United States v. Katana Racing, Inc., No. 22-1832 (Fed. Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
Katana, a California-based distributor of high-end wheels and tires, was the importer of record for 386 entries of passenger vehicle and light truck tires from China in 2009-2012 and supplied Customs and Border Protection with invoices that listed prices lower than what Katana actually paid its Chinese vendors. Due to this error, Katana undercalculated the amount of safeguard duties, regular customs duties, harbor maintenance fees, and merchandise processing fees it owed by $5,742,483.80. Customs issued a demand to Katana for the unpaid duties and fees and later filed suit under 19 U.S.C. 1592(d).
Katana sought dismissal for lack of jurisdiction because the government had filed suit after the statute of limitations, 19 U.S.C. 1621, had run. Katana stated that, although it had signed a waiver of the limitations period on October 25, 2016, it had revoked the waiver before the expiration of the limitations period. The Trade Court found that Katana had properly revoked its waiver and that the suit was untimely.
The Federal Circuit reversed. The statute of limitations in 19 U.S.C. 1621 is not a jurisdictional time limit; it is subject to waiver and equitable tolling. On remand, Katana can assert an affirmative defense concerning the invalidity of its waiver.