International Trade Regulation and Customs
Moving automotive goods across borders: legally, efficiently, strategically
International trade regulations are a complex web of potential legal pitfalls, each of which can bring the automotive supply chain to a costly and screeching halt. And with duty charges and penalties on the line, any mistakes (even in valuation) can add up to millions of dollars fast.
Our team has significant relationships and experience in China, Japan, Germany, India, Denmark, South Africa, Russia and Latin America. Whether clients are importing, exporting, or something in-between — like refurbishing a part in one country and importing it elsewhere — we have the experience to help mitigate risks and reduce costs.
- Terms and conditions - we help Tier suppliers update global terms and conditions in light of changes in OEM terms to address duty, drawback and related customs matters. We continually update and draft global terms and conditions for Tier suppliers in light of changing requirements for compliance with anti-bribery, conflict minerals, data privacy and other cross-border issues.
- HTS classification and valuation - errors in the HTS classification and valuation of imported goods can not only cause expensive penalties and fines but also potentially result in paying more than necessary in duty taxes. We have experience in helping clients strategically plan in order to reduce duty costs and minimize government penalties that arise from improper classification.
- Country of origin marking - it seems so simple, but non-compliant labeling and country-of-origin markings can lead to costly seizures of goods. We help clients properly mark items during assembly, incorporation and modification. We also assist clients with challenging competitors’ improper use of “Made in the USA” marks.
- Trade preference programs - volume is the name of the game, and trade preference programs like NAFTA, CAFTA, IMMEX and GSP provide the opportunity for duty elimination, deferment or reductions that can really add up. We have solid relationships with attorneys in Mexico and Canada, and can quickly and effectively help clients navigate imports and exports in those countries.
- Force majeure events - we advise OEMs and Tier suppliers on force majeure implications of weather disasters, port strikes and other global disruptions.
- Customized internal policies - we work with OEMs and Tier suppliers to develop customized internal policies and procedures to aid company directors, officers, owners and employees in their efforts to comply with international trade regulation.
- Self-assessments - our team will help determine your level of compliance by conducting an internal audit of your company’s import operations. In doing so, we can assist in correcting issues BEFORE customs comes around—thereby avoiding costly penalties.
- Informed compliance letters - receipt of an informed compliance letter suggests noncompliance is suspected and appropriate actions should be taken to rectify the situation prior to a Customs audit or worse.
- Customs audits - we help clients prepare for a customs audit, reviewing records and other documentation in an attempt to resolve any issues prior to the audit.
- Seizures and penalties - customs enforcement actions take all forms — from Requests for Information, Notices of Action, Seizures and Penalty Notices. Our seasoned international trade team can help companies contest actions where appropriate while minimizing the impact on supply chain operations and costs.
- Litigation and other representation - we represent Tier suppliers in the Court of International Trade and other federal courts, as well as NAFTA binational panels, regarding customs and trade disputes.
We also have extensive experience in helping clients with exporting goods outside of the U.S., including:
- Export control classification
- Export compliance policies
- U.S. sanctions and prohibited export lists
- Export penalty mitigation
- Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA)
- Deemed Exports
Learn more about our international trade services: download our brochure