International Trade: Customs, Tariffs and Import Regulations

Overview

Importers and foreign manufacturers look to BakerHostetler’s Customs and Import Compliance team for advice on compliance with U.S. laws and regulations pertaining to customs, tariffs and imports. We help clients understand and comply with requirements for the proper classification, valuation and marking of goods upon importation into the United States. We counsel them on country of origin determinations, application of free trade agreements, and supply chain planning that may affect their exposure to customs duties and tariffs. We defend their interests in responding to inquiries, investigations, audits, penalty proceedings and litigation conducted by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP).

Our team includes practitioners with experience representing and defending companies from a variety of industries in front of government bodies, including CBP and the Department of Commerce. Members of our team have prior experience working in the Department of Commerce, the Department of State, the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the Court of International Trade. We work collaboratively with other members of our International Trade team to address issues involving trade remedies, export controls and sanctions, and throughout the firm to ensure ongoing and comprehensive regulatory compliance on items including government contracting and diligence reviews.

The team advises and represents clients with respect to:

  • Classification, valuation, origin and marking of imported goods.
  • Application of free trade agreements and other preferential tariff programs.
  • Responding to CBP CF 28 inquiries and CF 29 notices.
  • Responding to liquidated damages, pre-penalty, penalty and seizure notices for potential violations.
  • Defending clients in customs audits.
  • Crafting company compliance programs.
  • Internal company reviews, investigations of potential violations and preparation of prior disclosures to protect against exposure to penalties.
  • Requests for CBP rulings.
  • Protests and appeals.
  • Compliance with the Buy American Act, Trade Agreements Act and other domestic preference provisions in government procurement agreements.
  • Obtaining tariff exclusions from Section 301 China tariffs and Section 232 national security tariffs on steel and aluminum.
  • Scope rulings for anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders.
  • CBP’s enforcement of other regulatory disciplines such as food and drug regulations, intellectual property infringement, and consumer and product safety.

Select Experience

  • Won the reversal of an erroneous CBP classification decision and a US$1 million duty bill, clearing the way for heavy machinery to be delivered to a job site on time for a large-scale transportation provider.
  • Obtained a CBP government procurement country of origin ruling allowing the client, an aerospace manufacturer, to launch a new business segment of federal government sales.
  • Successfully defended a forest products manufacturer in an audit over the valuation of goods subject to anti-dumping and countervailing duties.
  • Obtained full refunds of duties and cancellation of penalty proceedings arising from CBP allegations of misclassified imports over a five-year period for an international equipment manufacturer.
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Experience

  • Won the reversal of an erroneous CBP classification decision and a US$1 million duty bill, clearing the way for heavy machinery to be delivered to a job site on time for a large-scale transportation provider.
  • Obtained a CBP government procurement country of origin ruling allowing the client, an aerospace manufacturer, to launch a new business segment of federal government sales.
  • Successfully defended a forest products manufacturer in an audit over the valuation of goods subject to anti-dumping and countervailing duties.
  • Obtained full refunds of duties and cancellation of penalty proceedings arising from CBP allegations of misclassified imports over a five-year period for an international equipment manufacturer.

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