Holland & Knight’s International Trade Group has extensive experience regarding all aspects of importation into the United States, including representation of clients before local port officials, at agency headquarters in Washington, D.C., and before the U.S. Court of International Trade in New York. Members of our Trade Group have extensive contacts at Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and the Food and Drug Administration.
Typical matters handled for our clients include tariff classification and valuation issues; administrative protests; rulings and internal advice proceedings; penalty and mitigation proceedings; country of origin and marking issues; drawback claims; and duty preferences under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other tariff preference regimes. We routinely provide advice on Customs valuation issues and methodology, including the relationship between valuation and transfer pricing. In addition, our Trade Group is frequently called upon to draft and review international commercial agreements, including purchase orders and sales agreements, and to ensure proper application of INCOTERMS and other international sales provisions.
Our clients call upon us to prepare Customs Compliance Programs that are tailored to the size and operations of their companies. We have experience assessing the effectiveness of internal controls, drafting compliance manuals and providing on-site training to employees. In addition, our Trade Group has experience conducting internal investigations as well as compliance audits for our clients. In the event a client becomes the subject of an agency investigation, we provide advice at all stages of the investigation. We frequently submit “prior disclosures” to Customs, negotiate for the reduction of penalties and petition for the remission of forfeited merchandise.
Our Trade Group provides assistance to grantees, operators and users of various Foreign Trade Zones located in the U.S. We also represent companies in all aspects of Foreign Trade Zone proceedings, including the preparation and processing of applications to establish general purpose zones and special purpose subzones, new zone manufacturing authority, scope determinations, and boundary modifications.
We also have experience representing importers of products regulated by the FDA to ensure compliance with the import and export laws specific to FDA-regulated products, and advise on labeling and marking requirements of the Federal Trade Commission.
Members of our Trade Group have extensive experience in litigating before the U.S. Court of International Trade, and have handled over 120 civil cases involving Customs determinations and the actions of other U.S. Government agencies involved with trade matters.
The following is a brief overview of some of the Trade Group’s experience in this area:
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