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Seko Vies for Expedited Briefing in Suit on Type 86 Suspension, Claims Irreparable Business Harm

Customs broker Seko Logistics asked the Court of International Trade on June 7 for expedited briefing in its suit against CBP's suspension of the company from Type 86 filing and the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. Seko said greater delay in the case "deprives the requested relief of much of its value" and sets "extraordinary hardship" on the broker (Seko Customs Brokerage v. U.S., CIT # 24-00097).

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The proposed expedited briefing schedule would see all briefs related to a motion to dismiss the case from the government be filed by July 1. After a court decision on the motion to dismiss the suit, Seko said it would file an "additional expedited scheduling order" for the remainder of the case.

Seko argued that suspension from the Type 86 and CTPAT programs has led to "ongoing losses to its business and jeopardizes its technology and labor investments tied to T86 entry filing." The damages to the firm's reputation "have extended beyond its current T86 customers," since many current and prospective clients who don't use the Type 86 entry process "have also begun to question" Seko's trade compliance, the brief said.

The broker launched its suit to request that the trade court "rescind" the suspensions, force CBP "to fully and unconditionally reinstate Plaintiff into these programs," and compel CBP's "provision of the specific transactions and specific underlying facts used to identify alleged T86 entry violations" (see 2406050041).

Seko said that while CBP conditionally reinstated the broker into the programs, CBP is "still calling for remedial action based on unidentified violations which may not exist." For instance, CBP demanded Seko submit a remedial action plan correcting its past violations, though the U.S. "refuses to provide the details required to create a remedial action plan that addresses the case of any specific violations," the motion said. This requires an expedited briefing despite the reinstatements, the broker claimed.

In addition, Seko said it's "unable to identify violations or craft an action plan to assure its clients of its processes and internal controls which have been put in jeopardy by CBP inferring that any broker suspended has allowed widespread fraud to occur." Seko said it's the only firm that's been outed by CBP as being suspended from making Type 86 entries, which has led many customers to declare the broker an "unacceptable compliance risk."

Nonetheless, CBP "still cannot and will not provide a report of SEKO’s violations," the brief said. "The agency has recklessly identified SEKO as an unacceptable trade compliance risk but will not identify its violations. Each day that goes by the reputational harm exponentially increases." Seko claimed that failing to adopt an expedited briefing schedule would "compound unrecoverable business losses and future inability to regain shipments lost to other less arduous de minimis clearance processes," while "penalizing a charter participant in the T86 program" as a result.