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Michael Zara focuses his practice on international trade law affecting goods, technology, services and related transactions in the consumer, industrial and military sectors. His practice involves customs, import controls, export controls, economic sanctions, anti-corruption law and other regulations that apply to the particulars of clients’ activities.

Mr. Zara advises clients on compliance “best practices,” internal investigations, and administrative and judicial proceedings. He also provides international trade-related counsel on transactions and contracts, including M&A due diligence and agreements, and supplier, logistics provider, customer and distributor agreements.

Mr. Zara’s clients include U.S., foreign and multinational companies and non-profit organizations, as well as individuals, in a diverse range of industries. Mr. Zara often works closely with clients’ management, engineering and production personnel, and as a result, his counsel reflects an understanding of business issues and technical subjects that affect clients’ operations.

Representative Experience

• Served as temporary in-house global trade compliance counsel for a multinational e-commerce company, advising business units on day-to-day and long-term customs and import control issues, and on U.S. and foreign enforcement proceedings.
• Submitted prior disclosures and ruling requests to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for a major U.S. industrial process and technology company in regard to tariff classification, valuation, and country-of-origin marking.
• Represented an aircraft component manufacturer in a U.S. Customs and Border Protection audit regarding a civil aircraft-related preferential duty program.
• Submitted an Antidumping/Countervailing Duty scope ruling request to the U.S. Commerce Department for a solar energy company.
• Advised a sporting goods company as to import marking exceptions and U.S. Federal Trade Commission and California "Made in the USA" marketing rules.
• Advised a telecommunications and computer/networking company regarding classification of its products under the U.S. Commerce Department’s Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the U.S. State Department’s International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
• Submitted seizure and penalty mitigation petitions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for a major U.S. retailer regarding importation of merchandise bearing counterfeit trademarks.
• Represented an electronics company in successful litigation before the U.S. Court of International Trade and the Federal Circuit regarding the Justice Department’s power to collect customs penalties from importers (US v. Nitek Electronics, Inc.).
• Represented a major home and building supply company in successful litigation before the U.S. Court of International Trade and the Federal Circuit concerning tariff classification and the “essential character” of imported goods (Home Depot USA  v. US).

Speaking Engagements

• “How New Bilateral Agreements and the U.S. Response with Anti-dumping Duties, Countervailing Duties and 301 Actions have Changed the Business of International Trade,” Bryan Cave and Mercer University International Trade Seminar, panel presentation (Nov. 7, 2014)