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Legal Update

“Inc.” No Longer a Safe Shield – Federal Circuit Greatly Expands Officer/Shareholder Liability Resulting from US Customs Violations

23 September 2014
Mayer Brown Legal Update

On September 16, 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a broad en banc decision, greatly expanding corporate shareholders’ and officers’ liability for US customs violations. Trek Leather III accomplishes this by extending the duty of reasonable care (normally assigned to importers of record [IOR]) to IOR shareholders and officers as well as consignees, freight forwarders or any other party─including their shareholders and officers─involved in introducing merchandise into the United States. Therefore, Trek Leather III has wide-ranging implications for all individuals and entities involved in the US import process.


  • Sydney H. Mintzer
    T +1 202 263 3866
  • Jing Zhang
    T +1 202 263 3385
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