s review is the settlement of the instant litigation as set forth in the Stipulation and Proposed Order of Voluntary Dismissal Under CIT Rule 41(a)(2), Apr. 10

90-Day Duty Deferral Ordered for COVID-19

Customs & Border Protection has issued a CSMS notice alerting the trade to an emergency order from the White House to defer the collection of some duties for goods entered between March 1 and April 30, 2020. The text of the summary of the corresponding Federal Register Notice is as follows: SUMMARY: In light of the President’s Proclamation Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) (Presidential Proclamation 9994) under the National Emergencies Act on March 13, 2020, and the President’s Executive Order entitled “National Emergency Authority to Postpone The Time to Deposit Certain Estimated Duties, Taxes, and Fees” authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to exercise the authority under section 318(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, issued on April 18, 2020, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the designee of the Secretary of Homeland Security (U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)), is amending the CBP regulations to temp

Tariff Classification: The Locked Inside Edition

While we are mostly working from home or other locations that keep us away from groups of people, it is a good time to reconsider the tariff classification of door locks. Happily, the Court of International Trade has given us another chapter in the Home Depot USA Inc v. United States dispute. In a previous chapter, the Court of International Trade classified keyed door knob assemblies in Heading 8301 as locks. Read about that opinion here . The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit took a different approach and held that the merchandise is a composite good consisting of a lock of Heading 8301 and knobs, which are base metal mountings or fittings of Heading 8302. Read about that here . The correct classification of the whole assembly, therefore, depends on the element that imparts the essential character. See General Rule of Interpretation 3(b). Determining essential character requires that the Court make findings of fact, which is not something that Courts of Appeals ever want