2021: A Year in Review

From all of us at Diaz Trade Law, we are incredibly thankful and grateful for your support this year. Despite this ongoing pandemic, Diaz Trade Law still managed to save our clients MILLIONS of dollars in 2021. It is with great joy that we finish off 2021 filled with numerous achievements and accomplishments were humbled to share with you. We look forward to assisting you in what we envision will be a better and brighter 2022!

Below we share some of our top 2021 success stories with you.

Successfully Mitigated Liquidated Damages Claims 

  • For failure to timely refile rejected entries subject to AD/CV duties:
    • After DTL’s strategic involvement CBP substantially mitigated approximately $5 MILLION in claims down to $26,365.00, successfully saving our client over $4.7 MILLION dollars
    • Our client received 36 liquidated damages notices from CBP totaling over $567,000. After Diaz Trade Law’s successful negotiation with CBP, all 36 cases were canceled by CBP, saving our client $over $567,000!!
  • CBP sent our client a liquidated damages claim in the amount of $150,000. As a result of Diaz Trade Law’s successful petition, CBP mitigated the liquidated damages claim down to $1,500!
  • CBP issued a liquidated damages claim in the amount of $50,000.00. After DTL successfully petitioned CBP, the claim was cancelled!
  • CBP issued a liquidated damages claim in the amount of $36,033.00. After DTL successfully petitioned CBP, the claim was mitigated to $360.33 (the best potential mitigation!).

CBP Detention Assistance 

  • Mere days after being retained, Diaz Trade Law successfully assisted in negotiating with CBP and numerous trademark owners proving that our clients detained goods (collectively valued over $1,000,000.00) were legitimate, receiving either consent TM holder, and/or convincing CBP to release legitimate merchandise that should not have been detained.
  • After CBP detained our client’s electronic merchandise to verify admissibility with the Department of Transportation (DOT)
    • CBP released the electronic goods after DTL proved the merchandise, LED driving lights, were eligible for an “off road” use exception and DOT providing such confirmation.
  • After CBP detained our client’s electronic merchandise to verify the validity of a trademark on the product packaging.
    • Diaz Trade Law proactively communicated with the trademark holder and CBP, who, with the authorization of the trademark holder, permitted the importer to manipulate the merchandise and import the goods saving our client from a costly and lengthy seizure case that potentially exposed our client to CBP penalties.
  • After CBP detained our client’s electronic merchandise to verify the validity of a trademark on the product packaging.
    • After Diaz Trade Law’s immediate involvement in arguing the product was “confusingly similar” and not counterfeit, DTL persuaded CBP to apply the relief afforded to “confusingly similar” seized merchandise and ultimately CBP permitted the exportation – which is relief that is rarely granted for detained products. DTL saved our client from a seizure case and potential penalties.
  • CBP detained 28 containers of our client’s cargo.
    • Diaz Trade Law successfully negotiated with CBP to permit the goods to be reexported and avoid substantial demurrage expenses.

4647 Responses 

  • CBP issued our client a CBP Form 4647 – Notice to Mark, because its electronic car accessories labels had both a country of origin marking and a “Designed in the USA” claim (in separate locations on the label).
    • After 48 hours of Diaz Trade Law’s successful escalation and negotiation with the Electronic Center of Excellence and Expertise, CBP granted a rarely used marking waiver permitting the merchandise to be imported as is, saving our client both money and time.
  • CBP issued our client a CBP Form 4647 – Notice to Mark, because over 1,000 electronic car accessory units did not bear a country of origin marking.
    • Diaz Trade Law successfully and efficiently guided our client through the marking process. Ultimately, the goods were marked and authorized for distribution within recording timing – less than 10 days from the issuance of the 4647, saving our client both money and time.
  • CBPO’s at Port Everglades detained two of our client’s shipments and issued two separate CBP Form 4647s – Notices to Mark because the imported merchandise valued at $98,744.00 did not bear a country of origin marking.
    • Diaz Trade Law successfully and efficiently guided our client through the marking process. Ultimately, the goods were marked and authorized for distribution with record timing – within 7 days from the issuance of the 4647, saving our client both money and time.
  • Diaz Trade Law successfully assisted our client in responding to CBP’s Notice to Redeliver (CBP Form 4647) and provided CBP confirmation that the intellectual property rights displayed on the goods was authorized and our client’s merchandise was released in record timing!

Successfully Assisted Numerous Importers Battle Alleged Intellectual Property Rights Violations

  • Our client’s merchandise was seized by CBP due to an alleged trademark violation.
    • After Diaz Trade Law’s successful petition, CBP issued a decision authorizing our client to relabel and export its legitimate merchandise.
  • CBP detained several shipments of our client’s cargo for both Country of Origin (COO) and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) reasons.
    • Diaz Trade Law advocated for our client and within less than one week convinced CBP to release our client’s legitimate merchandise detained at numerous ports of entry nationwide.
  • Our client’s designer handbags were seized by CBP due to an alleged counterfeit violation.
    • After Diaz Trade Law’s successful petition, proving that the handbags were legitimate, CBP released our client’s legitimate merchandise.
  • CBP detained our client’s goods valued at $98,744.00 for an alleged IPR validation.
    • Our firm immediately communicated with the appropriate CBP CEE and submitted evidence supporting the legitimacy of the imported goods requesting their immediate release. The CBP CEE agreed with our request and recommended the local port release the shipment, saving our client from a costly and lengthy seizure case.
  • Diaz Trade Law successfully negotiated with CBP on behalf of an aftermarket car part importer to permit the exportation of goods detained for alleged IPR violations, saving the importer from a costly and lengthy seizure and potential penalty.
  • Our client imported electronic merchandise which contained a trademark-violating processing system.
    • After Diaz Trade Law’s successful intervention, Diaz Trade Law received authorization from the trademark holder to permit the violative components to be removed and destroyed, and the larger shell merchandise to be imported in its current form. CBP agreed to these terms, and issued a disposition order authorizing the manipulation and release of the goods as Diaz Trade Law had requested.

Successfully Mitigated Penalty Actions Issued by CBP to our Clients 

  • For importing noncompliant Wood Packaging Material:
    • $91,714 mitigated to 3% of penalty to $2,751.42, saving our client $88,962
    • $69,900 mitigated to 3% of penalty to $6,990, saving our client $60,000
    • $28,478 mitigated to 10% of penalty to $2,847, saving our client $25,631
    • $27,857 mitigated to 10% of penalty to $2,786, saving our client $25,071
    • $19,980.00 mitigated to 10% of penalty to $1,998, saving our client $17,982
  • For filing incorrect Electronic Export Information (EEI)
    • $14,194 mitigated down to $500 (the best possible relief)!
    • $14,194 mitigated to 10% of penalty to $1500, saving our client $12,694

CBP 28 / CBP 29 Responses / CBP Investigations and Rejections

  • Our client received a CBP 28 for a U.S. Australia Free Trade Agreement verification.
    • After Diaz Trade Law filed a successful response proving the imported goods were eligible for preferential duty-free treatment, CBP closed the 28 with a positive CBP 29 (Notice of Action).
  • Our client received a CBP 28 Request for Information from U.S. Customs to verify GSP eligibility.
    • After Diaz Trade Law submitted a substantive response proving the GSP claim was valid, CBP issued a CBP 29 determining that the merchandise qualifies for GSP and no duties are owed to CBP!
  • Our client received a Request for Information (CBP 28) from CBP.
    • Diaz Trade Law filed a 28 response which included a Prior Disclosure. The 28 was closed out, and the disclosure was accepted by CBP resulting in no 1592 penalties being issued to our client.
  • CBP physically inspected our client’s cargo at the time of entry and identified that the commercial invoice and packing slip submitted to CBP did not include one model number included in the cargo. Diaz Trade Law immediately negotiated with CBP to accept an updated invoice and packing list. CBP accepted and released the complete cargo with no further enforcement action taken, saving our client costly demerge fees and other expenses.
  • CBP rejected and refused an importation of tires because CBP alleged the importer did not have a right to make entry. After three uphill battles with CBP and DTL’s strategic recommendation to change the import transaction model, the importer was successfully able to act as IOR and its merchandise was admitted into the US.

USTR/China Tariffs

  • Diaz Trade Law assisted over 100 importers in filing complaints with the Court of International Trade challenging Section 301 tariffs imposed for imported goods under for List 3 and List 4a, requesting full refunds.
  • Diaz Trade Law filed numerous exclusions for goods subject to the Section 301 List 3 and List 4. USTR agreed and granted our client’s exclusion!
  • Numerous clients that were subject to 301 duties used Diaz Trade Law to actively monitor 301 exclusions to ensure they were notified when refunds were a possibility. Diaz Trade Law assisted with not only actively monitoring the relevant exclusions, but also interpreting the applicability, and fighting for refunds via the Protest or PSC process. CBP has accepted numerous Protests, and hundreds of thousands of dollars of refunds were sent to our clients!
  • As a result of Diaz Trade Law’s closely monitoring Section 301 China tariff exclusions, Diaz Trade Law found an applicable exclusion for our client to use and filed two Protests with CBP requesting that CBP refund the China tariffs paid. Our client’s protests were approved by CBP, resulting in a refund of $64,678.00.

Export Compliance and Enforcement Mitigation Assistance

  • Diaz Trade Law is actively assisting exporters:
    • Vetting proposed export transactions
    • Providing voluntary self-disclosures to Census and OFAC
    • Developing an effective export compliance plan
    • Developing export compliance training
    • Mitigation and corrective action
    • Presenting export report cards to clients based upon an analysis of ACE data
    • Analyze export trade data
    • With mitigation of export seizures and penalties
  • Our client needed urgent assistance to ensure it understood the requirements to properly export hazardous materials. Diaz Trade Law successfully and expeditiously secured Competent Authority Approvals for the hazardous material from the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) as well as the Competent Authority of Turkey and Finland.

OFAC/FAA/HSI 

  • Our client’s incoming wire payments of $842,918.92 from Venezuela were blocked by its U.S. bank for possible violations of U.S. sanctions laws.
    • After Diaz Trade Law filed a specific license application with the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), OFAC issued a specific license authorizing the legitimate funds to be unblocked and returned to our client.
  • Our client was being investigated by FAA as a result of a hazardous materials incident.
    • As a result of Diaz Trade Law’s successful involvement, the FAA closed the matter with an informal action!
  • Our client was being investigated by HSI for possible criminal liability.
    • After Diaz Trade Law’s intervention, HSI closed its investigation into our client.

 Protests*

  • Diaz Trade Law successfully assisted our client in filing two Protests with CBP. These approvals saved our client over $600,000!!
  • After Diaz Trade Law’s successful Protest of CBP’s AD/CVD bills, our client’s protest was approved by CBP, saving our client over $200,000!!

Binding Rulings

  • Diaz Trade Law successfully requested and received binding rulings for numerous clients confirming:
    • the correct country of origin for its prospective imported merchandise.
    • the correct harmonized tariff schedule (HTSUS) for its imported merchandise.
    • both the origin of their merchandise and appropriate CBP country of origin marking
    • the applicability of a free trade agreement.

Assisted Numerous Importers in Filing Prior Disclosures and Voluntary Self-Disclosures Accepted by CBP 

  • Diaz Trade Law successfully submitted a perfected prior disclosure for underlying classification, valuation, quantity, and 301/China tariff errors. While reviewing ACE data, we identified offsets for the duties owed to CBP. Ultimately, CBP agreed with our assessment and accepted our prior disclosure and tender, resulting in a refund of over $25,000 to our client and ensuring no future penalties would be assessed for our client’s past importing errors.
  • After discovering Electronic Export Information (EEI) filing errors made by one of our clients, Diaz Trade Law assisted our client in proactively filing a Voluntary Self-Disclosure (VSD) with the U.S. Census Bureau and assisting our client in fixing all past errors. The VSD filing was accepted and resulted in the U.S. Census Bureau closing out the matter without penalties being assessed.
  • On behalf of a client, Diaz Trade Law filed a voluntary disclosure with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), disclosing potential sanctions violations.
    • Diaz Trade Law worked proactively with OFAC and received this “No Action letter” with no penalties assessed to our client.
  • Diaz Trade Law successfully assisted our client in filing a Voluntary Self-Disclosure (VSD) with the U.S. Census Bureau for violations of the Foreign Trade Regulations.
    • Diaz Trade Law proactively worked with the Census Bureau and corrected past filing errors. The VSD was successfully closed out with no penalties assessed.
  • Diaz Trade Law successfully assisted our client in filing a Prior Disclosure. CBP accepted the prior disclosure with no 1592 penalties being assessed!

Bonded Warehouse

  • After Diaz Trade Law’s successful application, our client’s Bonded Warehouse Application was approved!
  • After its bonded warehouse was activated by CBP, our client realized it wanted to change the total square footage. Diaz Trade Law successfully assisted our client alter its customs bonded warehouse space.

Successfully Assisted Numerous Importers in Various Seizure Cases 

  • CBP seized our client’s vehicle after believing it could have been used to import illegal substances. After Diaz Trade Law’s successful petition proving our client’s innocence, CBP released the vehicle with no penalty assessed
  • $20,868.81 of our client’s currency was seized by CBP. After Diaz Trade Law’s successful petition, $19,868.81 was returned to our client!
  • $15,795 of our client’s currency was seized by CBP. After Diaz Trade Law’s successful petition, $14,795 was returned to our client!
  • $12,157.95 worth of jewelry was seized by Customs after our client failed to declare it. After Diaz Trade Law’s successful Petition, CBP released the jewelry within 22 days.

Awards

  • In 2021, Diaz Trade Law founder Jennifer Diaz was again Chambers ranked in International Trade: Customs – USA – Nationwide

Publications

Key publications written by Diaz Trade Law in 2021 were:

Customized Training Programs & Webinars

Key compliance programs taught by Diaz Trade Law in 2021 were:

Diaz Trade Law values you and appreciates your trust in us to be your Customs and International Trade Law Expert! Contact us at info@diaztradelaw.com to schedule your consultation or customized training today.

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2021: A Year in Review