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Century Importers, Inc. v. United States

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
205 F.3d 1308 (2000)


Facts

Century Importers, Inc. (Century) (plaintiff) entered an agreement with Molson Breweries of Toronto, Canada (Molson) to import beer into the United States. During negotiations, a trade dispute caused the United States to impose a duty of 50 percent of the value of the imported beer. Molson agreed to reimburse Century for the import duties. When the beer was imported, the United States Customs and Border Protection (Customs) (defendant) imposed the 50 percent duty based on the invoice price of the beer, and Molson later reimbursed Century for the amount of duties paid. The invoice provided to Customs showing the price of the beer did not indicate the agreed-upon reimbursement for duties. Century sued in the Court of International Trade for a partial refund of duties paid, arguing that the price of the beer was not the invoice price but was rather the invoice price minus the reimbursement for the duties. Customs argued that a reduction in price after import that was not indicated on the invoice as a reimbursement for duties was, in fact, a rebate. Therefore, the reduction was properly ignored when Customs determined the price of the beer. The Court of International Trade granted Century’s motion for summary judgment and denied Customs’s motion for summary judgment, holding that the reimbursement for duties should have been subtracted from the price of the beer. Customs appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Rader, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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