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In 2009-2010, WWRD imported decorative ceramic plates and mugs from its “Old Britain Castles” dinnerware collections; decorative ceramic plates and gravy boats from its “His Majesty” dinnerware collection; and crystal flutes, punch bowls, and hurricane lamps from its “12 Days of Christmas” collection. All were decorated with holiday motifs and intended to be used during Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Customs classified the articles based on their constituent materials, placing the various goods in subheadings 6912.00.39, 7013.22.50, 7013.41.50, and 9405.50.40 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). WWRD filed multiple protests, arguing the articles should be classified in 9817.95.01, which provides duty-free status for “[a]rticles classifiable in subheadings 3924.10, 3926.90, 6307.90, 6911.10, 6912.00, 7013.22, 7013.28, 7013.41, 7013.49, 9405.20, 9405.40, or 9405.50 ... meeting the descriptions … Utilitarian articles of a kind used in the home in the performance of specific religious or cultural ritual celebrations for religious or cultural holidays, or religious festive occasions, such as Seder plates, blessing cups, menorahs or kinaras.” The Trade Court and Federal Circuit upheld the classification, reasoning that imported items were not used for specific rituals. View "WWRD US, LLC v. United States" on Justia Law

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In 2009-2010, WWRD imported decorative ceramic plates and mugs from its “Old Britain Castles” dinnerware collections; decorative ceramic plates and gravy boats from its “His Majesty” dinnerware collection; and crystal flutes, punch bowls, and hurricane lamps from its “12 Days of Christmas” collection. All were decorated with holiday motifs and intended to be used during Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Customs classified the articles based on their constituent materials, placing the various goods in subheadings 6912.00.39, 7013.22.50, 7013.41.50, and 9405.50.40 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). WWRD filed multiple protests, arguing the articles should be classified in 9817.95.01, which provides duty-free status for “[a]rticles classifiable in subheadings 3924.10, 3926.90, 6307.90, 6911.10, 6912.00, 7013.22, 7013.28, 7013.41, 7013.49, 9405.20, 9405.40, or 9405.50 ... meeting the descriptions … Utilitarian articles of a kind used in the home in the performance of specific religious or cultural ritual celebrations for religious or cultural holidays, or religious festive occasions, such as Seder plates, blessing cups, menorahs or kinaras.” The Trade Court and Federal Circuit upheld the classification, reasoning that imported items were not used for specific rituals. View "WWRD US, LLC v. United States" on Justia Law

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ThyssenKrupp imports corrosion-resistant carbon steel flat products (CORE) from Germany. In 1993, the Department of Commerce imposed an antidumping duty on such imports. Between February 14-July 2012, ThyssenKrupp made eight such entries. Customs assessed ThyssenKrupp’s antidumping duties at the prevailing rate: 10.02%. Meanwhile, in January 2012, the International Trade Commission instituted its required sunset review of the 1993 order; in 2013, the ITC informed Commerce that revocation of that order would not likely lead to material injury to a domestic industry. Days later, under 19 U.S.C. 1675(d)(2), Commerce published notice of the revocation of the order for CORE, effective February 14, 2012. In April 2013, Commerce instructed Customs that “all unliquidated entries” should be liquidated without regard to antidumping duties. ThyssenKrupp filed administrative protests, asserting that its CORE entries occurred after the February 14 effective date, and sought refunds of the duties. Customs denied ThyssenKrupp’s protests, interpreting the April instructions’ “unliquidated entries” phrase as not covering the eight entries. The Trade Court dismissed ThyssenKrupp’s suit as untimely under 28 U.S.C. 1581(a), leaving the entries subject to the antidumping duty, even though the entries were made when duties were no longer legally warranted. The Federal Circuit reversed the dismissal of the claim; the entries were “unliquidated” within the meaning of the April instructions implementing the results of the sunset review. View "ThyssenKrupp Steel North America, Inc. v. United States" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, a Singaporean shipping company, entered into shipping contracts with an Indian mining company. The Indian company breached those contracts. Plaintiff believes that American businesses that were the largest stockholders in the Indian company engaged in racketeering activity to divest the Indian company of assets to thwart its attempts to recover damages for the breach. Plaintiff filed suit under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. 1964(c). While the case was pending, the Supreme Court decided RJR Nabisco v. European Community, holding that “[a] private RICO plaintiff … must allege and prove a domestic injury to its business or property.” The district court granted the American defendants judgment on the RICO claims. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. Plaintiff’s claimed injury—harm to its ability to collect on its judgment and other claims—was economic; economic injuries are felt at a corporation’s principal place of business, and Plaintiff’s principal place of business is in Singapore. The court noted that the district court allowed a maritime fraudulent transfer claim to go forward. View "Armada (Singapore) PTE Ltd. v. Amcol International Corp." on Justia Law

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GRK imported into the U.S. three types of screw fasteners, used to mate dissimilar materials and made with corrosion-resistant, case-hardened steel. Customs classified the screws as “other wood screws” under subheading 7318.12.00 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), subject to an import duty of 12.5%. GRK claimed that the screws should be classified under subheading 7318.14.10 as “self-tapping screws,” with a 6.2% duty. The Court of International Trade granted GRK summary judgment. The Federal Circuit remanded, instructing the court to consider use in interpreting the HTSUS terms. On remand, the Trade Court ordered pretrial discovery limited to the issues of “intended use,” “principal use,” and “actual use” and found that the screws are “self-tapping screws” because they are capable of cutting a mating thread in non-fibrous materials, are made of case-hardened carbon steel or stainless steel, and meet minimal torsional strength requirements. The Federal Circuit affirmed the application of classification subheading 7318.14.10 for “self-tapping screws,” and summary judgment in favor of GRK. View "GRK Canada, Ltd. v. United States" on Justia Law

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SolarWorld sought imposition of antidumping duties under 19 U.S.C. 1673–1673h and countervailing duties under 19 U.S.C. 1671– 1671h on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, modules, laminates, and panels (CSPV products) imported from China. The U.S. Department of Commerce agreed that the subject imports were being sold in the U.S. at less than fair value and were being unfairly subsidized by the Chinese government. The International Trade Commission determined that a U.S. industry was materially injured by reason of imports of the CSPV products from China. The Court of International Trade rejected an argument that the Commission had not properly found the required causal connection between the unfairly priced or subsidized imports and the weakened state of the domestic industry and sustained the Commission’s determination. The Federal Circuit affirmed. In substance, the Commission made a determination of “but-for causation” and had an adequate basis for doing so. The determination rested on detailed findings about demand conditions and the domestic market's business cycle, the roles of conventional and renewable sources of electricity, government incentives and regulations at all levels, domestic consumption trends, market segments, who was supplying the domestic market, what happened to prices and market shares during the period of investigation, and the ways in which the domestic industry’s financial performance was very poor and deteriorating. View "Changzhou Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd. v. International Trade Commission" on Justia Law

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Pleasure-Way, manufactures and sells Class B motorhomes. In 2008-2009, having bought 144 DaimlerChrysler AG “Sprinter” vans in the U.S., Pleasure-Way exported them to its facility in Canada, where it converted them into its Plateau TS and Ascent TS motorhomes, by installing fully-plumbed kitchen and bathroom fixtures with freshwater and sewage tanks, water heaters, sleeping quarters, countertops with propane burners, microwave ovens, wall-mounted televisions, refrigerators, large picture windows and porch lights, awnings, running boards, and exterior showers. When Pleasure-Way imported the resulting motorhomes into the U.S., it sought to avoid their being classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), 8703.33.00, arguing that the motorhomes should be classified under subheading 9802.00.50, as “[g]oods re-entered after repair or alteration in Canada or Mexico.” Customs rejected the argument and assessed a 2.5% ad valorem import duty. The Federal Circuit affirmed summary judgment against Pleasure-Way. Pleasure-Way gave the converted motorhomes new names and sold them at a price double to triple the market price for Sprinter vans. It marketed them as upscale leisure vehicles for vacationing and recreation, while the Sprinter vans were marketed primarily as cargo vans. The likely use and consumer base for the vans as exported were broadly different from those for the motorhomes imported after conversion. View "Pleasure-Way Industries, Inc. v. United States" on Justia Law

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The Commerce Department can impose countervailing duties (CVDs) on imported goods if it “determines that the government of a country . . . is providing, directly or indirectly, a countervailable subsidy with respect to” an imported good, 19 U.S.C. 1671(a)(1), and assessed CVD rate of 374.15% on entries of aluminum extrusions from China. Other importers challenged that rate at the Trade Court in a separate case, resulting in an "all-others" rate of 7.37% on entries of aluminum extrusions from China. Capella was not part of the litigation and never sought administrative review of its entries, so those entries were subject to automatic liquidation at the 374.15% cash deposit rate in effect at the time of the entries. The Federal Circuit affirmed the Trade Court’s dismissal of Capella’s complaints. Sections 1516a(c)(1); (e) state the CVD rate that applies to pre-Timken notice entries when liquidation is not enjoined by court decision or the subject of administrative review: the rate Commerce established in its final determination. Capella’s entries were made before the Timken notice and Capella did not participate in the separate litigation or request administrative review of its entries, so Capella could not claim the benefit of the lower all-others rate awarded to the litigants. View "Capella Sales & Services Ltd. v. United States" on Justia Law

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In a dispute concerning the proper Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) classification of 38 entries of Chemtall’s product, acrylamido tertiary butyl sulfonic acid (ATBS) during 2010 and 2011, the Trade Court concluded that ATBS was not an “amide” but a derivative of amide. ATBS contains an amide functional group and has a hydrocarbyl group in the R1 position; a hydrogen atom in the R2 position; and a compound containing hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and sulfur (S) atoms in the R3 position. The Federal Circuit affirmed. The great weight of authority indicates that amides, when precisely defined, are limited to having only hydrogen, alkyl, or aryl groups bonded to the nitrogen atom. Because ATBS contains sulfonic acid (SO3H) in a radical attached to the nitrogen atom of the amide functional group, ATBS cannot, under the definitions provided in the secondary sources, be an amide. View "Chemtall, Inc. v. United States" on Justia Law

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The International Trades Commission instituted a section 337 investigation based on Cisco’s complaint alleging that Arista’s imports of certain network devices, related software, and components thereof infringed six of its patents. An ALJ issued a final initial determination finding a violation with respect to three patents, but no violation based on two other patents, 19 U.S.C. 1337(a)(1)(B)(i). The sixth patent had previously been terminated from the investigation. On review, the Commission upheld those findings and entered a limited exclusion order against imports by Arista of “certain network devices, related software and components thereof.” The Federal Circuit affirmed. The Commission sufficiently articulated its findings and employed claim construction requiring “router configuration data” to be “stored in said database.” View "Arista Net 2 Works, Inc. v. International Trade Commission" on Justia Law