On September 8, 2021, after a longstanding dispute, the US Court of International Trade issued an order resolving the steps that Plaintiffs will need to take in order to preserve their rights to receive refunds, in conformance with the injunction that was issued by the court on July 6, 2021. The Government recently conceded that, as a practical matter, it does not have the resources to suspend liquidation on an ongoing basis to comply with the Court’s PI order. As a result, in lieu of suspension, the Government stipulated that it will rely on post-judgment reliquidation or refunds to provide the remedy in the event Plaintiffs’ claims are successful – the very solution that Plaintiffs had been advocating for since the entry of the PI order. As a result, the Court issued the attached Order lifting the PI and TRO and removing the requirement for a CBP repository. Customs will continue liquidating entries in the ordinary course as they have done.
What this means in practical terms is that Section 301 plaintiffs will be entitled to a refund of List 3 and List 4A duties if plaintiffs prevail on the merits after all appeals. The order resolves an ongoing back-and forth between plaintiffs and defendants over the past two months on how to ensure that refunds are available to the plaintiffs. Instead of creating a repository and requiring plaintiffs to continually submit a list of entries to be suspended, the court has deferred the submission of that information until the end of the case and the government has agreed to make refunds provided that Plaintiffs win on the merits for all entries that were unliquidated as of July 6, 2021 and for all entries after that date. This order has no impact on previously liquidated entries, for which the availability of refunds will be decided at the end of this litigation. Thus, entries which were liquidated before July 6, 2021 will be addressed in the final decision of the court.
Husch Blackwell is closely following this proceeding and will continue to provide updates as developments occur. In the meantime, should you have any questions regarding this case, please contact Jeffrey Neeley, Nithya Nagarajan, or any member of Husch Blackwell’s International Trade and Supply Chain team.