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Customs and Trade News Weekly Snapshot

Here is a recap of the latest customs and international trade law news:      

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)  

  • CBP releases March 2024 monthly update. Highlights: 
    • Processed more than 2.8 million entry summaries 
    • Identified estimated duties of nearly $6.2 billion to be collected by the U.S. government 
    • Stopped 749 shipments for further examination based on the suspected use of forced labor 
    • Seized 1,633 shipments that contained counterfeit goods 
  • CBP’s National Commodity Specialist Division (NCSD) has announced its webinar series lineup for May. View full list here. 
  • CBP published an update This is an update to their April 1 publication on vague cargo descriptions.  published on April 1, 2024.  
    • This nationwide cargo messaging will be sent in the SO20 record (position 8-57) with a Reference Identifier Qualifier “CMT” within the ACE Cargo Release Status Notification message.
  • EAPA Update: EAPA Case 7818: AMVC-Midwest LLC aka Midwest Livestock Systems, LLC (Notice of Determination as to Evasion). 

Department of Commerce (DOC)

By |2024-04-19T16:05:14-04:00April 19, 2024|Snapshot|0 Comments

From Chaos to Compliance: A Guide for Importers

Many mistake the ease of importing to mean there is no liability or obligation on the part of the importer. Whether your company is new to importing, or has been in the business for years, CBP expects importers to use “reasonable care” to ensure compliance with relevant rules and regulations. Importers are at risk of being subject to enforcement actions by CBP if they do not comply with the reasonable care standard when importing goods into the U.S. This article provides an overview of CBP’s expectations of an importer and practical advice on what you must have in your import compliance plan.

How Did We Get Here?

December 8th, 1993, the Dow Jones reached a record high of 3734.53, Janet Jackson’s “Again” remained number one on the charts, and President Bill Clinton signed the Customs Modernization Act (Mod Act). The Mod Act altered the import compliance landscape by making it the responsibility of the importer to classify items, determine their value, etc. The law also imposed a legal obligation to use “reasonable care” in doing so, or else Customs could (and would) impose penalties.

What Exactly is “Reasonable Care”?

Reasonable care requires importers to conduct themselves as a reasonable importer would under the circumstance with respect to importing goods into the United States.

Reasonable care requires importers to:

  • Meet the standard to enter, classify and determine the value of imported goods
  • Provide other information necessary to aid CBP in properly assessing duties and collecting accurate statistics
  • Determine whether other applicable legal standards and […]
By |2024-04-19T15:30:55-04:00April 19, 2024|Import, Pre-compliance|0 Comments

The False Claims Act: Get Paid to Expose Fraud & Unfair Competition, Protect Yourself from an Investigation

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!! UPCOMING False Claims Act Webinar !!

Learn how to expose fraud, blow the whistle on unfair competition, and avoid being the target of an FCA investigation

May 9, 2024 | 12:00 PM ET

Speakers: Jennifer Diaz, President &Dana Watts, Of Counsel, Diaz Trade Law and Jonathan Tycko, Partner, Tycko & Zavareei LLP

Register HERE.

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The False Claims Act (FCA) is a powerful federal anti-fraud law that incentivizes average people to expose fraud. The law attempts to reward whistleblowers and disincentivize committing fraud and can be used to expose customs fraud.

What is the False Claims Act?

The FCA, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 – 3733, is a federal statute enacted in 1863 in response to defense contractor fraud during the Civil War.

The FCA provides that any person who knowingly submits, or causes to submit, false claims to the government is liable for three times the government’s damages plus a penalty. Conspiring to commit these acts also is a violation of the FCA.

The FCA allows the U.S. government to investigate perpetrators of fraud directly, but it also provides an avenue for private citizens to become whistleblowers and expose fraud.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) obtained more than $2.68 billion in settlements and judgments involving fraud and false claims in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2023.

The FCA and International Trade

The FCA is commonly used to prosecute financial crime such as misuse of federal grants and healthcare related claims. However, in recent years the FCA has been increasingly used to allege customs duty […]

Customs and Trade News Weekly Snapshot

Here is a recap of the latest customs and international trade law news:      

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)  

By |2024-04-12T15:07:20-04:00April 12, 2024|Snapshot|0 Comments

The Arena of EAPA: Transshipping, Pencils, and Evading Duties

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) investigates allegations of dumping or unfair foreign subsidies, but they also have the authority to investigate potential violations of any imposed Anti-Dumping or Countervailing Duties (AD/CVD) under the Enforce and Protect Act (EAPA) of 2015.

Customs describes EAPA as a “multi-party, transparent, administrative proceeding where parties can both participate in and learn the outcome of the investigation. It also maintains due process for parties to the investigation by providing an option for them to request administrative and judicial reviews of CBP’s determination as to evasion.” Self-assertions of transparency and due process aside, many have found EAPA cases to be highly secretive and not always fair.

Frequently, an EAPA case involves an allegation that Chinese goods are allegedly transshipped through another country (or only subject to minor processing) to avoid paying AD/CVD duties. Since AD/CVD duties are applicable based upon the commodities country of origin, nefarious companies can ship goods from China to for example, Vietnam, India, Mexico, Taiwan, Malaysia, or some other country, and claim that these goods do not originate from China after all. Importers, in good faith, will declare that their imports are not subject to AD/CVD duties because they are not aware of the true origin of the goods. Such importers might not be liable for penalties if their belief was in good faith and based on facts, but such importers would still be subject to massive duties. Thus, contrary to popular option, good/honest importers may also find themselves the recipient of […]

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