A corporate officer of an Importer of Record (IOR) is not directly liable for gross negligence if the value of the importedmerchandise is materially misrepresented to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency according to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (U.S. v. Trek Leather, Inc., Fed. Cir., No. 2011-1527; 7/30/13 (30 ITR 12/28; 8/8/13).  



The New York Times reported on May 3, 2013 that Dell, Inc., is investigating possible export trade violations of BDL Gulf, a major distributor in the Middle East which purchased and resold Dell computers allegedly to a Syria based company, Anas Hasoon Trading Company notwithstanding the fact that the Dell Distribution Agreement contained prohibitions against resale to unauthorized persons.

According to Erich C. Ferrari, Esq. of Ferrari & Associates, PC, export compliance clauses contained in a Distribution Agreement may not afford U.S. based seller Dell sufficient legal protection from enforcement citations for alleged export trade control violations and illustrates the needs for a U.S. exporter to have a robust risk based program to insure resellers educate foreign distributors about control responsibilities under U.S. law and potential penalties for violations. Companies should obtain information about their customers to enable protection against knowing or unwitting violations particularly in view of the fact that U.S. export trade control laws can have extra territorial jurisdiction application to foreign suppliers that facilitate such violations (WorldECR, Issue 24, August 2013, p. 15/Ferrari).

Tariff Classification


A recent U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) decision finding that a betacarotene product is properly classified as a provitamin which can enter the U.S. duty free has been appealed by the U.S. Government (Roche Vitamins, Inc. v. U.S., Fed. Cir., No. 13-1568, 08/15/13; 30 ITR 1316; 8/22/13).  

Tommy Hilfiger USA Inc. has challenged the policy of the government classifying wearing apparel by reference to age or gender as unconstitutional (Tommy Hilfiger USA Inc. v. U.S., Ct. Int’l Trade, No. 13-00275, 8/12/13; 30 ITR 1317; 8/22/13).