Customs Classification – A Key Component of an Import Compliance Manual

We are often asked by importers to assist in classifying their products under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. (“HTS” or “HTSUS”). While seeking assistance from expert counsel is a best practice, under the CBP Modernization Act, an importer of record (“IOR”) is the sole party responsible for determining the correct classification of imported goods (and thereby paying the correct amount of customs duties). An IOR must use reasonable care in classifying its product at the time of entry. Should an importer misclassify their products and not pay the appropriate duties to CBP at the time of importation; the importer is exposing itself to potential CBP penalties under 19 U.S.C. 1592.  The process of classifying goods can be a tedious process and may require time and research to arrive at the correct HTSUS number for any one product.

This blog expands our prior blog, Crash Course in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, and provides additional detail on the classification process and tips for importers to use when deciding on a classification its customs broker will declare to CBP.  Importers are encouraged to attend the webinar How to Build and Maintain an Effective Import Compliance Plan on October 6, 2021 (and on-demand) for best practices on how to build and maintain an import compliance plan by addressing common risks associated with the import process – including product classification.

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How to Build and Maintain an Effective Import Compliance Plan

CBP enforcement is on the rise.  If your business is importing into the U.S., or wants to start, our one-hour, NEI accredited, webinar on “Building & Maintaining an Effective Import Compliance Plan”  will provide best practices and TOP tips to build an import compliance plan.

Register today to to hear directly from Senior Trade Advisor, Don Woods, DTL’s president, Jennifer Diaz, and Associate Attorney, Denise Calle as they discuss real life stories, current trends/risks associated with the import process, proactive ways to stay compliant, and the importance of training to avoid costly encounters with CBP. […]

Keysight Technologies Pays $6.6M to State Department for Export Violations

The U.S. Department of State and the California-based company Keysight Technologies Inc. have reached a settlement of $6.6 million for violations of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), 22 U.S.C. § 2751 et seq., and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 C.F.R. Parts 120-130.  This settlement comes after a compliance review by the Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance (DDTC) in the Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs for exporting unauthorized software used for testing radar equipment (on fixed or mobile platforms) to countries including Russia and China.

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Customs Valuation 101

What is Valuation and Why Does it Matter? Customs Valuation is a procedure to determine the customs value of imported goods. The customs value is essential to calculate the total duty to be paid on an imported good. Because there was a need for the international community to have a standardized system for valuing imports, many nations became signatories to a World Trade Organization (“WTO”) agreement that established valuation norms known as the Tokyo Round Valuation Code (later amended into the WTO Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of the GATT 1994).

The United States was a signatory to these treaties and currently maintains and enforces a rigorous valuation system. The U.S. Customs valuation methodology (as well as a summary of relevant Customs rulings) are described in detail in the Valuation Encyclopedia. A common customs valuation standard is important because it ensures that:

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Insight on Last 6 Months of Biden/Congress on Trade

A lot has happened in the first 6 months of the Biden administration. Notable developments include (at least temporary) resolutions in the large civil aircraft and digital service tax disputes, consensus around a global minimum corporate tax of 15%, lawsuits pertaining to Section 232, increased export controls enforcement, shifting U.S. policy stances on Cuba, and more. However, the most important developments pertain to the ongoing U.S.-China trade war. The U.S. and China are engaged in ongoing negotiations while tensions have risen, a lawsuit challenging Trump’s imposition of 301 tariffs are underway, and a massive U.S. competitiveness bill is being considered in Congress that could bring back broad China tariff exclusions. Join us for a jam-packed hour where we discuss everything that has happened in the world of U.S. trade policy over the past 6 months, and provide insight into how Biden’s trade policies affect industry.

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Jennifer Diaz Presenting at Global Trade Educational Conference 2021

The NCBFAA Educational Institute invites all global logistics professionals to its 7th Annual Global Trade Educational Conference (GTEC). This two-day event in  Baltimore, MD will give customs brokers, freight forwarders, NVOCCs, OTI, service providers, importers, exporters and all global logistics professionals an opportunity to update themselves on industry developments and connect with colleagues new and old.

Join us IN PERSON in Baltimore, MD, July 26-27, 2021. NCBFAA NEI and hotel staff will be complying with all state and venue COVID-19 protocols so you can feel safe attending the event! Virtual attendance is available, so you can gain knowledge from anywhere!

REGISTER TODAY!

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Submitting Voluntary Self-Disclosures to Bureau of Industry & Security

Diaz Trade Law’s President, Jennifer Diaz,  and Associate Attorney, Sharath Patil, are enthusiastic to announce Bloomberg Law published another one of our articles, “Submitting Voluntary Self-Disclosures to Bureau of Industry & Security”! Below is the article reproduced with permission for your reading pleasure. We’d love to hear your feedback!

You can read the article here (where you’ll have the ability to access all of the great hyperlinks). Please note you cannot click on the hyperlinks below.

We’d love to hear your feedback!

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Incoterms 2020

Diaz Trade Law’s President, Jennifer Diaz,  and Associate Attorney, Denise Calle, are enthusiastic to announce Bloomberg Law published another one of our articles, “Incoterms 2020”! Below is the article reproduced with permission for your reading pleasure. We’d love to hear your feedback!

You can read the article here (where you’ll have the ability to access all of the great hyperlinks). Please note you cannot click on the hyperlinks below.

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An Introduction to Safeguard Investigations

What is Section 201 ?

Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974 provides import relief measures (also known as Safeguards) for domestic industries. The measures provide temporary relief for U.S. industries when competitor imports increase so significantly that they cause serious injury or threat to the domestic industry. The Safeguard measures are temporary – they allow the U.S. President to raise import duties or impose nontariff barriers on goods entering the United States for a limited period so that domestic industry is given sufficient time to adjust to the competition.

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USCIT Invalidates 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum Derivatives

Background on Section 232 Aluminum and Steel Tariffs

Section 232 investigations, administered by the U.S. Commerce Department, are conducted to determine the imports of certain goods on national security. Historically, Section 232 investigations have been conducted regarding U.S. imports of crude oil and petroleum products and uranium, among other critical imports. Under the Trump administration, the Commerce Department initiated investigations of U.S. imports of aluminum and steel on April 27, 2017. The investigation resulted in an affirmative determination that such imports harm U.S. national security. As a result of the investigation’s findings, Trump imposed tariffs on certain U.S. imports of aluminum and steel on national security grounds. An exclusion process was also implemented in which U.S. importers could apply for tariffs to be excluded for certain steel and aluminum product imports.

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