ST&R assists companies in complying with recent changes to the forced labor laws by implementing due diligence, risk management/assessment, and remediation strategies. We utilize existing company corporate social responsibility and customs resources, which ensures our approach is efficient, less costly, and rapidly implemented.
Due diligence strategies include updating or creating audit procedures and questions, corporate policy documents such as compliance manuals and vendor manuals, vendor agreements and related documents, and training materials. We also inform the corporate legal, procurement, and CSR departments to ensure all relevant personnel understand the ramifications of the new laws.
Our risk assessment and monitoring strategies include reviewing and monitoring company ACE data relative to locations and entities that have been the focus of CBP, Department of State, Department of Labor, non-governmental organizations, and the media.
We also work with companies to develop an action plan if North Korean labor is found in their supply chain and/or goods are detained at the border.
GRAY MARKET GOODS
Buying genuine branded goods abroad and importing them into the U.S. for sale can be a profitable enterprise. However, because such imports typically do not have the consent of the company that owns the associated intellectual property rights, they are subject to strictly enforced requirements designed to protect those companies. Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg has helped discount retailers and others comply with these requirements and successfully operate in the gray market for decades.
IPR - TRADEMARKS, COPYRIGHTS AND PATENTS
Intellectual property can be a significant component of the value of your goods, so utilizing it effectively and protecting it against potential infringement by competitors are vital. Identifying your IP assets, registering your IP with the relevant federal agencies, and recording your IP with U.S. Customs and Border Protection are good first steps. Distribution and licensing agreements can expand your brand and add value to your portfolio, and effective monitoring of your IP internationally can help protect that value by safeguarding against infringement. If violations are found, rights holders can file suit in court or pursue claims at the International Trade Commission, which can offer faster resolution as well as remedies such as excluding infringing goods from entry into the U.S.
On the other side, importers of branded goods need to secure proper authorization from rights holders and take measures to protect against counterfeit or pirated goods.
QUOTAS AND IMPORT RESTRICTIONS
Absolute quotas, tariff-rate quotas, and other import restrictions limit the amount of specified products that may be imported into the U.S., either in absolute terms or under normal duty rates. Today they are most often applied to agricultural goods, including sugar-containing products and certain dairy items, as well as articles of iron and steel. These measures can have a significant impact on sourcing decisions and import-related costs.