Steptoe provides clients with an integrated approach to strategic customs planning and compliance. The leading legal directories, including Chambers & Partners, consistently recognize Steptoe with their highest rankings, and Law360 has honored Steptoe five times as an “International Trade Group of the Year.” With more than 35 international trade lawyers in Washington, London, and Brussels, we regularly advise Fortune 500 companies and non-US entities on how to secure their international trade objectives when import and export shipments are cleared through US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Each time a company sends a shipment to the United States, there can be multiple import compliance requirements that apply. For each and every shipment, US law requires the importer to have researched all the applicable requirements, up to a level described in the law as using “reasonable care.” In addition, as part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), CBP requires companies to pay close attention to the physical security of their supply chain and import shipments. These security obligations may add to compliance requirements and always exist regardless of whether any import duties are due.
Steptoe counsels importers regarding all aspects of compliance with this increasingly complex regulatory regime:
- Country of origin declaration and marking requirements
- Proper declaration of antidumping and countervailing duty goods
- Duty reduction programs (NAFTA, GSP, KORUS, US-Israel, MTB, etc.)
- American goods returned
- Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)
- Brokers and POAs
- Surety bonds
- Prior disclosures to protect against penalties for errors
- Binding rulings
- Protests and appeals
- Defense Against Penalty cases
- Focused assessments and other CBP audits
We also help clients respond to CBP notices of action and enforcement, (including forfeiture cases), conduct internal compliance reviews, and prepare compliance manuals and internal operating procedures and advisory opinions. Steptoe advised clients involved in some of the first audits under the Customs Modernization Act and since then has continued to expand its substantial experience by ensuring clients have adequate compliance systems that are capable of meeting long-standing import and export requirements as well as the increasingly-important security standards under US customs law.
- Chambers Asia-Pacific, International Trade/WTO, Asia-Pacific Region (2009-2018)
- Chambers Asia-Pacific, International Trade/WTO, China (2011-2018)
- Chambers Global, International Trade/WTO, Global (2008-2018)
- Chambers USA, International Trade: Trade Remedies & Trade Policy, Nationwide (2017-2018)
- Chambers USA, International Trade, Nationwide (2005-2016)
- Legal 500 US, Dispute Resolution: International Trade (2016-2018)
- Legal 500 US, Litigation: International Trade (2007-2015)
- China Law & Practice, International Firm of the Year: Trade (2016, 2018)
- China Law & Practice, Shortlisted, International Firm of the Year: Regulatory & Compliance (2018)
- China Business Law Journal, China Business Law Award: International Trade (2014-2018)
- Law360, International Trade Group of the Year (2010-2013, 2015)
Our Brussels team has a unique focus on EU customs laws and proceedings. Steptoe is a founding member of Greenlane, an alliance of European customs and trade law firms present in 13 European countries with significant ports. Greenlane was created in order to meet our clients’ needs for seamless services to solve the customs issues they face when importing goods across multiple European ports.
The Greenlane law firms, present locally in most of Europe’s ports, are close to the EU Member States’ customs authorities and include seasoned litigators before their Member State’s tax and customs courts. Our team in Brussels has experience in the EU’s legislative and investigative activities that local customs enforce. The combination of these EU and local capabilities makes Steptoe uniquely qualified to assist international corporations facing often similar difficulties in multiple points of entry into the EU’s territory.
Our lawyers in Brussels also advise on all aspects of EU customs law and procedures, including classification, valuation, preferential tariff regimes and rules of origin, special customs procedures such as binding tariff and origin information, inward/outward processing relief, tariff suspensions, post-clearance recovery of duties, self-disclosure proceedings, compliance programs, and third-country valuation.
News & Publications
October 25, 2018
August 15, 2018 (updated October 23, 2018)
May 30, 2018
April 12, 2018
April 5, 2018
March 14, 2018
March 5, 2018
July 27, 2017
May 2, 2017
February 24, 2017