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Customs  Attorney - Why You Need One

A Customs Attorney can help reduce the complexity of International trade where the importer gets involved with numerous complicated laws, regulations, policies and procedures.  The import process is full of pitfalls. Not only does the importer have to understand the local customs regulations but he or she must be able to classify the imported goods appropriately. Depending on the product, there are various government rules and restrictions which the importer must contend with.  Within the United States for example, importing food or an agricultural product can put you right in front of the Food and Drug Administration.  Ignorance of the law is definitely not an excuse for the law.

Customs  Attorney

Roles of a Customs  Attorney

Seven Common Customs Attorney Tasks

In order to represent and provide counsel to importers, the everyday tasks of a Customs Attorney involve:

  1. Keeping up with the latest customs rules and regulations which could impact the Importer client.
  2. Play a role in ensuring that the correct monetary values are assigned to the imported goods and ensure that the correct tariffs are applied. The Customs Attorney can help to manage the relationship between the Importer and the Exporter.
  3. Make sure that the imported products are classified correctly.
  4. Ensure that the products are labeled correctly according to customs rules and regulations.
  5. Verify that there are no additional tariffs to be applied to the imported goods such as antidumping or countervailing tariffs.
  6. Confirm that any refunds in tariffs such as drawbacks have been applied for.
  7. Check that the client has all the appropriate records and procedures to comply with the customs regulations.  Some documents may need to be kept on file for a period of 5 years.

Customs Attorney Qualifications

Customs and International Trade Law is one of the most complex areas of law practice.   The Customs Attorney must be admitted to the country's courts in order to practice.  He or she must also have the necessary skills and staff to support this demanding profession.  Sometimes a Customs Attorney may specialize in a particular industry such as textiles and or certain pieces of International Trade Law such as antidumping.  In addition to assisting Importers, the Customs Attorney may also help Exporters to navigate the complex rules of exporting too.