United States v. C.H. Robinson Co., No. 13-1168 (Fed. Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
C.H. Robinson was the Customs-bonded carrier for three 2001 entries of wearing apparel from China, which entered the U.S. as Transportation & Exportation (T&E) entries, but were never exported and are “missing.” A Mexican company was the importer of record and consignee of the merchandise; the T&E entry documents indicated that the merchandise was to be delivered to Laredo, Texas, for exportation to Mexico. The merchandise left Los Angeles, but it is not clear what happened after that. Customs never inspected or took possession of the subject merchandise at the Port of Laredo. During an audit, Customs contacted Mexican Customs authorities and learned that stamped importation forms were false. Customs issued notices of liquidated damages claims against C.H. Robinson’s custodial bond, charging misdelivery. Based upon mitigation guidelines, Customs reduced the amount of liquidated damages from $75,000. C.H. Robinson paid $57,212 in 2004 and sought a refund. Customs also made a demand, under 19 U.S.C. 1553, for payment of $106,407.86, plus interest, for duties, taxes, and fees on the entries. C.H. Robinson did not protest the demand or pay the duties, and its challenge to Commerce’s assessment of liquidated damages remained stayed. The Court of International Trade held C.H. Robinson liable for duties, taxes, and fees. The Federal Circuit affirmed.