Practice Areas

Customs Counseling, Litigation, and Enforcement

The United States government maintains a complex regulatory system for the collection of customs duties on imported merchandise.  Violations of these regulations can lead to both civil and criminal penalties.  The principal agency responsible for enforcing United States import regulations is U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”).  The Blakeslee Law Firm helps clients develop, implement, and monitor their customs compliance programs.  We work with clients in the area of classification, valuation, etc., in order to achieve optimum duty savings.  We also represent interested parties in disputes with CBP as to the proper tariff treatment of imported merchandise and in penalty actions arising from alleged violations of United States import laws and regulations.

We also help our clients benefit from various special customs duty programs such as duty drawback, foreign trade zones, the Generalized System of Preferences (“GSP”), the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act, the United States-Israel Free Trade Agreement, and the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”). 

Our work in Customs enforcement is frequently an outgrowth of our ITC Section 337 practice.  Thus, we work closely with CBP and with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to enforce exclusion orders issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission and to enforce the registered trademarks and copyrights of our clients against infringement, counterfeiting, or piracy by imported goods.


Merritt R. Blakeslee, Post-litigation Enforcement of Remedial Orders Issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission in Section 337 Investigations, 8 JOHN MARSHALL REVIEW OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW 248 (Winter 2009).

Merritt R. Blakeslee, Options for Enforcing ITC Remedial Orders:  An Overview, presented in a session entitled SO YOU WON! NOW WHAT?: POST-LITIGATION ENFORCEMENT OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION REMEDIAL ORDERS at the Annual Meeting of American Intellectual Property Law Association, Washington, D.C. (Oct. 24, 2008).

Merritt R. Blakeslee, Protecting American Trademarks Against Infringing Imports:  Customs Seizures, Exclusion Orders, Monetary Damages, seminar presented at the 2004 annual trade show of the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association, Las Vegas, NV (Nov. 3, 2004).

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