Monday, November 26, 2012

NAFTA Verification Audits and Customs

On Thursday, October 18, 2012, Peter Quinter moderated a panel at the American Bar Association's International Section Fall Meeting at the Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach. The seminar NAFTA Verification Audits: What to Expect & How to Prevail was a tremendous success.

A big thank you to all the panelists pictured above  Gabriel Arriaga, Arriaga Abogados, Mexico City; Cyndee Todgham Cherniak, Lexsage Professional Corporation, Toronto; Turenna Ramirez, Sanchez Devanny, Mexico City, and moderator Peter Quinter, GrayRobinson, Miami, Florida.  Panelist Cheryl Johnson, Assistant Field Director, Houston, Texas, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (not included in photo above).

The panel presentation was very well attended at the American Bar Association conference. The attendees included attorneys, accountants, international trading companies, freight forwarders, customs brokers, and international business consultants whose import and export companies in the United States, Canada, and Mexico have been subjected to NAFTA verification questionnaires.  Unfortunately, the reality is that too many exporters do not fully understand the requirements of the NAFTA Certificate of Origin as to what really is needed to qualify as "originating" under the NAFTA. The result for many companies is that they are assessed unpaid customs duties, interest, and huge penalties by customs administrations for the importing country. This can lead to very serious business difficulties between the foreign exporter which completed the NAFTA Certificate of Origin and the importer which presented the NAFTA Certificate of Origin to the customs administration in the importing country. The panel of legal experts answered numerous questions from the attendees.

For any questions regarding the NAFTA Certificate of Origin or NAFTA Verification Audits, feel free to call me.

Peter Quinter, Chair
Customs and International Trade Law Group
GrayRobinson, law firm
mobile phone (954) 270-1864