Companies that import goods into the United States face a continually evolving regulatory arena. Beyond simple classification, marking, and valuation issues, importers must contend with Importer Security Filings (ISF), focused assessments, the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), expanding Free Trade Agreements (FTA), and the ongoing modernization and digitization of entry procedures.
The Customs Law and Compliance component of our Practice advises importers on every aspect of the importation process. We represent clients before local port officials, at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) headquarters in Washington, DC, and before the U.S. Court of International Trade in New York. We recognize that CBP is not the only agency regulating imports, and that proper coordination between CBP and other agencies is critical to successful importation. Accordingly, we liaise with agencies as diverse as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in ensuring our clients' entries proceed smoothly.
Our Practice provides the full range of customs compliance-related services, including:
- Classification, country of origin, and valuation assessments;
- Guiding clients through focused assessments;
- Developing customs compliance programs;
- Preparing successful prior disclosures and protests;
- Advice on C-TPAT certification and compliance;
- Analyzing FTA eligibility and compliance;
- Obtaining CBP ruling letters;
- Assisting with multi-agency import permits and licenses;
- Securing additional statistical tariff breakouts;
- Reducing tariffs through miscellaneous tariff bills;
- Litigation in the U.S. Court of International Trade; and
- Analyzing proposed transactions for compliance with the full range of U.S. import laws.
Our attorneys regularly meet with CBP officials at both headquarters and the individual ports, teach courses to CBP officials and brokers on the proper classification and treatment of imported products, and assist clients with areas that are often overlooked by other firms, such as the interplay between customs and antidumping duty law, and successful coordination of multi-agency regulatory schemes.
Wiley Rein is continually expanding its expertise in a range of import issues, from reducing overall costs through multi-country sourcing to ensuring protection for intellectual property in the import context. Maureen E. Thorson, a licensed U.S. Customs broker and a former U.S. Court of International Trade clerk, advises and represents clients on a wide variety of customs issues under both U.S. and foreign law.
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