The legality of cotton fees
assessed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”),
on importations of cotton apparel, cotton fabric, and raw cotton
is being challenged in the Court of International Trade (“CIT”).
Should this litigation ultimately be favorable, past and future
payments of the cotton fees may be recovered by importers.
fee is based upon the type of fabric or garment, the net weight
of the cotton, and its HTS classification. Cotton fees are used
to fund the activities of the Cotton Board in advertising, promotion,
and research and development on behalf of the U.S. cotton industry.
decisions have held that other research and promotion programs
involving pork, beef, and mushrooms, are unconstitutional.
Recent Decision by USDA to
Continue the Cotton Fee
Agricultural Marking Service (AMS) has recently issued a notice
that it has reviewed the Cotton Research And Promotion Order (“Cotton
Order”), on which the assessment of the cotton fee is based,
concluding that the Cotton Order should be continued without any
modification. AMS has indicated that 12,000 importers, 21,000
producers, and 300 first handlers are included within the Cotton
Requirement to File an Action
in the CIT to Potentially Recover Cotton Fees
the right of an importer to recover the refunds of cotton fees
paid on entries, an action must be filed in the CIT in the event
that the litigation on this issue is eventually successful. This
action will provide the importer the right to obtain the refunds
of the cotton fees paid on all shipments for the prior two-year
period, and also includes a claim that the cotton fee is invalid
from the date of its inception.
further information, please contact Stephen S. Spraitzar at (415)
288-0427 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or George R. Tuttle at (415) 288-0425 or via email at email@example.com.
Spraitzar and George Tuttle are attorneys with the Law Offices
of George R. Tuttle in San Francisco. The information in this
article is general in nature and is not intended to constitute
legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship with
respect to any event or occurrence, and may not be considered