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First Sale

One of the most beneficial mechanisms to reduce an importer’s duty liability is the “first sale rule,” which allows for duty to be based on the first sale between the manufacturer and a middleman/vendor in qualifying multi-tiered transactions. Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg has been a leader in establishing and maintaining First Sale as a duty-savings mechanism since ST&R attorneys first litigated the case that established the first sale rule under U.S. law in 1988 (E.C. McAfee Co. v. United States, 842 F.2d 314 (Fed Cir. 1988)). When CBP threatened to discontinue First Sale in 2008, we organized and led the coalition and lobbying effort that resulted in legislation that in effect saved First Sale, and our team of valuation experts has led the charge to preserve an importer’s right to First Sale benefits ever since.

As for implementation of the First Sale rule, ST&R is a recognized leader in achieving First Sale duty savings for clients in the U.S.  Our comprehensive program is dedicated to identifying the accurate duty-saving margins between the middleman vendor and the First Sale seller. We manage First Sale implementation through our secure online portal which streamlines the implementation process, provides real-time access to project status, tasks and timelines and secures client data to support compliance and reliable recordkeeping. In selective cases, our “cost shifting” program allows importers to generate additional duty savings beyond First Sale qualification. 

Our U.S.- and Asia-based First Sale professionals include former U.S. Customs (CBP) regulatory auditors and attorneys with extensive experience in valuation matters. Our Hong Kong staff includes professionals fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin and Taiwanese, who interface directly with vendors and Asian representatives’ buying offices.

T: (212) 549-0158
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T: +852 3979 1998
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T: 202.730.4955
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T: 212.549-0134
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T: (212) 549-0156
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T: 415.490.1405
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T: +852 3979 1993
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T: (212) 549-0149
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T: 312.279.2838
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T: (212) 549-0150
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T: HK: 852.9535.6034 | CN: 86 135 2087 7438
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T: 212.549-0133
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T: 305.894.1002
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T: 312.279.2834
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T: 202.730.4968
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T: 305.894.1001
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