For companies engaged in global trade, customs compliance and supply chain transparency are mission-critical.

A successful import strategy can make all the difference to the bottom line for companies that operate or trade globally. In an era of increasing restrictions on access to the U.S. market, successfully navigating border enforcement actions—or knowing how to avoid such actions before they arise—can make or break an entire business.

To keep pace with an evolving trade regulatory environment, you need legal, technical, and policy insight at your fingertips. That’s where Kelley Drye comes in.

Kelley Drye’s customs practice works with companies large or small, global or regional, and across all industries to advise on compliance, navigate enforcement actions, and resolve disputes with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Our attorneys, economists and data analysts enjoy a well-earned reputation for integrity and credibility with CBP and with trade policymakers across the political spectrum. We understand the legal, economic, and public policy concerns animating trade enforcement, and we have the technical aptitude to help our clients navigate any trade-related challenge, no matter how complex.

Companies engaged in cross-border trade are expected to have an increasing understanding of the scope of their supply chains, and to mitigate associated human rights and environmental impacts. Kelley Drye’s forced labor trade enforcement team is particularly skilled at helping importers navigate CBP enforcement of forced labor trade laws.

Whether you need to conduct due diligence on direct and indirect suppliers or need assistance vetting and preparing supply chain traceability documentation to meet CBP’s exacting standards, Kelley Drye has the experience, technology, and bench strength to help you succeed.

Helping companies prioritize evolving Customs enforcement

We have decades of experience helping companies navigate CBP’s top enforcement priorities. This includes forced labor trade enforcement, covering enforcement of the U.S. forced labor import ban (Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930) through withhold release orders (WROs) and findings, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) and the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

It also includes CBP enforcement actions targeting compliance with Section 301 tariffs on China and Section 232 duties on steel and aluminum; duty benefits available under free trade agreements; and compliance with antidumping and countervailing orders, including the CBP enforced anti-circumvention law known as the Enforce and Protect Act (EAPA).

CBP has made forced labor a top priority and has dedicated unprecedented resources to identifying U.S. imports that may be at risk of having been produced, wholly or in part, with forced labor. Our team has decades of experience advising clients how to meet the challenges of extended responsibility related to forced and child labor in supply chains. In the contemporary environment, we assist clients with ensuring UFLPA compliance by conducting enhanced supply chain due diligence and streamlining the preparation and submission of traceability materials for companies ensnared in a UFLPA enforcement action.

CBP is always oriented around protecting the revenue.” We help companies ensure compliance with revenue-implicating trade laws, including the Section 301 tariffs on goods from China, Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum products, and compliance with antidumping and countervailing duty orders. Consistent with a posture of compliance, we help importers minimize their duty liability through any lawful means.

We have extensive experience representing clients in disputes with various trade agencies, including CBP, and before the U.S. Court of International Trade and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. We advocate for our clients’ interests on Capitol Hill and with trade policymakers, in the places where U.S. trade policy is drafted and debated, helping to shape international trade legislation, customs reform, free trade agreements, and national security programs.

Team Members

Recent representative matters include:

  • Assisted multiple importers on navigating enforcement of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, obtaining release of numerous shipments detained under the UFLPA.
  • Represented U.S. importers in resolving tariff classification disputes administratively with CBP and before the U.S. Court of International Trade, avoiding significant duty liability, and obtaining multimillion-dollar refunds.
  • Represented clients in obtaining exclusions from Section 301 and Section 232 tariffs and advised clients on ensuring compliance with the same.
  • Assisted a company named in a forced labor withhold release order (WRO) issued by CBP in obtaining the complete revocation of such order.
  • Assisted importers on designing and implementing first sale” duty savings programs.
  • Assisted multiple importers with reducing or eliminating civil penalties, mitigating liquidated damages and forfeiture claims, and defending against proposed penalty and seizure actions.
  • Obtained favorable classification, country-of-origin, marking and valuation rulings.
  • Guided multiple clients through CBP audit activity, including Focused Assessments and Risk Analysis and Survey Assessments (RASA).
  • Assisted clients in resolving ICE investigations and EAPA investigations based on erroneous allegations of antidumping duty order circumvention.
  • Secured favorable scope exclusions relating to the importation of certain products not covered by antidumping duty orders.

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