How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Loren Your Own Question

Loren
Loren, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 20337
Experience:  30 years experience representing clients .
Type Your Business Law Question Here...
Loren is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello, I am in the business of exporting goods from USA

Customer Question

Hello,

I am in the business of exporting goods from USA to Africa. Customers have asked for multiple invoices split into goods and the other for services. For example a $100 split into 2 invoices of 50 each. 50 for goods and 50 for services. My company would collect the full amount of 100, however the client would remit the payment in 2 tranches and only show the 50 invoice for declared value (commercial invoice) of the tangible goods. I am not sure if this is really the correct approach in terms of its legality. Any advise would be very helpful.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am JudgeLaw and I will do whatever I can to answer your question and provide you excellent service.

Before we begin, a bit more detail would be helpful please.

What is the customer's purpose for splitting the invoice?

Is the stated value an accurate value of the cost of the goods?

Thank you.

JudgeLaw
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello JudgeLaw, No, the split in the invoice would not be accurate value of the items. Essentially, the item would be discounted and then the discount value billed in a separate invoice. The reason is because the country charges very heavy import duties.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the additional information.

I am sorry to hear of your dilemma.   I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.

I think you already know the answer but are looking for confirmation.

It is a violation of federal law and international treaty to participate in such a scheme to defraud another country from lawful import fees and duties.

You and your customer will need to figure out a lawful way to defer or reduce the import tariffs. There are legal ways, but you will need to identify a more compliant avenue to meet your purpose. I would strongly suggest you consult a US attorney versed in international trade regulation.

If you need help locating a qualified attorney, try Martindale Hubble. Many attorneys themselves use this site to locate attorneys outside their jurisdiction or expertise:
http://www.martindale.com/Find-Lawyers-and-Law-Firms.aspx

It is a huge worldwide database searchable by location and specialty.

I am sorry. I realize this is not the answer you were hoping for. As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I ask that you not penalize me for having to deliver less than favorable news.

It is my privilege to assist you. Let me know if you need further information.  I hope I have helped you beyond your expectations in the service I have provided to you.  I am here for you.

Please remember to rate my answer when our communication is completed so I will be compensated for my time in providing you with the information you requested.

If you feel the need to provide a low rating, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will happily answer your follow-up questions and assist you until I am able to explain the answer to your satisfaction. Please also remember that I cannot control whether the law is favorable to your situation, so please do not penalize me for having to deliver bad news.

Thank you.

JudgeLaw
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

JudgeLaw-


 


Thanks for your reply and advise. Indeed, my first impulse was that this was not the way to go, however, I was hoping that you would have more insight into the "There are legal ways, but you will need to identify a more compliant avenue to meet your purpose." I will have a look at the link you have provided. Thanks.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for following up.

Their are various methods for reducing tariffs. One popular method is setting up a free trade zone in a country with lower tariffs and then forwarding from that port to the destination.

Another would be setting up manufacturing or assembly in the target country so that the exported goods are reclassified.

The important take away is that you not misrepresent or lie to commit customs fraud. In any event, it is beyond the scope of this site and a violation of state bar regulation to act as your attorney, but the site I referred in the original answer should be able to point you in the direction of a qualified international transaction attorney.

I hope this helps.

JudgeLaw
Loren, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 20337
Experience: 30 years experience representing clients .
Loren and 4 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your positive rating of my service to you and your generous bonus. Let me know if you need more help or have future questions. I will be here for you. Just ask for me by name at the start of your question - "JudgeLaw" or use the following link (which you can bookmark in your browser): http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-JudgeLaw/


Best wishes and good luck to you.

If it is not too much trouble, when you receive a Customer Satisfaction Survey from JA/Pearl in a day or two, please do rate me highly (9 or 10). It affects my ability to continue to assist you and other customers on JA/Pearl and would be most appreciated.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Law Pro

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1426
    20 years experience in business law - sole proprietor, partnership, and corporations
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/lawpro/2012-6-25_171315_PT206740s.64x64.jpg Law Pro's Avatar

    Law Pro

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1426
    20 years experience in business law - sole proprietor, partnership, and corporations
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DC/DCraneEsq/2012-8-14_14436_DCrane.64x64.jpg MShore Law's Avatar

    MShore Law

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1233
    Drafted Negotiated and/or Reviewed Thousands of Commercial Agreements
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1162
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1142
    Run my own successful business/contract law practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ohioatty/2009-1-22_185545_me.jpg J.Hazelbaker's Avatar

    J.Hazelbaker

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    393
    Experienced and trained in the area of business law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/scottymacesq/2009-6-10_221523_small.jpg RGMacEsq's Avatar

    RGMacEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    393
    Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/barristerinky/2012-6-10_22423_office.64x64.jpg Barrister's Avatar

    Barrister

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    301
    13 years practicing attorney, MBA