US Aluminum/Steel Tariffs and Irish/NI Companies

Several Irish and NI companies have asked me whether the recently-imposed US tariffs on aluminum and steel would impact their products–products that use/incorporate aluminum and steel. Much of the confusion stems from how the tariffs were developed and publicized. The bottom line is that US steel/aluminum tariffs should not impact most Irish or Northern Irish companies.

As for the tariffs, for goods entered, or withdrawn from a warehouse for consumption, on or after March 23, 2018, there will be a (i) 10% ad valorem tariff on defined “aluminum articles” imported from all countries except Canada and Mexico; and (ii) a 25% ad valorem tariff on defined “steel articles” imported from all countries except Canada and Mexico.

Under the tariff proclamation, “aluminum articles” are defined in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) as: (i) unwrought aluminum (HTS 7601); (ii) aluminum bars, rods, and profiles (HTS 7604); (iii) aluminum wire (HTS 7605); (iv) aluminum plate, sheet, strip, and foil (flat rolled products) (HTS 7606 and 7607); (v) aluminum tubes and pipes and tube and pipe fitting (HTS 7608 and 7609); and (vi) aluminum castings and forgings (HTS 7616.99.51.60 and 7616.99.51.70). “Steel articles” are defined at the HTS 6 digit level as: 7206.10 through 7216.50 including ingots, bars, rods and angles), 7216.99 through 7301.10 (including bars, rods, wire, ingots, and sheet piling), 7302.10 (rails), 7302.40 through 7302.90 (including plates and sleepers), and 7304.10 through 7306.90 (including tubes, pipes and hollow profiles).

The tariffs cover unfinished products that would be used an inputs for finished products, and not for products that incorporate or use aluminum or steel. There is a very low volume of imports from Ireland ant the UK under the covered tariff headings. As stated above, the bottom line is that US steel/aluminum tariffs should not impact most Irish or Northern Irish companies.

 

How to Open a U.S. Bank Account

Just back from a two-week swing through Belfast, Antrim (at a wonderful InvestNI program) Londonderry/Derry, Galway, and Dublin, meeting with companies looking to export to the U.S. One question that came up time and again: how can an Irish or NI company open a U.S. bank account?

Opening U.S. bank accounts has become harder because of the ‘know-your-customer’ requirements on U.S. banks by virtue of U.S. anti-money laundering regulations. In general (and keep in mind that some banks may have other specific requirements), in order to open a U.S. bank account, a bank will want to see (i) a certified copy of your U.S. affiliate’s certificate of incorporation/formation; (ii) your entity’s taxpayer ID number from the IRS; and (iii) a signed copy of your U.S. affiliate’s initial consent in lieu of a board meeting, which consent should include banking authorization language (see the sample consent here). The pain-in-the-neck part is this: you’ll need someone to actually go to the U.S. bank (with his/her passport and another form of ID) to open the account. The banks want to be sure that the account holders are who they say they are. Often, Irish/NI parent companies will open the account when one of their executives travels to the U.S. on other business.

Derry/Londonderry Doing Business in the U.S. Event–September 7

Related to yesterday’s post, I’m also thrilled to be speaking at a Doing Business in the U.S. program in Derry/Londonderry on the morning (8:30) of  September 7, at Invest Northern Ireland’s office there. I’ll also be using the Invest NI office for the balance of the 7th as my ‘office’ in case people need to speak about U.S. expansion. Looking forward to it, and thanks to the great help from @investNI, @investNI_USA, @derry_chamber, and @investdcsdc. Contact Invest NI’s Derry/Londonderry office for more information.

Galway Chamber Event: Doing Business in the U.S.

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be giving a talk, at the Galway Chamber of Commerce, on September 12 on doing business in the US. I’ll be presenting with Mary Rogers, Innovation Community Manager, PorterShed (@portershed) & Founder & CEO, Stateside Solutions (@StatesidePortal). The program will discuss the following topics: (i) Starting at the start: why expand to the U.S?; (ii) Can your product be sold in the US and/or are there any pre-sale registration or approval requirements?; (iii) Do you need a U.S. affiliate entity? Considerations on form, jurisdiction and tax impact of U.S. affiliate entity; (iv) IP protections; (v) Controlling the contract(s); (vi) Product liability concerns; (vii) Insulating the Irish parent; (viii) Labour/employment/immigration; and (ix) Conclusion: Moving forward. This event will include time for Q&A.

 

Location: Galway Chamber, Commerce House, Merchant’s Road, Galway Date: Tuesday, 12th September Start Time: 8am Duration: 1 hr 30minutes Price: Free to attend Register here

 

US Workforce Compliance for Irish/NI Companies

My partner Montserrat Miller is an expert on workforce compliance issues, including compliance with employment eligibility verification requirements (the I-9 form). She also has her own blog at http://www.workforcecomplianceinsights.com/. Compliance with US employment eligibility verification requirements sometimes slips through the cracks for Irish and NI companies with US employees. It shouldn’t, since the penalties for non-compliance are high. Montserrat can help Irish and NI companies navigate these compliance issues, and she’s compiled a list of resources at http://www.workforcecomplianceinsights.com/2017/07/11/how-compliant-is-your-company-with-the-form-i-9-requirements/. Check out the link, and contact Montserrat (or me) with any questions.

How to Obtain Evidence in the U.S. for International Dispute Resolution

Let’s say you have a lawsuit or an arbitration in Ireland or Northern Ireland and need to obtain evidence in the U.S. How do you do it?

My partner Gene Burd has written an article, recently published on the Young Arbitration Review, on the use of ‘1782’ actions in connection with international arbitrations. 1782 refers to the section of the United States Code that provides a process to obtain evidence in the U.S. for litigation/arbitration outside the U.S. Although Gene’s article focuses on 1782 actions in the arbitration context, the article provides valid insights for litigation.  The article can be found here. Feel free to contact Gene (or me) if you have any questions.

What Irish and Northern Irish Companies Need to Know Now: Doing Business in the U.S.–Free Webinar

Irish Export Insights

Thursday, June 30, 2016 at 3:00 pm Dublin/Belfast.

The attorneys of Arnall Golden Gregory’s International Business Practice invite you to attend a complimentary, 60-minute webinar “What Irish and Northern Irish Companies Need to Know Now: Doing Business in the U.S.” The webinar will be held Thursday, June 30, 2016 at 10:00 am EDT (3:00 pm Dublin/Belfast). The United States is an attractive, and expanding, market for Irish and Northern Irish goods and services. Despite suggestions to the contrary, the U.S. can be an easy market for business expansion—with a little bit of planning. This webinar will examine key legal issues for doing business in the U.S., including:

  • Protecting the Irish and Northern Irish parent company, its investors, and capital from U.S. legal risk;
  • Avoiding branch profits tax issues;
  • Reducing payment risk by ensuring prompt payment from customers, and other U.S. contract essentials;
  • The product liability risks that may attach…

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