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OVERVIEW

Customs Far and Wide

Barnes & Thornburg’s International Trade team regularly assists companies with day-to-day customs compliance and long-term import strategies. We review existing compliance procedures, perform compliance audits, establish new compliance plans, and apply for binding rulings and NAFTA advance rulings. We also help companies implement security procedures that enable them to participate in U.S. Customs and Border Protection voluntary programs.

Our attorneys represent companies in virtually all types of customs enforcement matters including investigations by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). We are well-versed in supervising internal investigations, preparing significant voluntary disclosures, and responding to detentions and seizures, penalty notices, liquidated damages claims, NAFTA and Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) verifications and other requests from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

We assist companies in determining the appropriate tariff classification and duty rate for imported goods, and in complying with the requirements of preferential duty treatment programs including NAFTA, CAFTA and other trade agreements, GSP, the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Our attorneys guide clients through country of origin and marking requirements, customs valuation, and entry issues.

Working with our firm's intellectual property attorneys, we help clients who are seeking to protect their intellectual property from imports of infringing goods. We also team with our government contracts practice to advise and prepare customs binding ruling requests regarding compliance with Buy America and Trade Agreements waiver requirements.

In addition, we proactively represent our clients- interests by filing comments on proposed regulations, drafting proposed customs legislation and participating in congressional and agency meetings. Our customs practice extends to matters involving various U.S. government entities such as the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Foreign Trade Zones Board, International Trade Commission and Department of Commerce. Internationally, we have worked on matters before the World Customs Organization and the customs authorities of Canada and Mexico.

We represent companies from diverse high-tech and traditional industries: electronics, lumber and paper, textile, food, petroleum, steel and construction, automotive, chemical, and defense. Our clients include companies from North America, Europe and Asia.

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