Guayaquil Customs Lawyer Importing Merchandise
Importers face a daunting patchwork of legal and regulatory requirements. Meythaler & Zambrano Abogados helps importers navigate the full range of customs issues including classification and valuation of imported goods, country-of-origin rules, trade preferences and other duty-free programs, as well as mechanisms for reducing duties. We also assist clients in adhering strictly to regulatory requirements or in challenging decisions by customs administrators. Through work with our correspondent offices or unaffiliated local counsel abroad, Meythaler & Zambrano Abogados can assist exporters address importing issues in many parts of the world (e.g., EU, NAFTA countries, China, the Russian Federation, etc.).
The following are among the areas in which the firm can provide assistance with importing.
Customs Counseling, Representation and Compliance
- Classification and Valuation of Imported Goods. The classification and value of goods determines the amount of duties assessed, and the controlling regulations are extremely complex. Careful analysis can minimize duties and avoid possible customs penalties for mis-declarations upon entry.
- Country of Origin Rules for Marking and Special Preference Programs. Most imports must bear a marking of origin. Again, the controlling rules are complex, particularly when the imported goods are produced or assembled from materials originating from multiple countries. Mis-marked goods are subject to exclusion and assessment of special penalties. Careful analysis can avert mistakes.
- Duty Drawback. Importers can obtain refunds of duties – i.e., “duty drawback “– that they pay on imports they subsequently re-export or use to produce other exported goods. Careful planning to assure conformance with the rules can result in duty savings.
- Customs Ruling Requests. Importers can gain certainty as to prospective import transactions by seeking formal Customs Rulings on a broad array of legal issues, such as the classification, value, and origin of goods. There are many reasons to seek these rulings in a program of customs-law compliance.
- Customs Investigations, Regulatory Audits, and Focused Assessments. Customs is increasingly enforcing the law through post-import audits and assessments. Importers must be ready for these and be able to respond effectively.
- Customs Penalties. Customs assesses penalties for violations of the law, including mis-declarations at entry. Penalty procedures are formal and final penalties can be severe.
- Protests of Customs Liquidations. Importers may protest customs decisions bearing on, e.g., duty assessments. This involves a formal procedure and normally requires making presentations.
Implementing Security Programs
This is a rapidly developing area of the law. Meythaler & Zambrano Abogados can advise and assist companies in exploring these opportunities.