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The Importance of Regulatory Defense as Part of Your Risk Management Program

The Importance of Regulatory Defense as Part of Your Risk Management ProgramDoing business across oceans and borders while very rewarding today is more challenging than ever, particularly in light of the government’s renewed emphasis on enforcing U.S. trade regulations over imports and exports. The new administration, for example, issued executive orders stepping up the collection of antidumping and countervailing duties and the prosecution of trade and custom law violations. Federal agencies have also issued regulations further strengthening the need for product and food safety and intellectual property compliance. This tougher stance is in large part as a result of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement ACT (TFTEA) signed into law last year, affecting how customs brokers, forwarders, importers and exporters conduct their day-to-day operations.

What’s important to understand is how these regulations impact your business and the “safety net” that Regulatory Defense can provide should your business face non-compliance and regulatory violations. Regulatory Defense, offered by Roanoke Trade, is a legal service exclusively available to our customs broker, freight forwarder and other intermediary clients through our partnership with law firm, Sandler Travis & Rosenberg, P.A. This prepaid legal defense contract provides access to consultation and legal assistance in the event of a claim from any government agency or department involving administrative fines, liquidated damages or penalties claims, license revocation and/or suspension proceedings or letters of investigation initiated against you or your company. Upon notification that a fine or penalty has been levied against you or your company, the attorneys at Sandler Travis & Rosenberg will discuss and analyze the case with you and petition the appropriate agency for relief or mitigation on your behalf.

How Regulatory Defense Works

Let’s take a look at antidumping (AD) and countervailing duties  (CV) as an example. According to a government report, $2.3 billion in antidumping and countervailing duties were not collected over the last 15 years. The U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) is stepping up its ability to collect these duties, strengthened by a recent executive order that requires stronger bonding requirements for importers of goods subject to AD or CV duties for which CBP has no record of previous imports or has a record of the importer’s failure to pay AD/CV duties in full or on time. As a result, brokers need to carefully review their customers’ imports in connection with AD and CV investigations and subsequent orders to ensure importers are paying such duties. While importers may utilize foreign trade zones or bonded warehouses to lawfully transit and export such products out of the U.S. to avoid these duties, there have been enforcement actions in the case of misdeclarations using such facilities. In one case, for instance, CBP issued a penalty against a customs broker for failing to appropriately classify merchandise and file the entries as type “03” designating them as antidumping. With a Regulatory Defense contract, after Sandler Travis & Rosenberg filed a petition, supplemental petition, and offer compromise, CBP drastically reduced its claim to a few hundred dollars.

Both Basic and Expanded Regulatory Defense contracts are available from Roanoke Trade to address claims from the various agencies and departments. A list of the agencies and departments can be found here for each contract option. Roanoke Trade, specialists in serving the insurance and risk management needs of transportation and logistics providers, is committed to helping our customers protect their businesses with services and programs designed to address today’s risks. For more information about Regulatory Defense and to obtain a quote from a Roanoke Trade representative, call 1-800-ROANOKE, ext.1066, or send an email to

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