Customs and Global Trade Compliance
We assist clients with the import and export of goods, technology, business services, and foreign investment matters. We can deal with the various regimes and agencies governing trade. Our firm provides clients with full support for all trade, including U.S. export control and economic sanctions laws, trade policy, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), customs law, and trade strategy and policy. If you are an exporter, importer, or producer and need an International Trade Attorney in the New York Area contact Torres Legal today. We provide compliance, licensing and enforcement mitigation counsel as they relate to the U.S. Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR), U.S. Export Administration Regulations (EAR).
Our offices service clients in an array of legal services, and we work with federal agencies that regulate trade such as:
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Simply put, goods and services need to reach their destination, relying on many moving parts to keep up with demand, and you need diligent legal counsel to avoid and resolve problems along the way. Let us help you facilitate so your business can move into the hands of consumers, distributors or clients with as little disruption as possible.. Foreign trade policies and regulations, and knowing what to classify and which forms to fill out can seem complicated and daunting at first, but we are here to help..
U.S. Customs Enforcement
At Torres Legal, we help our clients navigate Customs and Border Protection (CBP) enforcement in the following areas.
Whenever cash, money, or securities over $10,000 is being brought into or taken out of the U.S. it must be reported to CBP, formally known as “declaring.” This is in compliance with the International Trade Law and the Currency and Foreign Transaction Reporting Act and done by filing FinCEN105.
Notice of Action
You will need to fill out a Customs Form 29 if customs believes that there should be an increase in duty or a change in the classification.
CBP Notice of Detention
CBP is focused on keeping weapons and terrorists out of the country by securing borders, not legitimate business. If they question the admissibility of cargo, they have five business days to provide a notice to the importer that the shipment is being detained. The importer must try to resolve the problem within those five days. By law, the Notice of Detention must include:
- Notification that the cargo has been detained
- A clear reason for the detention
- How long it will be held (approximate)
- A clear description of any investigations or tests being done on the goods (they are also legally obligated to provide you with test results)
- Instructions on what you can do about the detention
Your attorney will be able to help you resolve detention issues in a timely manner so you can continue running your business and keeping operations moving.
Export Control Reform Initiative (ECR Initiative)
A good attorney has to stay abreast of Export Control Reform and how it can affect how their clients’ goods are controlled. There has been a longstanding balancing act between national security and being competitive in a global market. The Export Controls Act of 2018 (ECA), the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) all work collectively to restrict the export of:
- Dual-use technology
- Dual-use goods
- Nuclear materials
- Items that can contribute to the proliferation of biological, chemical, nuclear, and missile warfare
- All exports to certain countries that the U.S. has imposed economic sanctions on
Automated Export System
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have their regulations laid out in the Trade Act in the Federal Register that departing or arriving electronic cargo must be sent to CPB first. The AES is a joint endeavor of the following agencies:
- Foreign Trade Division of the Bureau of the Census
- Bureau of Industry and Security
- Directorate of Defense Trade Controls
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Decades ago there was a ton of paperwork when it came to exports. The old way was error-prone, costly, and took too much time. There is a lot of information and data that different agencies need, which then gets filed to CPB through a centralized Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). So instead of filling out information on paper, AES allows information to be edited and submitted. AES has been implemented and is fully operational at all ports, including major ones in Norfolk, Charleston, Houston, and Los Angeles.
A USPPI is a person or legal entity in the U.S. who is the recipient of a primary benefit from an export transaction, whether it was money or some other benefit. Or, to put it in simpler terms, it basically was a replacement of the title “exporter.” If you’re trying to ship exports with commodities valued at U.S. $2,500 or higher or met other criteria, then you used to need a U.S. Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED) form to be filled out by the USPPI. The Automated Export System (AES) is the electronic way to file this form. In 2008 the U.S. Census Bureau made changes to Title 15, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 30, Foreign Trade Regulations, and the information from the SED becomes the Electronic Export Information (EEI). You will need to fill out an EEI if the following conditions exist:
- You’re shipping Schedule B commodity exports valued at U.S. $2,500 or higher
- Shipments are being sent to Iran, North Korea, Syria, Sudan, or Cuba
- Shipments contain rough diamonds
- Shipments require an export license or permit, regardless of what they are valued at
- Shipments are subject to International Traffic in Arms Regulations
For all of these, except for the first point, it does not matter what the value of the merchandise or commodity is; the electronic filing of the form is required.
Customs offices can be found at seaports, airports, and other points of entry into or exit from the United States. They are there to enforce policies regarding imports and exports and to check all cargo and collect required duties. Occasionally there is a dispute that needs to be addressed and you need legal counsel that is ready and competent to assits in keeping your business moving forward.
U.S. Export Controls
Our firm has extensive experience in assisting both U.S. and non-U.S. companies in complying with export control regulations on the transfer and sale of goods, services, technology, and software with the:
Dual-Use Trade Controls
Goods and technology or software that can be used by the military or civilians are considered dual-use items. A Dual-Use Regulation, then, is put in place to control items when they are exported from within their jurisdiction. Our legal teams work with the regulatory agencies in the appropriate jurisdiction (EU, UK, or China). The United States has several controls in place. Nuclear items are controlled by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. controls the brokering and transit of dual-use items under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which are under the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Department of State controls defense items and services under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Our office assists our clients with needs related to these issues.
Under the EAR there is a Commerce Control List (CCL) that all exported items are classified under. These Commodity Classification Automated Tracking System (CCATS) requests are sent to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), which then determines how to classify the item.
How An International Trade Lawyer Helps You
International trade law is an ever-changing field, and global events and politics can play a major role in how businesses and individuals run their companies. There are many reasons why an attorney can help you. First of all, the forms themselves take a significant time to complete, and can often be confusing. If you make a mistake then that can cause a major problem down the line when your product isn’t shipping out on time because you did not get the approval in time. Nobody wants to face potentially not being able to fulfill a major order, so hire someone who can guide you and ensure you do everything necessary on time. Your attorney will represent you in front of the U.S. Department of State on Commodity Jurisdiction (CJ) when you submit your forms, and can also represent you if you need to file an appeal.
Recognized For Excellence
Since 2005, Torres Legal has been assisting international and domestic businesses, exporters, importers, distributors, manufacturers and individuals and companies around the globe with trade, regulatory compliance, and enforcement matters. We have years of experience in International Trade Law, including International Banking Compliance and Securities Investigations. In addition to this specialty area, we also offer legal services in matters related to:
- Family Law
- Real Estate
- Criminal Defense
We provide services to our clients in English, Spanish, Italian, Punjabi, Hindi, and Urdu. Our attorneys are admitted to practice before:
- United States Court of International Trade
- United States Supreme Court
- The New Jersey State Bar
- The Florida State Bar
- The New York State Bar