Cargo ships at port

Customs & Import Compliance

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) occupies a critical position in the supply chain of every business that imports, uses, or relies on imported goods, parts, materials, or components, or that exports to foreign markets.

Our services have helped clients minimize supply chain interruption, achieve actual duty and fee savings, respond appropriately to government inquiries and actions, implement internal import compliance programs, and avoid costly penalties, sanctions, and port delays.

How We Help

  • Counseling and Compliance
  • Customs and Import Disputes
  • Customs Audits and USMCA/FTA Verifications
  • Customs Litigation
  • Duty Elimination/Reduction
  • Enforcement Actions/Penalties
  • PGA Import Requirements
  • Tariff Strategies

Our Team

Our team of experienced attorneys, including former government officials and former attorneys in the CBP Chief Counsel’s Office and Office of Regulations & Rulings (OR&R), and non-legal trade professionals, including a licensed customs broker, has a long history of helping clients manage and improve their import and export processes; understand and comply with the laws and regulations administered by CBP and other government agencies imposing import requirements; and respond to seizures, detention investigations, audits, and penalty proceedings.

Our Work

Customs & Import Disputes

We serve as trusted customs and import counsel for numerous US and non-US companies that contact us for immediate assistance on matters ranging from relief from detentions and seizures to advice in responding to CBP actions and inquiries regarding tariff classification, customs valuation, country of origin marking, IPR-related import issues and actions, and PGA import requirements.

Duty Elimination/Reduction

We help clients take advantage of special duty programs, such as the various Free Trade Agreements, duty preference programs, tariff provisions, drawbacks, TIBs, and FTZs, successfully achieving cost reduction, and deferral of customs duties and fees. We help clients mitigate the effects of recent Section 301 and 232 actions and achieve cost reduction or deferral by implementing special duty programs including: the various Free Trade Agreements, duty preference programs and tariff provisions, drawback, TIBs and FTZs, First Sale, Buying Agency, and Tariff Engineering.

Customs Audits & USMCA/FTA Verifications

We represent companies in customs audits (e.g., focused assessments) through services ranging from general oversight and counseling to direct, frontline support, developing audit response strategies and negotiating with the CBP auditors. Our lawyers manage USMCA verifications initiated by both US and foreign authorities, which have resulted in significant duty savings and penalty avoidance for our clients.

Counseling & Compliance

We help our clients fulfill their reasonable care responsibilities under the customs laws, by assessing their internal import compliance programs, import processes, and customs transactions. We conduct  country of origin, tariff classification, and customs valuation reviews (including transfer price evaluations) and develop training programs for our clients to perform their self-assessments. We counsel clients on forced labor matters, set up compliance plans, and conduct audits to help our clients ensure compliance with the forced labor laws and regulations and prevent the detention of goods. 

Enforcement Actions/Penalties

We represent clients who are the subject of customs penalties, including fraud and negligence actions and liquidated damages claims. We assist clients in preparing prior disclosures to avoid civil penalties, conduct internal investigations, and, with assistance from our white collar practice, defend clients in False Claims Act and criminal proceedings involving customs violations.

One Fast Moving Industry – Electric Mobility. Can Slow Moving Trade Rules Keep Up?

The exciting world of electric mobility has ignited corporate agendas around the world. For an industry that relies on an efficient global supply chain, an understanding of U.S. trade rules can make a critical competitive difference.

Led by former senior government attorneys from key trade agencies (e.g. CBP, DOT, DHS, Treasury), and complemented by licensed customs brokers and a core group of non-legal professionals, our team translates the complex arena of trade law into strategic business practices.

Follow the conversation at Electric Mobility | ArentFox Schiff or listen to our podcasts below.

5 Questions 5 Answers Podcast

Key Contacts