Our legal system is adversarial, hardwired to produce winners and losers. The rules for picking winners and losers are open to interpretation and are prone to human error, bias, and corruption. Human error, bias, and corruption are why records are kept of proceedings, why those records are available to the public, and why a losing party can usually appeal an adverse decision to a higher authority.
A losing party often loses sight of these fundamental facts and overlooks the possibility of challenging a wrong decision. Whether you can afford further action or whether the legal climb is too steep, reviewing your legal options should be automatic.
This check is particularly important in tariff classification. Picking the correct number under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is important not only for importers seeking lower duties on their imported merchandise, but also to avoid penalties from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). That agency every day issues classifications rulings or otherwise determines the proper classification upon liquidation. Importers seldom challenge these decisions because the deem the exercise to be futile.
Often the exercise might pay off.
On August 24 of this year, CBP published in the Federal Register twenty-one modifications and revocations of previous classification rulings, nine on August 17, seven on July 6, and eight on June 22. That is not even counting the CBP classifications overturned by the courts.
These numbers strongly indicate the potential benefits of challenging a CBP classification decision.
Tariff classification is complicated and arguing for a certain HTSUS provision requires an experienced legal advocate with a record of success. Please let us know if you require our assistance.
Principal and a founding member of GRVR Attorneys.