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  • Import/Export Attorney: OFAC, Cuba, and Baseball

    The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States. OFAC acts under Presidential national emergency powers, as well as authority granted by specific legislation, to impose controls on transactions and freeze[...]

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  • International Trade Attorney: ATA Carnet

    What is an ATA Carnet? An ATA Carnet is an international Customs document that allows a traveler to temporarily import certain goods into a country without having to engage in Customs formalities generally required for the importation of goods, and without having to pay duty or value-added taxes on the goods.  Specifically, ATA Carnets are utilized for the  temporary importation of commercial samples (CS), professional equipment (PE), and goods for exhibitions and fairs (EF). Why should one use an ATA Carnet?  An ATA Carnet offers ease and simplicity for avoiding[...]

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  • Export Attorney: Commodity Jurisdiction Request

    When a entity is presented with the question of whether a good or service falls under the Commerce Control List ("CCL") or the United States Munitions List ("USML") they may proceed for a commodity jurisdiction request ("CJ").  The U.S. government applies different licensing procedures and policies depending on above jurisdiction. The Bureau of Industry and Security ("BIS") is the licensing agency for exports subject to the Export Administration Regulations ("EAR") containing the CCL. The Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls ("DDTC") is the licensing agency for exports subject[...]

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  • Can I get a refund for state sales tax paid while on my trip to the United States?

    How to obtain a refund of sales tax paid while visiting the United States In general, states within the United States provide an exemption from sales and use tax on tangible personal property purchased in that particular state and thereafter exported to another country.  This is would be beneficial for those who travel to the United States from foreign countries and hand carry their goods; however, only Louisiana and Texas currently offers refund of sales tax in such cases. Other than hand carry, the process for applying for a sales[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: Liquidated Damages – Amended Guidelines for Untimely Petitions and Mitigation of Claims

    Recently, U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") amended its guidelines for the cancellation and mitigation of claims for liquidated damages in situations where the Petitioner is late in filing claims for relief.  Petitions are considered "untimely" or "late" if they fall outside of the established regulatory time frames or after the expiration of any lawfully obtained extensions.  19 C.F.R. Part 172. Under the new guidelines, untimely petitions will be accepted or considered only if the petitioner is able to demonstrate the existence of "extraordinary circumstances that prevented the petitioner from[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: Confidential Treatment of Shipping Manifests

    How can I prevent information about my imports from being available to the public? As some of you may or may not be aware pursuant to the privacy statute, 19 C.F.R. § 103.31 (d), the public is allowed to collect manifest data (e.g., bills of lading) at every port of entry. The information is limited to vessel manifests (air, rail, and truck manifests will not be available to the general public in any form). Websites such as panjiva.com and importgenius.com collect and publish names of importers/suppliers/manufacturers from vessel manifest data.[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: Customs and Border Protection: Intellectual Property Enforcement

    As a Customs attorney I find it surprising that intellectual property holders do not take advantage of Customs and Border Protection's ("CBP") ability to protect their intellectual property ("IP"). CBP is authorized to search all imports/exports and exclude, detain, and/or seize products that are counterfeit or otherwise infringing on the intellectual property of the IP holder. The way to gain the assistance of CBP is to utilize their Intellectual Property Rights Recordation System CBP's record system is separate and apart from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and Copyright office[...]

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  • Import Export Attorney: Ghana and Gold: Possible Scams

    As an attorney who focuses on import and export laws I have worked with clients who have been approached online by Ghanaians at a dating website or other forum offering a chance to purchase gold. One must take a look at the totality of circumstances in determining whether these are legitimate. More than a majority of these are scams in an effort to con persons into wiring money and never seeing a return. The U.S. Embassy has posted helpful information on this topic here: http://ghana.usembassy.gov/romance_scam.html. If you have questions or[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: Commercial Invoice and Footwear

    In general, a commercial invoice should provide enough information for a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer to determine if the goods being imported are admissible, and if so, what the correct rate of duty should be applicable based on its Harmonized Tariff Number. Customs does not provide a specific format for a commercial invoice, however they do provide the elements that should be on an invoice in 19 C.F.R. 141.85. At a minimum, an invoice should: 1. Describe the item clearly 2. Give the quantity 3. State the value[...]

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  • $50,000.00 Wire Transfer Limit from China to the U.S.

    Chinese clients are presented with the issue of moving more than $50,000 per year from China to the U.S. due to Chinese banking restrictions. China controls inbound and outbound foreign exchange flows. If a Chinese citizen wants to make an overseas payment they must purchase the funds with renminbi (RMB) i.e. official currency of the People’s Republic of China. Further, when converting the RMB to a foreign currency, the bank is required to review whether the payment is for investment or for a regular payment. If it is for an investment[...]

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