Import Compliance

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Import Compliance

A successful import compliance program focusing on classification, marking, valuation, country of origin determination and document review ensures adherence to customs-related regulatory requirements and payment of the proper amounts for governmental fees and service provider charges, while also minimizing the risk of exposure to fines or penalties.

Importers have a legal responsibility to comply with all laws and regulations governing the importation of their goods. Country-specific rules and regulations applicable to the importation of goods are complex and difficult to navigate. In order to avoid the risk of fines and penalties as well as expensive shipping delays, a sound import compliance strategy is required.

Our combination of experienced legal professionals and Licensed Customs Brokers have a proven track record of success advising our clients regarding all aspects of international trade including import compliance.

Accurate Classification of Goods Under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule

Accurate country-specific classification of goods under the various Harmonized Tariff Schedules is key to a sound import compliance program and one of the core services we provide to our clients. Our knowledgeable team have decades of experience providing correct classifications. These accurate classifications will ensure that you pay the correct duties, taxes, and fees that are assessed on your products upon import. Additionally, it will also minimize your risk of any additional fines and penalties that could be imposed if incorrect classifications are used.

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Valuation

Proper merchandise valuation is used as the basis for calculating correct duties, taxes, and fees. Valuation is based upon a specific hierarchy of rules; every item has a value – including free-of-charge goods, samples and returns. Proper determination of value is critical for intercompany sales as value for tax purposes differs from value for customs’ purposes.

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Preferential Trade Agreements and Special Program Utilization

Preferential trade agreements and special programs, such as USMCA and GSP, provide reduced or free rates of duty for eligible imports. The qualification requirements for preferential trade agreements and special programs are complex. Submission of inaccurate or incomplete special program or preferential trade documentation or making a claim on an ineligible product may subject you to penalties and/or fines.

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Country of Origin Marking

Importers are responsible for both the determination of the correct country of origin and its physical marking on imported goods and their containers. Incorrect and/or missing country of origin marking can lead to penalties and payments of additional marking duties. Our office can assist you in determining the correct country of origin and proper marking.

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Customized Audits of Import Entry Processes

Our highly skilled legal and customs professionals will perform a detailed audit of your company's import processes to assess its compliance with import laws and regulations. We will recommend modifications to reduce your risk and establish compliant import practices that meet your legal obligations with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) or similar governmental agencies worldwide. Our audits include a detailed review of all aspects of the import process, from the moment the purchase order is created until the import is finalized (e.g. liquidated). Further, our experienced professionals can assist in the set-up of your Automated Commercial Environment (“ACE”) portal account and can manage this account as your ACE administrator. ACE is a critical electronic tool, offered by CBP to track your imports and exports and should be used by every company engaged in trade in the United States.

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Creation of Policies and Procedures

A successful import compliance program can only be achieved and maintained when there are detailed policies and procedures created and adhered to by all company personnel with the support of senior management. We have worked with clients of all sizes, from individual business owners to multinational corporations, to assess their current import practices and to recommend a customized import compliance program that will fit their unique needs. This service will include the creation and implementation of policies and procedures that will ensure your ongoing full compliance with all import rules and regulations. Once implemented, we will monitor the effectiveness of its provisions and recommend any improvements.

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Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism Applications and Cargo Security Assessments (“CTPAT”)

CTPAT is a voluntary, joint government-business partnership designed to increase border security and secure the supply chain. Our knowledgeable team will conduct assessments of your current cargo security procedures and provide recommendations to eliminate any gaps in your existing supply chain security practices. After successful completion of the assessment, we will assist with the preparation of your CTPAT application and annual certification.

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Antidumping and Countervailing Duties (“ADD/CVD”)

Antidumping duties (“ADD”) are additional duties assessed when a foreign producer sells a product at a price that is below that producer's sales price in the country of origin or at a price that is lower than the cost of production. Countervailing duties (“CVD”) are additional duties assessed on imports to neutralize the assistance and subsidies provided by foreign governments. Our staff will review product specifications, scope rulings and Harmonized Tariff Schedule classifications to determine if ADD/CVD correctly applies.

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We Offer:

  • Customized service to fit your needs
  • Professionals experienced in import compliance
  • Expert guidance through the maze of governmental and regulatory requirement when importing
  • Knowledgeable trade professionals that will perform the detailed audits of your import compliance processes

Let’s Work Together

let’s work together

Let us help you develop, implement and manage a customized import program that maximizes compliance and savings and minimizes your risks. Find out how we can help by getting in touch with us today.

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Harmonized Tariff Schedule Classification Projects

A product’s Harmonized Tariff Schedule (“HTS”) classification determines the number of duties, taxes, fees, other applicable import, and export requirements, and is an integral part of necessary landed cost calculations. We offer country-specific HTS classification analysis to help assure that you are complying with the law, paying the correct amounts on your imported and exported products, and having the best possible information for your sourcing and pricing decisions.

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Preferential Trade Agreement Services and Supplier Solicitation

As preferential trade agreements like the USMCA and special programs like the Generalized System of Preferences become increasingly complex, companies are facing a growing sense of confusion and uncertainty. We provide comprehensive, turn-key solutions including full supplier solicitation, product qualification analysis, support document review and correction as well as certificate creation.

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Customs Broker and Freight Forwarder Management

As part of a global supply chain, a company must have effective processes in place to manage the activities and costs of the service providers, such as 3PLs, carriers, customs brokers and freight forwarders involved in the movement and Customs clearance of their products.

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International Trade Legal Services

When faced with governmental inquiries related to international trade anywhere in the world, be it a penalty from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an audit by SAT in Mexico, a request from Canada Border Services regarding the Special Import Measures Act or understanding the new EU-Mexico Trade Agreement, it’s critical to have a knowledgeable law firm that understands how to respond and has the experience to identify and address not only the questions that were asked but those that were not.

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Export Compliance

Companies face ever-increasing obligations including knowing to whom they are shipping and how their exported product is going to be used licensing requirements, and possible effects of sanctions regimes. In today’s continuously evolving global marketplace, having a robust export compliance program is a necessity.

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