EWriters and Protests
Customs Law
by Larry
2M ago
When I saw that the Court of International Trade decision in Kent Displays involves the classification of "a battery powered flexible eWriter device containing a pressure sensitive liquid crystal writing film," I had a moment of technology-geek excitement. That feeling stemmed from my personal conversion from yellow legal pads to a reMarkable "paper tablet." Before I wax on in an ode to the reMarkable, let's deal with this case. Kent Displays imported a product called the Dashboard, which it describes as a green replacement for paper. The device is based on a "bistable cholesteric reflect ..read more
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Crikey and Zut Alors, What is a Diary?
Customs Law
by Larry
3M ago
For more than 20 years, I have had the privilege of organizing the Dominick L. DiCarlo – US Court of International Trade Lecture at the University of Illinois – Chicago Law School (FKA the John Marshall Law School). One of the great pleasures of this experience has been working with Court of International Trade judges who have graciously participated as keynote speakers. Last week, we presented the 22nd edition during which I had the opportunity to interview the Honorable Jane A. Restani. In a discussion on the interpretation of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, Judge Restani mentioned her recen ..read more
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Ninestar and UFLPA Exhaustion
Customs Law
by Larry
3M ago
Exhaustion is a key doctrine in administrative law. When applicable, it requires that a party unhappy with an agency’s determination complete the administrative appeal process before turning to the courts for judicial review. Requiring exhaustion typically promotes judicial efficiency by ensuring that disputes are resolved at the agency and, if they are not, that there is a complete record of the agency process. Exhaustion also ensures that the judiciary respects the executive agencies and their expertise.  There are, on the other hand, times when the courts will find that exhaustion is n ..read more
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Precious Tritium
Customs Law
by Larry
4M ago
One thing I have learned as a customs lawyer who does a lot of classification work is that there are millions of odd items moving in international trade the existence of which I am completely ignorant. Such is the case of the gaseous tritium light sources used in, among other things, firearm sights. These things use tritium sealed in a glass that has been coated in phosphor. The radioactive tritium decays, releasing beta particles, which interact with the phosphor causing it to emit light. In other words, it creates light with no external power source. Pretty cool.  Tritium is, of course ..read more
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HTSUS Snippets and Fragments
Customs Law
by Larry
4M ago
 For the most part, the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States has an internal logic and consistent format that eases navigation. Most of us who work with the HTSUS can easily communicate about Sections, Chapters, Headings, and Subheadings. There is, however, the occasional need to talk about the fragments of text that are neither subheadings, nor tariff items, nor statistical breakouts. They are the un-numbered lines. Take, for example, 8504.90, the subheading for parts of electrical transformers and similar products.  8504.90 is the subheading. The first tariff item below ..read more
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Liquidation Un-Deemed by CIT
Customs Law
by Larry
4M ago
What happens when Customs decides that an entry was "deemed liquidated" while the entry is suspended by the Commerce Department? Apparently, nothing. That is the gist of the decision in Fraserview Remanufacturing Inc. v. United States, a (relatively) recent decision from the Court of International Trade.  The facts of this case are a bit complicated. The imported merchandise was softwood lumber from Canada, which is subject to an antidumping and countervailing duty order. As part of the administrative process, on March 19, 2020, Commerce ordered that CBP suspend the liquidation of the 80 ..read more
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Hybrid Sheep and the Lacey Act
Customs Law
by Larry
4M ago
The Lacey Act, as you likely know, prohibits the international movement of plants and animals that were harvested illegally. Typically, a violation involves a company that imported wood or wood products for use in production or for resale. Less commonly, by which I mean never until just now, does the violation involve the importation of parts of wild mountain sheep from Kyrgyzstan as part of a plot to clone the sheep to produce breeding males to make hybrid giant sheep for private hunting in Montana. That real live plot, recently noted in a Department of Justice press release, sounds like the ..read more
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Counter-Counterclaim Decision
Customs Law
by Larry
10M ago
This is a two-parter covering three decisions including Second Nature Designs Ltd. v. United States. This part covers an interesting procedural question with implications for importers deciding whether to file a challenge to a customs decision in the Court of International Trade. In this case, that decision was the proper classification of decorative objects made from branches, wood, dried flowers, and other material. Customs classified these items in HTSUS item 0604.90.60 other foliage, branches and other parts of plants . . . dried . . . or otherwise prepared (7%). Plaintiff believes th ..read more
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Target on Finality
Customs Law
by Larry
1y ago
In the last post, about the Federal Circuit’s very important decision on due process and allegations of evasion of antidumping duties, I made a snarky, offhand comment that the government believes “liquidation is magic.” That was in the context of the government arguing that Customs’ liquidation of entries mooted an appeal, thereby taking away the importer’s right to further judicial review. I said that knowing full well that I still needed to write this post summarizing Target Corp. v. United States in which Target made what I want to be a valid and righteous argument that Customs’ improper l ..read more
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EAPA Part 2 - What's The Problem?
Customs Law
by Larry
1y ago
In my last post, we covered the mechanical aspects of evasion investigations conducted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. These are cases CBP may initiate on its own, but which seem to more usually be initiated following an allegation by a domestic producer that an importer has evaded the payment of antidumping duties, countervailing duties, or both. The most common means of evasion is transshipping a product subject to an AD or CV duty order through a country not subject to the order and misidentifying the country of origin.  In this post, I want to run through some of the concerns t ..read more
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