News & Insights

Monday, February 3, 2020

Corporate, Tax, IP and General Practice Attorneys Take Note: What You Don’t Know about International Trade Doesn’t Necessarily Have to Hurt You

If your legal practice focuses on corporate law, tax, general business, patents, trademarks and copyrights, then it is very likely that you are currently supporting clients that are—

  • Importing a variety of items for their manufacturing, distribution or retail operations;
  • Dealing with overseas agents and manufacturers;
  • Engaging distributors to market their products outside of the United States;
  • Exporting goods to customers overseas; and, possibly
  • Planning to buy, sell or merge with a business with cross-border operations.

These clients may not be as knowledgeable on the complexities of the international trade rules as they are with the rules that apply to their domestic transactions. As a result, they may be unwarily relying solely on shipping agents, transportation providers, couriers and their supply chain partners to help them navigate the myriad of requirements that apply to their international operations without a full appreciation of the liabilities that may be thrust upon them for even inadvertent issues of non-compliance. They may also be looking to you, their trusted legal advisors, for guidance on trade compliance best practices, cost and duty-savings opportunities, and how to handle a government agency inquiry or worse: an investigation or enforcement action relating to their import or export operations.

Many successful law firms do not, themselves, have an in-house international trade specialty or attorneys on staff who have experience with complex trade issues. The rules of international trade pose a steep learning curve for even the most seasoned of attorneys who find themselves struggling to assist a client with a compliance issue—trying to navigate these issues alone and on the fly will not be cost-effective for you or for your clients.  Even worse, referrals of your valued clients to Big Law firms that have competing practice areas may very well result in the loss of those clients altogether. Therefore, savvy law firms make it their practice to engage experienced international boutique firms, such as Miller Proctor Law PLLC, to assist them in providing ongoing support, guidance and counsel to their valued clients.

Miller Proctor Law PLLC is a full-service international trade law firm that provides advice, counsel and ongoing support to law firms and companies for the most complex of import and export matters. Miller Proctor Law does not compete with corporate, tax, general business or intellectual property firms, and provides added value to the representation of general business law firm clients in need of trade compliance assistance. Miller Proctor Law PLLC provides international trade law support for numerous law firms, working hand-in-hand with those firms, keeping them in loop, and providing the same high level of service that their clients demand. Specifically, Miller Proctor Law provides counsel and support on the following core international trade issues—

  • Classification of imported merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff System
  • Customs valuation
  • Country of origin and marking
  • Free Trade Agreement (FTA) product eligibility and compliance
  • Antidumping duty, countervailing duty and trade remedy compliance
  • Duty deferral opportunities (First Sale Valuation, TIBs, FTZs, Bonded Warehouses)
  • Preparing of binding ruling requests
  • Seeking importer relief from extraordinary tariffs;
  • Expediting clearance with customs brokers and foreign freight forwarders


Export Controls & Economic Sanctions
  • International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) compliance, screening and licensing
  • Compliance with the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), screening and licensing
  • Compliance with embargoes and economic sanctions, screening and licensing
  • Compliance with the Foreign Trade Regulations’ Automated Export System Rules


U.S. Antiboycott Laws & Regulations


  • Compliance with the Restrictive Trade Practices Regulations (Part 760 of the EAR)
  • Analysis and reporting of suspected foreign boycott-related requests
Trade Liability in Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures
  • Mergers, acquisition and divestitures (MAD) readiness assessments
  • Assessing potential import/export/sanctions liability in MAD due diligence investigations


Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Rules


  • Ocean Transportation Intermediary (Ocean Freight Forwarders or NVOCCs) licenses
  • Representation of Ocean Transportation Intermediaries in FMC investigation


Anti-Corruption &

Anti-Bribery Rules

  • Compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)


Trade Compliance Internal Controls (Import, Export, Sanctions, Antiboycott, Anti-corruption, etc.)
  • Compliance program design and implementation
  • Internal audits and compliance assessments
  • Customized in-house training
  • Representation during all phases of investigations/enforcement actions



Miller Proctor Law’s goal is to obtain the best results possible for our clients. We also engage our corporate, tax, IP and general practice legal partners whenever we need support and guidance in these areas as well.

Remember the old adage: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” So, don’t delay if your clients are struggling with a trade compliance issue, find themselves in a U.S. government agency investigation or are facing an enforcement action.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss specific opportunities and the synergies of our law practices at a time that is convenient to you. Please contact Miller Proctor Law PLLC (


Melissa M. Proctor
President and CEO
Peggy Chaplin Louie
Senior Attorney
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