Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Relief of Swiss Customs Duty on Goods


Relief of Customs Duty on Goods, Depending on Type of Use
Art. 31 Swiss Customs Act
Swiss Customs Regulation 17-01
Materials Accounting has to be Maintained and Available for Customs Controls

Marchandises bénéficiant d’allégements douaniers selon leur emploi
Obligation de tenir une comptabilité-matières

Art. 31 LD (RS 631.0) Contrôles à domicile
Al. 1 L'AFD peut procéder sans préavis à des contrôles à domicile chez les personnes qui sont ou étaient assujetties à l'obligation de déclarer ou débitrices de la dette douanière dans une procédure de taxation ou qui ont l'obligation de tenir une comptabilité en vertu de la présente loi.
Al. 2 Elle peut procéder au contrôle physique du genre, de la quantité et de l'état des marchandises, requérir tous les renseignements nécessaires et contrôler des données et des documents, des systèmes et des informations susceptibles d'être importants pour l'exécution de la présente loi.
Al. 3 Le droit de contrôler prend fin cinq ans après l'importation. L'ouverture d'une enquête pénale est réservée.

Contrôles d'entreprises
Selon l'art. 31 LD, l'administration des douanes peut procéder sans préavis à des contrôles à domicile chez les personnes qui sont ou étaient assujetties à l'obligation de déclarer ou débitrices de la dette douanière dans une procédure de taxation ou qui ont l'obligation de tenir une comptabilité.
Dans ce contexte légal, les contrôles d'entreprises constituent un moyen de constater matériellement si les marchandises ayant bénéficié d'allégements douaniers selon l'emploi ont été utilisées conformément à l'emploi pour lequel le taux de droits de douane réduit a été octroyé lors de leur introduction dans le territoire douanier suisse.
Formellement, les contrôles doivent aussi permettre de s'assurer que les mesures de contrôle et de sûreté arrêtées par le Département sont observées et respectées par les bénéficiaires. Il appartient au bénéficiaire d'allégements douaniers de prouver qu'il a utilisé les marchandises conformément à l'engagement d'emploi.
En particulier, le bénéficiaire doit tenir une comptabilité-matières et apposer une réserve d'emploi lors de toute remise en l'état de marchandises bénéficiant d'allégements douaniers sur le territoire douanier. En outre, il annoncera par écrit à la DGD les marchandises détruites par hasard ou pour cause de force majeure, les manquants et toute irrégularité en rapport avec les marchandises bénéficiant d'allégements douaniers.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Swiss Customs, Temporary Importation, New Directive 10-60


Swiss Customs
Temporary Importation
ATA Carnet
New Directive 10-60, with Effect Jan. 1, 2019
Inward Processing Procedure
Professional Equipment under the Istanbul Convention
Packaging
VAT

Republication

The temporary admission procedure is intended for foreign goods which are used in Switzerland only for a limited period of time and which are not to be released into free circulation.
The temporary admission procedure is one of the monitored customs procedures.
In comparison with a permanent importation, the temporary admission procedure is often more time-consuming and involves additional costs. In many cases, permanent importation with final settlement of the applicable import duties could be less expensive and easier.

Basic Requirements
In order to be entitled to use the temporary admission procedure, the following basic requirements must be met:
  • The goods must be intended for reexportation.
  • The goods can be identified.
  • The goods will be re-exported unaltered. Only goods maintenance measures during the temporary admission are permitted. If you wish to repair or process goods, you should use the inward processing procedure. Information can be found at Processing traffic.
  • You adhere to the bans, restrictions and conditions.
Further information on the basic requirements can be found in paragraph 2 of Directive 10-60 (temporary admission procedure) (PDF, 1 MB, 04.12.2018)



Value Added Tax
Value Added Tax is payable on remuneration for the temporary use of the goods. This applies to rent etc. Taxation ensues when the goods are re-exported (taxation of consideration).


ATA Carnet

The ATA Carnet is an international customs document. It is used for the temporary importation, exportation and transit of goods. The customs formalities for Switzerland and foreign countries can be completed with this customs document. When crossing the border, you do not need to request a national customs document, nor do you need to provide the customs authorities with a surety.
ATA Carnets can be obtained from chambers of commerce and industry. Security for the applicable import duties is provided to the issuing body. A Carnet is valid for one year.
The ATA Carnet can be used for multiple border crossings. The holder of the ATA Carnet always has the possibility of bringing all or only some of the goods into Switzerland or back abroad.
You can use the ATA Carnet primarily for:
  • Goods that you wish to present at an official exhibition.
  • Commercial samples for display purposes or taking orders (watches, jewelry, clothes, shoes etc.).
  • Professional equipment under the Istanbul Convention. For this to apply, your place of residence must be abroad and you must personally bring the goods into Switzerland and use them.
In the following cases, however, you must use a Customs declaration for temporary admission ZAVV. The ATA Carnet cannot be used.
  • Goods which are the object of a rental agreement with a person who is resident or domiciled in Switzerland;
  • Machines and appliances:
    • - for civil engineering and construction;
    • - for agriculture and forestry;
    • - for the professional manufacturing of other goods (e.g. industrial machinery for manufacturing jam, electronic parts, etc.);
    • - for packaging goods (automated machinery for packaging of foodstuffs, bottling beverages, etc.);
    • - for exploiting natural resources (drilling rigs and machinery for locating water and petrol in the ground, etc.).
Further information on the ATA Carnet can be found in paragraph 4.12 of Directive 10-60 (temporary admission procedure) (PDF, 1 MB, 04.12.2018)

Friday, December 21, 2018

Supreme Court of Texas, Compass Bank v. Calleja-Ahedo, Docket No. 17-0065


Internet Law
Identity Theft
Data
Bank Account
Statement of Account
Texas Law and UCC


An identity thief drained F. C.-A.’s bank account through a series of fraudulent transactions in 2012 and 2013. C. sued his bank to recover the stolen funds. The question now is whether C. or his bank must suffer the financial consequences of the theft.

Section 4.406 of the Business and Commerce Code contains the Texas legislature’s answer to that question. If a bank sends or makes available a statement of account . . . the customer must exercise reasonable promptness in examining the statement. . . to determine whether any payment was not authorized and must promptly notify the bank of the relevant facts regarding the unauthorized payment. TEX. BUS. & COM. CODE § 4.406(c). Section 4.406 limits the liability of the bank when the customer fails to comply with these duties. Id. § 4.406(d).

(…) Section 4.406 precludes C.’ s attempt to hold his bank liable for the losses.

The deposit agreements between C. and his bank do not alter this outcome. (…) (Parties may, by agreement, alter the requirements of section 4.406).

Although the Bank sent statements to the imposter’s address, it made the statements available to C. by other means, triggering his statutory duties to promptly examine the statements and report the fraud. The only remaining question is whether the deposit agreements modify the statute to require a result different from that dictated by applying the text of section 4.406. (…) We conclude that they do not.

C. never signed up for online banking. After June 2012, C. did not receive statements at his brother’s address. He did not notify the Bank of any concerns until eighteen months later, in late January 2014.

(See also Kaplan v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 2015 WL 2358240, at *7 (N.D. Ill. May 12, 2015) (holding that statements were made available to customer under UCC § 4-406 because they were available online and customer could obtain statements by requesting them in person or by phone, and rejecting customer’s argument that the statements were not made available because she never received them)).

(…) Recovery of these remaining amounts is nevertheless barred by subsection 4.406(d)(2), which provides that, after an initial unauthorized withdrawal, subsequent withdrawals by the same wrongdoer cannot be recovered from the Bank if the customer had been afforded a reasonable period of time, not exceeding 30 days, in which to examine the item or statement of account and notify the bank. The UCCs official comment accurately explains the effect of this provision.


(Supreme Court of Texas, Compass Bank v. Calleja-Ahedo, Dec. 21, 2018, Docket No. 17-0065)


Affaire rendue en application du droit de l’état du Texas, lequel reprend le contenu de l’UCC, de sorte que l’on peut s’attendre à des décisions identiques dans les autres états qui considèrent également l’UCC dans ce domaine.
Manifestation de volonté par Internet : selon le droit texan et l’UCC, un relevé de compte bancaire périodique mis à disposition du client doit être contesté dans un certain délai. A défaut, le client est déchu de son droit une fois le délai écoulé.
De la sorte, et c’est en cela que la présente affaire est d’intérêt, un relevé de compte bancaire, mis à disposition du client par le système gratuit e-Banking, sans égard au fait de savoir si le client a installé ce service, et sans savoir si le client dispose d’Internet, est réputé valablement communiqué au client. Ainsi, après le délai prévu pour contester le relevé, le client qui n’a ni consulté Internet ni contesté le relevé est déchu de son droit de contestation.
Cette réglementation légale peut être modifiée conventionnellement.
En l’espèce, le client avait demandé à la banque d’adresser ses relevés à un membre de sa famille. Puis un imposteur est parvenu à obtenir en sa faveur des versements, en plusieurs fois, portant sur la totalité du compte. Dès le premier versement, les relevés bancaires ont été adressés à l’imposteur et non plus au membre de la famille du client. Ni ce proche ni le client ne se sont préoccupés de cette situation, le client ne remarquant que bien plus tard que son compte bancaire était vide. En application de ce qui précède, il ne peut rendre la banque responsable de cette situation et doit supporter intégralement sa perte.



Wednesday, December 12, 2018

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Solarworld Americas, Inc. v. United States, Docket 18-1373


Customs
Harmonized System
HTSUS
Tariff Classification
Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988
Import
Antidumping Duty


Appeal from the United States Court of International Trade in Nos. 1:15-cv-00196-CRK, 1:15-cv-00231-CRK, Judge Claire R. Kelly.

“The World Customs Organization publishes the explanatory notes as its official interpretation of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (the Harmonized System), the global system of trade nomenclature . . . .” Schlumberger Tech. Corp. v. United States, 845 F.3d 1158, 1163 n.6 (Fed. Cir. 2017). “The United States and its major trading partners . . . developed a single modern product nomenclature for international use as a standard system of classifying goods for customs,” and therefore base their tariff classification schedules on the Harmonized System. Michael Simon Design, Inc. v. United States, 637 F. Supp. 2d 1218, 1220 (Ct. Int’l Trade 2009). For instance, in 1988, Congress passed legislation implementing the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, Pub. L. No. 100-418, § 1201, 102 Stat. 1107, 1147.

(SolarWorld argues as a legal matter that Customs’ rulings must be afforded more weight than other evidence on the record, we disagree. Whereas Customs is tasked with “fixing the final classification” of imported merchandise under the HTSUS, 19 U.S.C. § 1500; see United States v. Mead Corp., 533 U.S. 218, 221–24 (2001) (outlining Customs’ role in classification), Commerce is authorized to conduct administrative reviews of an antidumping duty order to “determine . . . the amount of any antidumping duty” necessary to remedy the effect of foreign merchandise being sold in the United States at less than its fair value, 19 U.S.C. § 1675(a)(1)(B); see id. § 1673. In accordance with this authorization, the statute affords Commerce “broad discretion” in identifying the best available information on the record to value factors of production. QVD Food, 658 F.3d at 1323; see 19 U.S.C. § 1677b(c)(1)(B)).



(U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Dec. 12, 2018, Solarworld Americas, Inc. v. United States, Docket 18-1373, Wallach, Circuit Judge)

Friday, December 7, 2018

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Laerdal Medical Corp. v. International Trade Commission, Docket 17-2445


Default (ITC practice v. federal court practice)
19 U.S.C. § 1337 (g) (1) (ITC)
Fed. R. Civ. P. 55 (federal court)
Order to show cause
Exclusion order
Cease and desist order
Export

Despite being served with the amended complaint and notice of investigation, no respondent submitted any response, appeared, or otherwise participated in any way in any of the proceedings. J.A. 2478–99. On October 20, 2016, therefore, Laerdal moved for an order requiring Respondents to show cause why they should not be found in default under § 1337(g)(1). J.A. 2550–59. The Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) granted Laerdal’s motion and issued the Order to Show Cause on November 7, 2016. J.A. 2584–86. Respondents again failed to respond to or acknowledge that order. Two weeks later, the ALJ issued an initial determination finding all respondents in default. J.A. 2589–95.

(We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(6)).

We conclude that the statute, on its face, unambiguously requires the Commission to grant relief against defaulting respondents, subject only to public interest concerns, if all prerequisites of § 1337(g)(1) are satisfied. The statute’s plain text, surrounding context, purpose, and legislative history, as well as the Commission’s own prior decisions, support this conclusion.

(…) Important distinction between district court and ITC practice—the Commission must conduct a preliminary review that district courts do not, and only then may institute an investigation. Rule 55, moreover, governing default judgment in district court litigation, is unlike § 1337(g)(1); it does not require the court to grant relief, it grants the court discretion to “conduct hearings or make referrals” in evaluating whether to “enter or effectuate judgment.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(2). We presume that Congress was aware of the discretion granted to district courts under Rule 55 when it later drafted subsection (g) to § 1337. See Miles v. Apex Marine Corp., 498 U.S. 19, 32 (1990) (“We assume that Congress is aware of existing law when it passes legislation”).

Here, it is undisputed that Laerdal met the prerequisites for § 1337(g)(1). The amended complaint and notice of investigation were served on all respondents, the respondents failed to respond or appear in any way and failed to show good cause why they should not be found in default, and Laerdal limited the relief it sought to exclusion orders and cease and desist orders against only the respondents. J.A. 2478–99, 2550–59, 2584–86, 2589–95, 2599, 2609–12. Subject only to public interest concerns, therefore, the Commission was required under § 1337(g)(1) to presume all facts alleged in the complaint as true and issue an exclusion order, cease and desist order, or both.

(U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Dec. 7, 2018, Laerdal Medical Corp. v. International Trade Commission, Docket 17-2445, Circuit Judge O’Malley)

Le défaut dans les procédures devant l’ITC, comparé au défaut en procédure devant les cours fédérales. Devant l’ITC, la partie adverse qui ne répond pas sera sommée de justifier son omission par un « Order to show cause ». Sans justification ou si la justification est insuffisante, le défaut sera prononcé et les conclusions de la demande seront adjugées. La Règle 55 de procédure civile fédérale laisse davantage de souplesse à la cour, qui n’est pas tenue, dans de telles circonstances, de rendre de ces faits son jugement au fond.

Merger - Geographic Market



Competition
Merger
Relevant Market
Geographic Market
Hypothetical Monopolist Test
SSNIP
Critical Loss Analysis
Arbitrage
Correlation and Co-Integration Analyses
Price Elasticity of Demand


Where suppliers can set prices based on customer location, and customers cannot avoid targeted price increases through arbitrage (by purchasing at a lower price from a seller in one geographic area and then transporting the product to another geographic region), the relevant geographic market may be defined around the locations of customers. Polypore, 2010 WL 9549988 at *16 (applying Merger Guidelines § 4.2.2). Under the Merger Guidelines, “if price discrimination based on customer location is feasible as is often the case when delivered pricing is commonly used in the industry, the Agencies may define geographic markets based on the locations of customers. . . .” Merger Guidelines § 4.2.

Courts apply the “hypothetical monopolist test” to ask whether a “hypothetical profit-maximizing firm . . . that was the only present and future seller of the relevant products . . . likely would impose at least a small but significant and non-transitory increase in price (‘SSNIP’). . . .” FTC v. Sysco Corp., 113 F. Supp. 3d 1, 33 (D.D.C. 2015) (quoting Merger Guidelines § 4.1.1). “If buyers would respond to the SSNIP by shifting to products produced outside the proposed geographic market, and this shift were sufficient to render the SSNIP unprofitable, then the proposed geographic market would be too narrow.” FTC v. Arch Coal, Inc., 329 F. Supp. 2d 109, 123 (D.D.C. 2004).

The evidence shows that Respondents set prices on a regional basis; that the North America region includes the United States and Canada, but not Mexico; that chloride TiO2 manufacturers deliver their product to their North American customers’ locations; and that North American customers could not defeat a price increase through arbitrage. Therefore, the relevant geographic market is North America, defined as the United States and Canada.

Respondents’ documents and testimony confirm that they charge different prices to customers depending on the region in which the customer is located (“regional pricing”).

(…) “Pricing in the four regions; U.S. [United States], LATAM [Latin America], EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] and APAC [Asia Pacific] are not comparable. . . . There is no global price.”

(…) Under the Merger Guidelines, a region forms a relevant geographic market if a SSNIP would not be defeated by arbitrage, e.g., customers in the region travelling outside it to purchase the relevant product and transport it back. Merger Guidelines § 4.2.2. Arbitrage between customers at different geographic locations may be impractical due to transportation costs. Merger Guidelines § 3. The evidence in this case shows that North American customers have not engaged in arbitrage despite higher prices in the North America region and that they would not engage in arbitrage to defeat a SSNIP.

(…) Correlation and co-integration analyses look only at prices. They do not address the relevant antitrust question of whether customers change their purchases in response to relative price changes. “The mere fact that the prices of two goods move upward or downward together need not mean that they are substitutes.” Preliminary Injunction Opinion, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155127, at *21.

(…) Dr. Hill conducted the hypothetical monopolist test several ways. Dr. Hill conducted a critical loss analysis using three different measures to determine whether it would be profitable for the hypothetical monopolist to increase the price by at least a SSNIP. F. 183-185. First, Dr. Hill used his estimate of North American customers’ willingness to switch from chloride TiO2 to sulfate TiO2 (the “price elasticity of demand” measure) to determine whether enough North American customers would switch to another product to defeat a SSNIP by the hypothetical monopolist. F. 186. That measure showed that demand for chloride TiO2 by North American customers was inelastic (-0.45). F. 186. As a result, switching to other products by North American customers would prove inadequate to defeat a SSNIP. F. 186. Second, Dr. Hill used a “substitution components” measure, using data from Respondents, to ascertain whether increased imports or repatriated exports responding to a SSNIP, combined with lost sales, would render the SSNIP unprofitable for the hypothetical monopolist. F. 187. Using this approach and data, Dr. Hill found a SSNIP would be profitable. F. 187. Third, Dr. Hill relied on Tronox’s estimate of the maximum North American sulfate TiO2 demand to determine whether a sufficient number of North American customers would switch to sulfate TiO2 to defeat a SSNIP and found that they would not. F. 188. In each of his three critical loss analyses, Dr. Hill found that the predicted loss is lower than the critical loss, and thus opined that the market passes the hypothetical monopolist test. F. 186-188. (Critical loss analysis is a standard tool used to implement the hypothetical monopolist test to determine whether a candidate market constitutes a relevant antitrust market. Merger Guidelines § 4.1.3. A critical loss analysis has two stages: (1) calculation of the critical loss, which means the percentage of sales a hypothetical monopolist would have to lose to keep its profit unchanged if it increased its price by a small amount; and (2) calculation of the predicted loss, which means the percentage of sales that the hypothetical monopolist would likely lose given a particular price increase and keep its profit unchanged. If the predicted loss is smaller than the critical loss, then the price increase will increase the hypothetical monopolist’s profit. F. 183.)

In addition, Dr. Hill used the measure of price elasticity of demand for chloride TiO2 in North America to determine whether demand would remain inelastic if prices increased by a SSNIP. F. 189. Dr. Hill found that it would, and thus opined that the sale of chloride TiO2 to North American customers passes the hypothetical monopolist test. F. 189. Based on these calculations, Dr. Hill concluded that the relevant market consists of North American chloride TiO2 sales. F.190.


(FTC, Office of Administrative Law Judges, In the Matter of Tronox/Cristal USA, Dec. 7, 2018, Docket No. 9377)


Contract Drafting


Contract Drafting

Common Mistakes in Business English, https://blog.harwardcommunications.com/2012/01/23/

(Cit. in FTC, Office of Administrative Law Judges, In the Matter of Tronox/Cristal USA, Dec. 7, 2018, Docket No. 9377, fn. 8, p. 19)