Customs & Tariffs

Customs & Tariffs

The field of customs and tariffs is a world of its own. Experts and amateurs in import and export trade continue to face challenges on daily basis because of the constant evolution—and sometimes political feud—involved in international trade. For these and several other reasons, companies worry over how their products will be classified, the matrix of classification used by different countries, and weather such products are the subject of trade sanctions that follow embargoes, dumping, subsidies and countervailing duties, or sanitary and phytosanitary measures.


Equally worth noting is the fact that the customs duty assessed on a product depends on its classification and or trade label. To better encourage the eradication of technical barriers to trade, the World Trade Organization (WTO) encourages Member States to engage in negotiations based on the Most-Favored-Nation and National Treatment principles, to create a level field for all. The question is whether your country is a WTO member? If so, is there any multilateral or plurilateral agreement for which your business can take advantage? Conversely, has your country been placed under a WTO sanction for which your industry is the target? Or is your product made of a combination of subparts manufactured in different countries that you find it hard to tell its country of origin?


What about trade in services? There is even a greater challenge when it comes to valuing “service” because of its intangible nature. The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) proposes four modes of supply of services—cross border supply, consumption abroad, commercial presence, and the presence of natural persons—upon which states can value and tax “service.” Should taxation of service be single, dual, or done under some special arrangement? One would think that the elimination of technical barriers to trade would completely eradicate some of these challenges, but they more closely indicate the need to meet an attorney. Book a consultation today.

We are active in areas that include:

  • Global food law and security
  • Custom duties and tariffs
  • Antidumping and countervailing duties
  • Safeguard measures
  • Sanitary and phytosanitary measures and
  • Generalized System of Preferences

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