Court Authorizes Refund of EU Retaliatory Duties

Jun 24, 2009   

On June 16, 2009, Gilda Industries, a small bakery and importer in Hialeah, Florida, struck a blow for importers everywhere when it prevailed in its case in the U.S. Court of International Trade.  The result of this case is that importers everywhere may qualify for a full refund of the 100% retaliatory duties paid to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on certain products imported from the European Union on or after July 29, 2007.

The decision in Gilda Industries v. United States becomes the latest chapter in what is known as the “EC-Beef Hormones” dispute.  The dispute began in 1985 when the European Community (now the European Union) banned imports of beef and beef products from the United States that had been treated with hormones.  As a result, the U.S. imposed a 100% retaliatory tariff on a “retaliation list” of European Union products.

In theory, the retaliatory measures should have ended in mid-2007.  However, when CBP continued to collect the retaliatory tariffs after that date, Gilda took the matter to court.

The Court found that the 100% retaliatory tariffs did, in fact, terminate on July 29, 2007, and it ordered CBP to refund the retaliatory duties collected on Gilda’s imports after that date.  The Court’s opinion, however, opens the door for a full refund on all of the retaliatory duties paid to CBP after that date for all of the affected products

Importers who qualify for refunds should immediately file an action with the U.S. Court of International Trade to preserve the right to the refunds.  These actions must be filed before July 29, 2009.

The list of products subject to the 100% retaliatory duties – for which refund may be due -includes various meats, cheeses, vegetables and other food items.  For the complete list of products affected, click here.

For the decision of the Court in Gilda Industries v. United States, click here.

If you are importer who believes that you may be due refunds of duties from CBP under this decision, please contact Fuerst Ittleman at 305-350-5690 or contact@fidjlaw.com.  You should not delay.