Rimon

Miriam A. Bishop

Rimon Global Alliance*

Banking and Financial Services, Corporate and Business Transactions, International, International Transactions, Mergers and Acquisitions
Northern Virginia

EDUCATION

Georgetown University Law Center

J.D.

University of Iowa

B.A.

    ADMISSIONS

  • United States Court of International Trade

Miriam A. Bishop provides advice and assistance regarding various international trade laws, including antiboycott, customs, export controls, trade sanctions, and trade remedies Miriam provides advice with respect to U.S. antiboycott laws and assistance in preparing antiboycott reports. She has been the principal antiboycott counsel for several clients with operations in the Middle East.

With respect to U.S. customs laws, Miriam represents clients in pre-audit reviews, internal audits, and Focused Assessments conducted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. She also evaluates the dutiability of royalties and other payments to foreign suppliers; determines country-of-origin marking requirements and the tariff classification of imported merchandise; handles prior disclosures, duty tenders, and protests; and assists companies in developing compliance programs. Additionally, Miriam assists companies in qualifying their goods under free trade agreements and the Generalize System of Preferences (GSP) and dealing with issues related to GSP, Foreign Trade Zones, and duty drawback. Miriam also litigates contested customs issues at the U.S. Court of International Trade.

With respect to U.S. export controls, Miriam provides advice and assistance with respect to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) administered by the Commerce Department, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) administered by the State Department, and Foreign Trade Regulations administered by Commerce and the Bureau of Census and handles questions that arise under the NISPOM involving the proper handling of classified information and the mitigation of foreign ownership, control, and influence (FOCI). She assists clients in determining the licensing requirements and controls applicable to products, technology, and software and assessing the availability of license exceptions. She also files classification requests and license applications. In addition, Miriam supervises internal investigations and prepares voluntary self-disclosures where appropriate and represents clients in investigations by agency enforcement personnel and the Department of Justice.

Miriam also has broad experience with U.S. trade sanctions issues and has worked with the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on licensing issues. She has advised major insurance and reinsurance companies, insurance brokers, investment funds, and multinational corporations with respect to potential U.S. trade sanctions issues raised by proposed transactions; routinely obtains licenses for the sale of agricultural goods and medical devices and other transactions; conducts due diligence for proposed transactions and assesses OFAC risk; and reviews and revises proposed OFAC representations, warranties, and other provisions in various types of agreements. In addition, Miriam assists clients in preparing voluntary disclosures, responding to subpoenas, and in OFAC investigations, audits, and compliance reviews.

Miriam has been involved in a number of trade remedy proceedings, including anti-dumping, countervailing duty, and Section 201 (Safeguard) investigations, as well as sunset reviews, scope inquiries, and anti-circumvention proceedings.

Miriam has experience with companies in a wide range of industries, including auto parts, chemicals, consumer electronics, hand tools, insurance and re-insurance, industrial equipment, motor vehicles, and steel.

SELECTED EXPERIENCE

Customs

  • Assisted an automotive company and a medical device manufacturer in preparing for and defending against import audits by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In both cases, a number of potential compliance issues were identified in the pre-audit review. These required the preparation and filing of prior disclosures with CBP.  Nonetheless, both companies completed their audits with no additional penalties or duties owed. Improved compliance programs were developed and implemented to prevent potential customs violations going forward.
  • Assisted a German company that had developed unique recycling equipment to avoid classification under an unfavorable duty provision suggested by CBP and obtain classification under a duty-free tariff code.  I also helped the company take the necessary steps to ensure that all the equipment imported for a specific recycling project could be entered under the duty-free tariff provision.
  • Assisted a manufacturer to respond to a CBP request for information (CF-28), which identified a classification error in the importation of significant production equipment.  The company had relied on a tariff code provided by the Italian manufacturer. The classification error affected five different entries of production equipment worth several million dollars.  As a result, I assisted the company in filing a prior disclosure and reclassifying its equipment.   Although it took some time to satisfy CBP in this regard, we were successful in reclassifying the equipment, and the matter was closed without any penalties being imposed.

Export Controls

  • Export Control Reform resulted in a number of changes to the export classification of equipment and technology under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). I represented a company whose products became “caught” under the new definition of “specially designed” under the EAR and became subject to a new export control classification number (ECCN) and subject to strict licensing requirements. I assisted the company in preparing and filing (1) a voluntary disclosure involving exports of this equipment that had been made without the required licenses and (2) a formal classification request to “release” the products from the higher-level controls. The prior disclosure was closed with no action, and the company was successful in obtaining a new ECCN, which eliminated most license requirements.
  • Principal attorney representing a non-U.S. air carrier in connection with its U.S. export control compliance. The company had performed an internal review of its compliance and identified a number of potential issues. We worked with the client to prepare comprehensive voluntary self-disclosures, which were filed with the Departments of Commerce and State. The filings disclosed numerous and systematic compliance issues under the EAR and ITAR.  However, the company agreed to implement detailed and comprehensive corrective measures.  As a result, all disclosures were closed without action and no penalties were imposed.
  • Assisted in the defense of a U.S.-based oil producer, which became involved in a criminal investigation of potential ITAR violations. It was alleged that the client exported up to a dozen ITAR-controlled Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) without the required licenses. I was the ITAR expert on this case and assisted in the investigation, document reviews, witness interviews and preparation of voluntary self-disclosures. The client was eventually cleared of all criminal wrongdoing, and no penalties were assessed.

U.S. Sanctions

  • Performed essentially a U.S. sanctions “Help-Desk” function for a large, multinational insurance broker, advising them on an almost daily basis with respect to the potential U.S. sanctions issues involved in the placement of various insurance and reinsurance policies and claims payments.
  • Obtained hundreds of licenses from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) authorizing the sale of medical devices and agricultural products to and musical and film productions in sanctioned countries. I also assisted in obtaining an emergency license from OFAC to authorize our client to retrieve a plane that had to make an emergency landing in Iran.
  • Represented a medical device manufacturer that routinely obtained licenses authorizing its sales of medical devices to Iran in responding to an OFAC subpoena. In this case, we were able to convince OFAC that it was not “necessary” to produce all of the documents since it was our belief that all sales were made in accordance with U.S. law. OFAC agreed to allow the client to submit a random sample of documents to “test”  the company’s compliance. This sampling, which was essentially equivalent to an audit, demonstrated that the company’s procedures were sound and revealed no compliance issues.

Anti-boycott

  • Routinely handled anti-boycott questions and the filing of anti-boycott reports for several multinational clients.

Census Bureau/Foreign Trade Regulations/AES

  • When goods are exported from the United States, certain filings must be made with the Census Bureau under the Foreign Trade Regulations in the Automated Export System (AES). Companies often leave such filings to their brokers, but the exporter is strictly liable for the accuracy of this information. I routinely assisted companies in understanding these requirements. In addition, I filed voluntary disclosures on behalf of several companies that failed to comply with these requirements. In each case, the disclosure assisted the company in correcting its information and avoiding potential penalties.

OTHER ACTIVITIES

Miriam is a member of the Virginia and District of Columbia Bar Associations.

* RIMON GLOBAL ALLIANCE

EDUCATION

Georgetown University Law Center

J.D.

University of Iowa

B.A.

    ADMISSIONS

  • United States Court of International Trade