Showing posts from August, 2023

Ellwood City Blues

Despite being judicial review of agency action, principles of administrative law do not always apply to customs law. That is because most decisions by Customs and Border Protection affecting the importation of merchandise are subject to administrative review in the protest process and then judicial review on a de novo standard. That means the judge will make a decision based on the evidence presented to the court rather than the administrative record on which the agency based its decision.  For comparison, in a trade case, the court will uphold a Commerce Department dumping margin calculation as long as the decision is based on substantial evidence in the record  and is otherwise in accordance with law. That means the agency can prevail even if the court would have reached a contrary conclusion. That is the opposite of, for example, a tariff classification case in which the court is required to reach the correct result based on the evidence before it with little regard for Customs'

Target on Finality

In the last post , about the Federal Circuit’s very important decision on due process and allegations of evasion of antidumping duties, I made a snarky, offhand comment that the government believes “liquidation is magic.” That was in the context of the government arguing that Customs’ liquidation of entries mooted an appeal, thereby taking away the importer’s right to further judicial review. I said that knowing full well that I still needed to write this post summarizing Target Corp. v. United States in which Target made what I want to be a valid and righteous argument that Customs’ improper liquidation of entries at a favorable rate of antidumping duty prevents the Court of International Trade from ordering Customs to collect the legally applicable duties. But it turns out that while liquidation is an important legal step, in at least one unusual circumstance it is not sufficiently powerful to overcome the full force of an Article III court. Understanding this case requires a lot