Rulings, remedies and court proceedings for customs and trade professionals

Importer Gets Refund of Section 232 Duties in Tariff Challenge Turned Classification Spat

Importer Farrier Product Distribution settled its case originally challenging Section 232 steel and aluminum duties on "derivative" products, securing refunds of the duties, the company told the Court of International Trade in a motion to voluntarily dismiss its case. Farrier said the parties sought to "resolve the legal controversy that gave rise to this matter," adding that the U.S. and the importer have been "successful in that effort" (Farrier Product Distribution v. United States, CIT # 20-00098).

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Farrier filed the case to argue that President Donald Trump's move to extend the Section 232 duties onto derivative products violated multiple procedural steps, including the president's authority under Section 232 and the Fifth Amendment's due process requirement.

However, during litigation, the importer sought a reclassification ruling for the products subject to the case as a separate compliance measure, David Forgue, counsel for Farrier, said in a May 10 email. CBP ultimately classified the products under a tariff provision not subject to the steel and aluminum duties. "Once that happened we negotiated a resolution based on a change in classification which mooted the 232 claims," Forgue said.