Practice Areas

International Business & Trade

At Pennington, P.A., our Customs and international trade lawyers have over 40 years of hands-on experience with foreign trade and transport. Our international practice addresses the full range of legal issues that arise from trade in goods and services across international boundaries.

 

We represent our clients in enforcement matters, seizures, and other disputes with the U.S. government or private parties, advise our clients on compliance planning and audit activities, and help them manage the importation of merchandise by using effective and compliant entry information and strategies.

In the constantly developing and crucial area of Export Controls, we work with our clients to develop and implement strong compliance programs, which seamlessly weave together critical areas of export controls such as licensing, denied party screening, and reporting of export information to the government to the satisfaction of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and the Department of State. Our clients benefit in avoiding sanctions to handling complex and sensitive export enforcement matters.

The firm's attorneys effectively represent our clients when business circumstances call for dispute resolution or litigation on import and export issues, whether it's with third-party trading partners or against the U.S. government due to enforcement measures. This same level of cross-practice support arises in international business transactions. From mergers and acquisitions to cross-border due diligence and contracting issues, our international law experts work together to create business solutions that meet all your legal and strategic business goals.

Our clients include U.S. and international corporations, trade associations, non-governmental organizations, and business professionals working in industries, markets, and countries that span the realm of international trade.

Importers and exporters are subject to ever-changing, wide-ranging international trade laws and regulations. Pennington is committed to providing efficient and cost-effective legal advice to the international trade community.

Specific areas of practice include:

Customs Issues
Trade and Business
Admiralty / Maritime Law
Federal Maritime Commission
Litigation
Export Control Compliance
Corporate and Business Services
International Intellectual Property Law
Federal Administrative Law

 

Customs Issues

  • Money & Property Seizures and Detentions, including and Civil Asset Forfeitures.
  • Customs Penalties of every sort, including IPR (Intellectual Property Right), FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), and AES violations.
  • Determination of Valuation, Tariff Classification, Country of Origin and Marking.
  • Anti-dumping/Countervailing Duty settlements with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
  • Import/Export Compliance on CBP issues.
  • Preference Programs, Free Trade Agreement.
  • Foreign Trade Zones licensing and advantages.
  • Obtaining Customs licenses and permits, bonding of Carriers and Warehouses.
  • Obtaining authorization for “Gray Market” importations with both Customs and FDA.
  • On-site Import Compliance Audits.
  • Duty Drawback consultation.
  • Protests of adverse Customs actions; including duty assessment.
  • Prior Disclosures.
  • Defending Customs Broker license revocation actions.
  • Forced Labor allegations.
  • Enforce and Protect Act (EAPA) investigations.
  • Litigation in the Court of International Trade and Court of Appeals, etc.

 

Trade and Business

  • All aspects of antidumping and countervailing duty laws, Sections 201, 301 and 337 of the Tariff Act, and other trade relief statutes, including original AD/CVD investigations, annual administrative reviews, new shipper reviews, scope reviews and ruling requests, sunset reviews, litigation before U.S. Court of International Trade and U.S. Court of Appeals, etc.
  • Legalization of Documents to accord with International Treaties such as The Hague Convention.
  • Litigation / enforcement of rights under the International Convention on the Sale of Goods.
  • Guidance in the law of International purchase and sales, including drafting, negotiating, reviewing and enforcing   contracts, agreements, Letters of Intent and Memoranda of Understanding; complex negotiations; mergers and acquisitions and excisions; compliance with Anti-Money Laundering, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act issues.
  • L-1, E-2 visas for business persons.

 

Admiralty / Maritime Law

  • Cargo claims and defenses, including marine, stevedore, and warehouse damages, insurance issues relating thereto, and domestic transportation questions regarding cargo destined overseas or arriving.
  • Demurrage and detention claims, including carrier overcharges.
  • Abandoned cargo claims and expenses.
  • Arrests of ship in rem to collect debt from vessels or their operators.
  • Bills of Lading or other Contracts of Affreightment and their interpretation.
  • Preparing terms and conditions of service for carriers and intermediaries such as Customs Brokers, Freight Forwarders, and NVOCCs.

 

Federal Maritime Commission (FMC)

  • Obtaining Federal licenses for shipping companies.
  • Litigation of Formal and Informal Proceedings before the agency; Defending against agency claims of Shipping Act violations.
  • Obtaining relief from ocean shipping practices or disputes that impede the flow of commerce.
  • Ensuring common carriers’ tariff rates and charges are published in private, automated tariff systems and electronically available.
  • Monitoring rates, charges, and rules of government owned/controlled carriers to ensure they are just and reasonable.
  • Helping resolve disputes involving shipment of cargo, personal or household goods, or disputes between cruise vessel operators and passengers.
  • Investigating and ruling on complaints regarding rates, charges, classifications, and practices of common carriers as well as Ocean Transportation Intermediaries (OTIs) that violate the Shipping Act.
  • On-site FMC Compliance Audits and training 

 

Litigation

  • Tariff Act Litigation (including Customs issues, trade remedies) in the Court of International Trade and Court of Appeals, etc.
  • Litigation of all types of admiralty and maritime law and claims, including demurrage claims, collections, damage claims, vessel seizures, and other cargo-related matters.
  • Cargo Claims and Defenses, including marine, stevedore, and warehouse damages, insurance issues relating thereto, and domestic transportation questions regarding cargo destined overseas or arriving.

 

Export Control Compliance

  • Export Administration Regulations (the “EAR”) and its license requirements.
  • Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) embargo and sanction guidance.
  • International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) permit support and guidance.
  • On site Export Compliance Audits and training.

 

Corporate and Business Services

  • Legalization of Documents to accord with International Treaties such as the Hague Convention
  • Admiralty and maritime law and claims
  • Cargo Claims and Defenses, including marine, stevedore, and warehouse damages, insurance issues relating thereto, and domestic transportation questions regarding cargo destined overseas or arriving

 

International Intellectual Property Law

  • Obtain Copyright and/or Trademark registration for clients in the United States and Worldwide.

 

Federal Administrative Law, including defense and consulting as to International Transactions regulated by

  • U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
  • U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
  • U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).
  • U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).
  • U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).