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  • Customs Attorney: Expenses, Damages, and Losses During Inspection

    Who is responsible for the costs of opening of a shipment and unloading product by Customs?  The importer.  Inspections are usually done on an appointment basis and are known to result in days of delay before released from Customs custody.  Further, costs involving demurrage and storage charges are the responsibility of the importer. In addition, there is generally no liability on the part of Customs for loss or damages to ones merchandise during the course of inspection.[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: Who will be inspected?

    Last post was a discussion on the types of examinations. The question presents itself: Whose shipments will be inspected?  The term one will hear is that examinations are random.  However, determination for inspection of merchandise is by majority controlled by a automated system which is overseen by human judgment.  Generally, Customs will inspect more shipments of an importer who has a history of poor compliance.  Other factors may include, the familiarity with the importer, type of goods being imported, and the foreign factories being used to manufacture the merchandise. In[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: Examination

    All goods that enter into the United States are subject to examination by Customs or other regulatory agencies.  Shipments are examined for purposes of determining whether all the requisite documentation has been provided, whether the documentation is accurate, as well as whether the goods are in compliance with U.S. laws.  The examinations are said to be "random," however I have heard time and again that importers believe Customs has put their company under a microscope while letting their competitors run free.  There are generally two types of examinations that Customs[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: Customs Bonds

    All entries must be covered by an import bond in order to make formal entry of merchandise into the United States.   The bond serves to secure potential duties, taxes, and fees owed to CBP and guarantee performance of all Customs regulations requirements - but it is not insurance.  The bond is to be filed on CBP form 301 and is a contract between the importer and CBP that protects Customs' interests. There are a number of surety companies who issue these bonds.  Further,  if the surety that provides the bonds[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: Delays

    International Shipping charges generally cover not only the cost for shipping overseas but also cover a certain number of days in which the goods are unloaded from the carrier.   The time at which the goods remain at the carrier's premises prior to the importers pick-up is known as free time.  However when goods exceed their time at the carrier's premises they are charged a daily fee known as demurrage or storage until picked up or delivered to Customs general order warehouse.  The additional costs are designed to speed up the[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: Customs Entry Part II

    Immediate Delivery Entry, is procedurally the preferred means of making entry; it permits the goods to be released based upon the filing of partial papers and without paying customs duties.  The completed papers and Customs duties are then filed with the "Entry Summary" (CF 7501) within 10 days after release of the shipment.  The immediate delivery entry allows for a quicker release and the importer the opportunity to maintain better cash flow. Live entry requires all documents and duties to be paid prior to processing of an entry and release[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: Customs Entry Part I

    Importers are under the belief that when goods arrive at the port the importation process is over.  However, the arrival of goods at the port technically marks the beginning of entry process.  Documentation must be presented to Customs in order to facilitate the goods entry into the United States.  Documentation prepared for Customs is different depending on whether the goods are shipped by air, sea, or ground.  The length of the voyage to the United States can be lengthy, as such, information and/or documentation is provided to Customs prior to the arrival of goods[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: U.S. Customs Decisions

    There are various alternatives for acquiring decisions from Customs in regards to any issues that may arise.  Importers can face questions arising out of Classification, Origin, Marking, or other rules and regulations. The types of opinions available depend on the stage of the importation process. Before Importation:  Opinions from U.S. Customs that are obtained before importation are known as rulings.  Rulings are an important for importers because they are binding upon all Customs ports for that particular product.  Therefore, when asking for a ruling be sure that you are willing[...]

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  • Import Export Attorney: Sanctions and Embargoes

    Sanctions and embargoes can be thought of as political coercive measures.  Examples include the prohibition of doing business with certain countries, governments or individuals.  The reason behind these measures are to compel those countries, governments or individuals to comply with international laws or other obligations in order to maintain national-security and safety objectives. 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,[...]

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  • Import Export Attorney: Intellectual Property and Imports

    Enforcing intellectual property (ip) rights has become the hallmark area to which a majority of seizures stem from. It is vital that companies go through the procedures for registering their trademarks, copyrights, etc with Customs. There is a balancing act that must be accounted for, the rights of the owner protecting its exclusive property interest versus any user (whether innocent or not) who is subject to intellectual property infringement. However, if Customs is unaware as to the "marks" (i.e. they are not registered) goods may come in that violate a[...]

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