Showing posts from March, 2023

Kent International Rides to Victory

 Kent International has been in a dispute with Customs over the classification of "Kangaroo Carrier" child safety seats for bicycles for so long that it has generated six judicial opinions. We last covered it here . In what imight be the last word, the Court of International Trade has handed a limited win to Kent . Photo by James Wainscoat on Unsplash This decision is not really about the classification. On the merits, the Court previously found that the seats are classifiable in Heading 8714 as accessories to bicycles. What was at issue in this decision is whether Kent was entitled to have some of the entries liquidated as "seats" in Heding 9401 because Customs and Border Protection's prior liquidations constitute a legal "treatment" of the merchandise as such. A "treatment" is analogous to a ruling, except it just happens as a matter Customs' actions on entries. It is relevant here because once a "treatment" is established,

Decision on Section 301 List 3 and 4A

The Court of International Trade has issued a decision in the lead case challenging the Section 301 duties on products of China covered by List 3 and 4A.  This case is almost unique in the number of plaintiffs and law firms involved. The most similar prior circumstance involving as much of the customs and trade bar was the litigation involving Harbor Maintenance Tax, which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1998 resulting in a decision called United States v. U.S. Shoe Corp .  For purposes of this blog, this raises an issue. My firm, like dozens of other firms, has plaintiffs asserting the same claims. The matter is ongoing and, therefore, I don't want to say much about anything. So here is the short version. The Court previously remanded the matter to the USTR to provide a better explanation of how the record demonstrates that the agency properly engaged with public comments in opposition to the List 3 and 4A tariffs including the size of the remedy and whether there w

Revenge of the Hobgoblin

UPDATE: A kind reader let me know I misattributed the quote. It is not from Thoreau as originally reported. Thanks for the feedback.  There is a saying, attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson that “Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” The point of that seems to be that doing something the same way solely for the reason of maintaining consistency is a poor strategy. For trade compliance that is often true. The fact that a manager who retired from accounting in 1995 once said that none of your company’s tooling expenses are dutiable is not a solid reason for failing to report dutiable assists in 2023. Maybe in 1995 all the tooling was in the U.S., and it is now all over the globe. Consistency for the sake of consistency is not a good enough reason to maintain a compliance process. There should be some underlying reason to believe the process is legally correct. On the other hand, inexplicable inconsistency can be evidence of fraud. An ongoing penalty case in the Court of