Customs & Trade Facilitation


Evelyn served in both legal offices of the U.S. Customs Service (now Customs & Border Protection (CBP)). She is a recognized leader in customs law and has served for decades as a private sector advisor to the U.S. Government on Customs and Trade Facilitation. She has testified before the U.S. Congress on behalf of industry groups regarding customs matters. She has also worked with clients seeking customs legislation. She routinely helps clients, which include international traders, transportation and logistics companies and customs brokers and freight forwarders, comply with U.S. customs laws and the myriad of laws that CBP enforces. She also defends clients in penalty matters and litigates cases before the U.S. Court of International Trade, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Evelyn can help clients on all aspects of customs laws and other laws that CBP enforces from trade compliance to homeland security to import safety, whether involving policy concerns or a regulatory or litigation matter. Over the years she has worked on the entire spectrum of customs law and regulation, including entry requirements, tariff classification, valuation of imported merchandise, rules of origin and country of origin marking, border enforcement of intellectual property rights and special duties such as anti-dumping and countervailing duties. She has also counseled clients regarding eligibility for preferential duty treatment under the various free trade agreements such as NAFTA as well as duty preference programs from GSP to AGOA. She has assisted clients who use duty deferral or remission programs such as duty drawback or temporary importation under bond and counsels her clients in regard to the regulatory requirements associated with using Foreign Trade Zones. Evelyn is a leading lawyer on vessel repair duties, having counseled U.S.-flag operators for decades on all aspects of this law as well as having successfully challenged CBP’s duty assessments numerous times in court.

She has worked with clients on the customs aspects of protection of their intellectual property rights from infringing imports, whether before CBP or the U.S. International Trade Commission, where she served as a legal advisor to a Commissioner. As to compliance, Evelyn can help clients manage their compliance efforts, developing and improving internal controls, record keeping and customs compliance programs. She has represented clients numerous times in audits by CBP. She has routinely defended clients in penalty matters, whether in the civil administrative or criminal context.

Recent News in Customs & Trade Facilitation

  • TFA will take political will and private participation

    This article by Evelyn Suarez first appeared on May 9th at Adam Smith Project. WTO’s trade facilitation deal has sweeping potential but needs public and private buy-in    It was big news, at least in international trade circles, when after 10 years of negotiations, the World Trade Organization finalized a Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) at its Ministerial Conference in Bali Dec. 7, 2013.

  • Commentary: WTO’s Bright Spot

    Pending trade facilitation agreement gives trade community cause for optimismOriginally appeared on the Adam Smith Project on February 3, 2017. Reposted with permission.The World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) is only two ratifications away from entry into force.

  • WIIT Article – Customs: A Hot Topic Once Again

    This is an excerpt from an email that first appeared in the WIIT Communiqué. For the full text, visit the WIIT email archive.We decided to devote this Communiqué issue to customs matters – given recent legislative, regulatory and enforcement activity in the area. We also wanted to highlight a recent World Customs Organization (WCO) gathering of over 100 women, including WCO Director of Compliance and Facilitation Ana Hinojosa and European Union Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström. WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya welcomed the group and emphasized the interest of the WCO to promote engagement with organizations involved in global trade and also to promote gender equality in all aspects of Customs and Trade. The group has been organizing for about a year exploring the feasibility of becoming a chapter of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT), of which WIIT is the DC chapter. A number of our own WIIT members, including Stefanie Holland, Adeline Hinderer, Leslie Griffin, and myself, have offered information on the merits of becoming part of OWIT. I want our friends to know that we are always available to answer questions about being an OWIT chapter. Remember Brussels, you have friends in DC.Click here for the full text.