United States Court of International Trade (USCIT) is a national court established under Article III of the United States Constitution. It constitutes nine judges appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The judges are appointed for life. The chambers of the judges, courtrooms and offices of the USCIT are located in New York City at the Courthouse of the USCIT. The old United States Customs Court has been replaced as United States Court of International Trade with more powers.
The USCIT hears and decides cases which arise anywhere in the United States. It is also authorized to hold hearings in foreign countries. The Court has limited subject matter jurisdiction. It hears only cases involving particular international trade and customs law. Pursuant to the Customs Courts Act of 1980, the USCIT has the jurisdictional authority to decide any civil action against the United States, its officers, or its agencies arising out of any law relating to international trade. The USCIT has full powers in law and equity, similar to those enjoyed by Article III courts of the United States. Accordingly, the court may grant any relief appropriate to the case before it. The relief granted may include money judgments, writ of mandamus and preliminary or permanent injunction.
The Court hears disputes relating to:
- International and customs law
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection,
- Trade Adjustment Assistance by the United States Department of Labor or United States Department of Agriculture,
- Customs broker licensing, and disputes relating to determinations made by the United States International Trade Commission.
- The Department of Commerce‘s International Trade Administration regarding antidumping and countervailing duties.
- Import transactions mainly revenue from imports or tonnage; tariffs, duties, fees, or other taxes on the importation of merchandise.
Appeals from USCIT decisions may be taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and from there to the Supreme Court of the United States.
USCIT has its own rules prescribing the practices and procedures before the court. These rules are patterned after and follow the arrangement and numbering used in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
The Chief Judge of the USCIT is a statutory member of the Judicial Conference of the United States. Policies concerned with the administration of the United States Court are made in the Judicial Conference of the United States. The Chief Judge periodically organizes a judicial conference of the Court of International Trade in order to consider businesses and improve the administration of justice.
Usually, a case before the USCIT is heard by a single judge to whom the case is assigned by the Chief Judge. However, if a case challenges the constitutionality of a U.S. law or has important implications regarding the administration or interpretation of the customs laws, the chief judge assigns the case to a three-judge panel.
All decisions of the Court of International Trade shall be preserved and open to inspection. The court shall forward copies of each decision to the Secretary of the Treasury or his designee and to the appropriate customs officer for the district in which the case arose. The Secretary publishes these decisions on a weekly basis.