As previously reported, C.J. Holt & Co., Inc. joined with other brokers and importers to file suit against Customs & Border Protection (CBP) in March, 2018 due to the agency’s position to delay accelerated payment of Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (TFTEA) drawback claims. Given that many of our clients are actively filing TFTEA claims and that receiving accelerated payment of those drawback claims is important to the bottom line for those companies, we took an aggressive approach and entered into the case on our clients’ behalf.
After hearing arguments from both sides since March, the Court of International Trade has made its decision in our case, Tabacos de Wilson v. United States, Slip Op. 18-81 (June 29, 2018). While there were a handful of counts presented before the court, Judge Restani split the decision. While she denied our request to force CBP to pay accelerated payment, she did state that CBP failed to timely produce the regulations for calculation of TFTEA drawback as mandated by the law for February 24, 2018.
In her statement, she requested that CBP publish a proposed rule on or about July 5, 2018, and if that was not possible, that she would hear the briefings from CBP and the Plaintiffs to determine a schedule for how the regulations that were mandated by TFTEA could be finalized so that drawback payments can resume.
The regulatory package is currently still under review with the Office of Management and Budget, but it is believed it will be released to the trade in the upcoming weeks for review and comment. Even if this is the case, a proposed regulation is not a final regulation, and more is likely coming before this specific case is closed.
Through the course of our company’s history, we have challenged CBP’s position when we feel that it’s necessary, and C.J. Holt will continue to fight for our clients to ensure that they can realize their drawback dollars as quickly as possible!