International Trade

We employ a comprehensive approach when it comes to our International Trade practice. We focus on global import and export compliance, international trade policy and market access and trade remedies/defense. Our lawyers practice international trade law in almost every country where we have an office, and our full-time practitioners operate out of our Washington DC, London and Brussels offices.

We offer a “one-stop” service encompassing international trade compliance and policy acumen to make necessary judgments while operating effectively in a fast-paced and highly competitive environment around the globe.

Why choose us 

Global Integration

Worldwide reach in a local context allows us to respond in real time to your international trade compliance and policy needs. Our globally integrated team ensures that we are locally represented or connected and knowledgeable of the legal and regulatory environment, the political climate and operational implications in each jurisdiction where you do business.

International Trade Compliance Solution

International trade compliance is governed by laws and regulations of multiple jurisdictions forming a highly complicated and ever-evolving global compliance regime. A single import or export transaction can implicate the rules of multiple jurisdictions, rules that are frequently inconsistent or even conflicting. Yet, understanding the various regulatory pieces affecting cross-border business and assembling those pieces into clear and efficient compliance strategies have never been more important. Assembling the puzzle requires sophisticated, coordinated legal counsel worldwide with an understanding of your business and your industry.  Our presence in the US, EU, China, the Middle East and almost every other region in the world provides us with intimate knowledge of local government regulations, an understanding of the complexities of administration and enforcement and, most importantly, the ability to device strategy to overcome challenges. The full range of international trade compliance issues includes export controls, economic sanctions, customs, anticorruption, anti-boycott, anti-money laundering and foreign investment clearance.

Our experience includes:

  • Dealing with every category of the dual-use controls list and all varieties of military articles and services
  • Understanding of the underlying policy considerations and agency practices of classification and licensing requirements
  • Having extensive military exports experience – including the ITAR, the “600 series”, and the EU and UK arms control rules, among others
  • Offering advice on complex prohibitions that affect dealings with sanctioned countries and persons subject to trade embargoes and other economic sanctions
  • Developing strategies to document anticorruption compliance in the context of gifts, corporate entertainment and engagement of the third parties
  • Offering guidance on best practices and compliance alternatives to avoid unnecessarily burdening the business
  • Providing tailored solutions to navigate clients through this complex and ever-evolving area

Excellence in International Trade Policy

We have decades of experience influencing trade legislative initiatives, actively engaging with US Members of Congress, their staff and the Administration throughout all phases of the legislative process. Our team is also ideally positioned to represent clients in European trade negotiations and advocate their interests before the European institutions. Our public policy work is bolstered by our substantive knowledge of trade law. Our past experiences include:

  • Assisted in the negotiation and implementation of the most number of large scale free trade agreements on behalf of sovereign nations
  • Assisted in securing trade preferences for foreign governments through legislative strategies and government relations outreach
  • Providing advice and guidance on a range of supply chain management, shipping, logistics, labor and related issues that impacted or impeded on the flow of international trade
  • Offering advice on expansion and/or restoration of market access and reduction of tariff for a wide range of agricultural and food products originating from several countries

Explore

Export Controls and Sanctions

Our export controls and economic sanctions practice is second to none and one of the few such practices that truly operate with a global footprint. Our services include:

  • awareness training and in-depth training for compliance official 
  • commodity and encryption classification requests 
  • commodity jurisdiction requests 
  • compliance programs – including technology control plans 
  • compliance tools and resources – including handbooks, workshops and subscription to regular updates and alerts 
  • due diligence investigations and transaction representations and warranties 
  • enforcement actions 
  • international investigations 
  • licensing requirements – including the use of exceptions, exemptions and general licenses 
  • obtaining license and other export authorizations 
  • regulatory and compliance advice 
  • risk assessments and compliance audits 
  • structuring transactions to ensure compliance and avoid unnecessary licensing 
  • voluntary and directed disclosures 

ITAR Practitioner’s Handbook

One of our most in-demand publications and a convenient tool to stay abreast of the latest information on International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Download a copy of the handbook here

Included in the handbook are:

  • codified International Traffic in Arms Regulations 
  • Commerce Control List 600 Series
  • summary of ITAR and EAR Exemptions
  • primer for Export Controls Compliance

Anticorruption

Our services include:

  • assessing the anticorruption risks of proposed transactions and assessing compliance on completed transactions
  • vetting third party contractors
  • M&A due diligence review
  • developing and implementing global or country-specific anticorruption policy statements, compliance programs and training
  • internal investigations, audits and compliance assessments

Customs

We routinely provide clients counseling and legal representation regarding a wide range of issues that may arise in connection with import transactions including:

  • country of origin marking 
  • customs audits 
  • customs valuation including related party transactions and issues relating to royalties and commissions 
  • duty drawback 
  • enforcement of intellectual property rights 
  • entries potentially subject to antidumping/countervailing duties; restricted and prohibited entries 
  • EU customs union and association arrangements, NAFTA and other free trade agreements, and reduced duty provisions and related country of origin requirements and procedures 
  • fines, penalties, forfeitures, seizures and liquidated damages claims; and petitions for release and/or mitigation 
  • Free/Foreign Trade Zones and Subzones including applications for status and procedural requirements 
  • special entry provisions (e.g., reduced duties on articles previously exported for repair or alteration abroad) 
  • tariff (Harmonized Tariff System) classification including preparing and pursuing classification ruling requests and binding tariff information in the EU 
  • temporary-entry provisions and carnets 
  • voluntary prior disclosures of possible violations of customs laws or regulations 

Global Duty Reduction & Recovery Program

Reducing Future Customs Duty Liability

To enhance global competitiveness in the world’s markets for finished, added-value products, many countries and trading blocs allow enterprises to benefit from exemptions, reductions and suspensions in their customs duty liabilities when importing raw materials and components into their territories. Our team has significant experience in creating and setting up corporate programs to utilize such benefits:

  • requesting and maintaining duty suspensions allowing for the full remission of customs duty payments for long periods of time
  • obtaining tariff-free quotas for raw materials in temporary short-term supply in specific markets 
  • setting up Inward Processing Relief (IPR) schemes and obtaining authorizations for duty drawback programs 
  • managing and implementing benefits accruing under Free Trade Agreements and preferential trading arrangements such as Generalized Scheme of Preference (GSP) programs 
  • analyzing supply chain to maximize the benefits of proper tariff classifications, valuation programs and country of origin assessments. 

Recovery of Customs Duties Paid in the Past

Recovery actions can be a component of an overall global strategy to reduce customs liabilities on a strategic basis or a response to specific customs liability exposures that have arisen – for example, as a result of the imposition of antidumping duties. Although these procedures are highly technical and vary according to local laws, we have developed special skills and expertise in achieving recovery of these types of payments. When a recovery opportunity arises, it can lead to substantial repayments that otherwise would not be obtained. Our team has successfully achieved retroactive recoveries for our clients using the following tools: 

  • customs tariff reclassification – if a product can be classified into a customs classification code that reduces the level of duty payable, a customs cost saving can be made for the future and in some instances for the recent past. 
  • country of origin reassessment – where the country of origin of particular products can be established as being a country or territory with a preferential trade agreement with the importing country or bloc, duties may be recovered if a higher customs duty was paid. 
  • claiming the benefit of unused duty suspensions – often importers are unaware of the existence of duty suspensions and therefore fail to claim their benefit at the time of importation which, in some instances, can be retroactively adjusted to obtain repayments. 
  • refunds of antidumping and antisubsidy duties – in those countries or blocs where a prospective antidumping and/or antisubsidy (or countervailing) system is in place, refund of these duties is possible where the dumping or subsidization margins have been reduced or eliminated. 
Foreign Investment Restrictions

We advise on foreign investment national security/economic security restrictions and obtain government clearance for the investment. In the US, these clearances include:

  • clearance from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) when the transaction involves foreign ownership in a US business 
  • clearance from the US Department of Defense for transactions involving companies with security clearances 
  • continuation of key government contracts 
  • export controls approvals and notices 

International Trade Policy

We advise public and private multinational corporations, sovereign governments, quasi-governmental agencies, and trade associations with respect to international trade legislation, trade litigation, free trade agreements, trade barriers, issues related to the World Trade Organization (WTO), and other matters involving international trade and trade policy. Our services include:

  • assisting in the navigation of complex international trade negotiations – from multilateral trade issues at the WTO, to regional trade agreements, bilateral free trade agreements and investment treaties 
  • providing strategic advice with regard to foreign market development in reducing or removing trade barriers 
  • devising diplomatic solutions for sensitive trade and market access issues
  • providing advice and assistance to sovereign governments in identifying and pursuing opportunities to promote increased bilateral trade with the US and the EU – including through the Generalized System of Preferences program, other international trade preference programs (i.e., AGOA, ATPA) and free trade negotiations
  • advising on all types of trade legislations through the full legislative process and provide guidance on lobbying and modification of a proposed legislation, including drafting legislative language 
  • providing guidance on broad-based coalition building to strengthen advocacy on particular trade priorities before the government

Trade Remedies and Defense

Our trade remedies practice, run primarily from our Washington DC and Brussels offices, has a wealth of experience in dealing with trade remedy procedures, and specifically antidumping and countervailing duty/antisubsidy. We have advised and helped industries to file both complaints to initiate investigations and provided services to exporters, importers as well as industrial users to defend against such investigations. Our experience includes: 

  • working on behalf of petitioners to secure trade remedies
  • representing respondents in a variety of actions including Antidumping, Countervailing Duty/antisubsidy and 337 infringement actions

Our team also has a depth of experience in litigation on trade-related matters before both the US Court of International Trade and the EU General Court and the European Court of Justice. 

{{insights.date}} {{insights.source}} {{insights.type}}