CAFC Rules on “Introduce” Language
September 18, 2014
On Tuesday September 17, 2014, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) ruled en banc that Harish Shadapuri, former President of Trek Leather, Inc., could be held responsible for providing incorrect information regarding goods imported to the United States. The panel held that Shadapuri could be held responsible for importing the goods without paying the proper duties because he “introduced” the goods even though he was not the “importer of record” or the “customs broker.”
In the decision, the Court wrote, “Section 1592(a)(1)(A) forbids any person to “enter, introduce, or attempt to enter or introduce” merchandise into the United States by certain means with a certain intent or lack of care.” The appeals court cited to United States v. Packages of Panama Hats, in which the Supreme Court ruled that “introduce” is a flexible and broad term added to ensure that the statute was not restricted to the “technical” process of “entering” goods.” The appeals court found that Shadapuri provided the information for the entry and “…did everything short of the final step of preparing the CBP form.” Therefore, even though Shadapuri was not the importer of record or the customs broker, he was still responsible for introducing the goods without paying the corresponding duties.
The judges on the en banc panel included Chief Circuit Judge Sharon Prost and Circuit Judges Pauline Newman, Alan D. Lourie, Timothy B. Dyk, Kimberly A. Moore, Kathleen M. O'Malley, Jimmie V. Reyna, Evan J. Wallach, Richard G. Taranto and Raymnd T. Chen.
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