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HFW: Holman Fenwick Willan

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Lawyers helping clients overcome the impact of trade regulations

HFW's international trade regulation practice advises clients on, and resolves issues related to, the impact of regulations mandated by the European Union and World Trade Organization. Our primary objective is to help clients overcome commercial obstacles related to market access and import and export-related difficulties that result from government intervention and market regulations worldwide

What we do in customs

We advise on all aspects of import and export of goods and customs, including import and export controls (including military and dual-sue goods); tariff classification and quotas; customs valuation; country of origin issues; applications for repayment or remission of duties, waiver or mitigation of penalties; duty suspension; innovative customs management and duty reduction initiatives.

Our experience in Customs

We provide below some examples of our work in this area:
  • Binding Tariff Information applications to re-classify electronics goods, reclaiming several million pounds in historic duty payments and saving the large multinational client several million pounds in ongoing duty savings.
  • Defending a freight forwarder against a claim for £1 million brought by a large multinational company for failure to manage an Inward Processing Relief solution.
  • Advising UK exporters on export controls and licensing legislation and assisting with DTI (now BERR) investigations.
  • Obtaining a duty suspension for a multinational chemicals business from the European Commission worth about EUR 1.5 million over 3 years.
  • Avoiding a customs duty indemnity claim against a freight forwarder for negligent management of a customs warehousing solution, by helping the forwarder's import customer reclaim over £1.6 million in duty payments from HMRC.
  • Advising on the disposal of goods attracting excise duty by a port operator/warehousing business to avoid over £1 million in duty.
  • Advising liability insurers on providing insurance cover for customs fines in the UK and France.
  • Defending clients against prosecutions by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department for alleged licence, manifest and duty payment discrepancies.
  • Advising on a dispute between insurers and re-insurers in relation to transit guarantees.

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