Companies with commercial US import operations face ongoing regulatory compliance obligations under US customs laws, and must operate in an increasingly active government enforcement climate. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an agency of the US Department of Homeland Security, enforces the requirements of multiple government agencies that affect the importation of goods into the United States. Latham’s customs practice helps clients navigate this complex and often challenging environment by providing advice and representation across the full spectrum of customs issues, including:
- Implementing and auditing internal controls to enhance supply chain efficiency and ensure high levels of customs compliance
- Conducting effective internal investigations of potential violations and, where appropriate, mitigating liability through disclosures to CBP
- Achieving successful results in CBP regulatory audits, administrative ruling requests, government investigations, and enforcement matters (including civil penalties and detentions or seizures of goods)
- Deploying duty reduction strategies, including the use of special programs such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other free trade agreements
- Advising CBP concerning USITC exclusion orders, including enforcement of such orders and obtaining clearance for the importation of successful redesigned products
Our Customs team includes a counsel who is a licensed US customs broker with 20 years of experience in customs law as well as several skilled associates. The practice has strong ties within the firm’s broader White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice — which includes a former General Counsel of the Department of Homeland Security and several former US prosecutors — and also draws upon Latham’s global resources to assist with local customs issues across jurisdictions. The team also leverages the vast capabilities of Latham’s other regulatory and intellectual property practices when an issue before CBP involves the requirements of other federal agencies. We’ve got Washington covered.