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List 4 Exclusion Update

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 23, 2020 0 comments

On  June 26, July 17, and August 11, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) requested the public to submit comments regarding potential product exclusion extensions for items subject to Section 301 Tariffs. This comment period specifically applied to products that were included on List 4.

When the list was announced on August 20, 2019, it imposed a 10 percent ad valorem on 3,805 full and partial subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), with an annual trade value of approximately $300 billion. Then, on August 30, 2019, USTR increased the rate of the additional duty announced in the August 20 notice from 10 to 15 percent. Finally, on January 22, 2020, USTR determined to reduce the rate from 15 to 7.5 percent. Continue Reading

Best PracticesChinaEnforcementExportForced LaborICEImportInternational BusinessInternational LawInternational TradeInvestigationLabor RightsNAFTAReasonable CareSeizuresSupply ChainU.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)U.S. Department of State (DOS)U.S. Trade Representative (USTR)USMCA

Using WROs to Fight Forced Labor

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 13, 2020 0 comments

Forced Labor is the third most lucrative illicit trade, behind only drugs and weapons, and has an annual trade value of roughly $150 Billion. Right now, over 40 million people around the world are victims of some type of forced labor, including modern slavery, human trafficking, etc.

Thankfully, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been working to curb this inhumane practice.

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CTPATCustoms ExpertEnforcementEventsExportImportInternational BusinessInternational LawInternational TradeIPR, Trademarks and LogosLabor RightsReasonable CareSeizuresSupply ChainU.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)USMCA

What You Missed at CBP’s Virtual Trade Week

posted by Jennifer Diaz September 23, 2020 0 comments

From September 8-11, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) held its first virtual trade week. Over the course of the event, CBP held an action-packed series of webinars on the following topics:

  • United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA)
  • Forced Labor
  • Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT)
  • E-Commerce
  • 21st Century Customs Framework (21CCF)

In the midst of this global pandemic and the vast challenges that (we are all navigating) the trade community faces, by us coming together in this way collective commitment to continue our persistent and ongoing dialogue about the most pressing issue facing.  CBP believes that improving and delivering effective transparency is an essential element to enhancing trust, and trust is essential to strengthening partnerships and getting things done for your business to thrive and trade community to succeed.

Below are summaries of each of the sessions. Have questions on them? Contact DTL at info@diaztradelaw.com.

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Best PracticesCustoms ExpertEnforcementExportImportInternational BusinessInternational LawInternational TradeNAFTAUSMCA

USMCA Import Considerations for Practitioners

posted by Jennifer Diaz June 26, 2020 1 Comment

Diaz Trade Law’s President, Jennifer Diaz and Associate Attorney, Denise Calle are enthusiastic to announce that another one of their articles, “USMCA Import Considerations for Practitioners,” was published by Bloomberg Law! Below is the article reproduced with permission for your reading pleasure. We’d love to hear your feedback!

You can read the article here, by clicking USMCA Import Considerations for Practitioners (where you’ll have the ability to access all of the great hyperlinks) you cannot click on below.

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Best PracticesChina Trade WarCustoms ExpertEnforcementExportImportInternational BusinessInternational LawInternational TradeNAFTA

Implementing the USMCA’s Labor Chapter in Mexico

posted by Jennifer Diaz June 22, 2020 1 Comment

usmcaCo-Authored by Sharath Patil, a trade policy researcher in Washington, DC., with a background in global logistics, international trade, and commercial diplomacy. Patil is an active member of the District of Columbia bar, and is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law.

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”) is a pending free trade agreement that will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”). The USMCA was signed in December 2019 and was ratified by all three countries in March 2020. Currently, the USMCA is being implemented and the agreement will enter into force on July 1, 2020. 

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Customs ExpertExportImportInternational LawInternational TradeNAFTAU.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Updated – Trump No Longer Threatening to Impose Tariffs Mexico (for now)

posted by Jennifer Diaz May 31, 2019 1 Comment

MX dealUpdate –> In a tweet on June 7th by President Trump, the trade world was notified that the immediate threat of tariffs was officially off the table… for now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NAFTA

NAFTA and Mexican Government Questionnaires to U.S. Exporters

posted by Jennifer Diaz December 13, 2011 0 comments

In the past year, the Mexican Government (SAT) has issued questionnaires to exporters from the United States which provided a NAFTA Certificate of Origin to the Mexican importer. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Certificate of Origin is always created and signed by the U.S. exporter or producer, and always provided to the Mexican importer at the time of importation so that the Mexican importer may importer the merchandise into Mexico without paying any customs duties.    Years later, the Mexican Government may send a questionnaire to first the U.S. exporter, and then the Mexican importer, demanding proof that the merchandise really "originated" in the United States and properly entered Mexico without any payment of customs duties. 

The problems are (1) the U.S. exporter falsely completed the NAFTA Certificate of origin either intentionally or by ignorance, (2) the U.S. exporter relied on the U.S. producer who provided misleading information to the U.S. exporter, or (3) the records establishing that the merchandise originated in the United States are not available.

I usually recommend the U.S. exporter who received a letter from the SAT of the Mexican Government to respond. Moreover, it is best to seek the assistance of the supplier of the merchandise to the U.S. exporter and the Mexican importer. If the questionnaire is not answered properly and timely, the SAT will deny the NAFTA preferential treatment, and demand payment of customs duties, late fees, interest, and penalties from the Mexican importer, plus perhaps antidumping duties.  The Mexican importer may end up paying those charges to the Mexican Government agency and then seek full reimbursement, plus legal fees, from the U.S. exporter.

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If You are an Owner or Officer of an Importer, This Blog Post is for You

posted by Jennifer Diaz February 28, 2010 0 comments

In one of the most important recent decisions, the U.S. Court of International Trade dismissed a case filed against the CEO of his importing company that had made false statements to U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the entry documents.  This Court decision has significant implications for every owner, officer, and manager of any company involved in importing merchandise into the United States.

The chronology of the case is somewhat familiar.  In 2002, Tip Top Pants, Inc., imported from Mexico 954 dozen men’s pants, and claimed NAFTA duty free treatment.  Customs issued a Request for Information (CBP form 28), and then a Notice of Action (CBP Form 29) denying the NAFTA claim.  Customs then issued a Pre-Penalty Notice against both Tip Top Pants and its CEO, Mr. Nigri, alleging negligence, and assessing a penalty of $55,000.  Tip Top filed a response to the Pre-Penalty Notice.  Customs then issued a final Penalty Notice. Tip Top Pants filed with Customs another petition seeking cancellation or mitigation of the penalty.  Customs never responded to that Petition filed by Tip Top Pant’s attorney.

Even though the disputed customs duties were subsequently paid by Tip Top Pants, Customs sued both Tip Top Pants, Inc. and its Chairman and CEO, Mr. Saad Nigri, for violating 19 U.S.C. 1592, by allegedly making material false statements or acts, or material omissions, in connection with the entry of the men’s pants from Mexico.

The Court took the unusual action of dismissing Mr. Nigri as a defendant in the case for two reasons.  The first reason is that Customs failed to respond to Tip Top Pant’s Petition, as required by 19 U.S.C. 1592(b)(2).  The second reason is that the Complaint filed with the Court by Customs did not specifically allege that Mr. Nigri personally committed any act or omission in violation of 19 U.S.C. 1592. As the Court stated, “[T]he complaint does not allege that Nigri did, or failed to do, anything whatsoever.” So, even if Tip Top Pants was negligent, its negligence could not be imputed to Mr. Nigri just because he was CEO of the company when the negligence occurred.

In a sentence that is certain to be cited by customs attorneys in petitions and court briefs, Judge Stanceu stated:

The [Priority Products] case does not hold that a party’s serving as an officer of a corporation at the time the corporation imports merchandise is, by itself, sufficient to establish that officer’s liability for acts committed by the corporation that are found to be in violation of Section 592.

The Court then issued an Order dismissing all claims by Customs against Mr. Nigri, personally.

A future blog post will let you know what happened with the negligence penalty case against Tip Top Pants, Inc.