An import license is a document that the U.S. government issues to give you permission to import certain goods into the country. Import licensing systems are governed by administrative agencies. Like other business compliance issues, import licensing is a very complex area of law that often times requires the knowledge and experience of a seasoned international law attorney to fully understand. It doesn’t take an attorney, however, to understand when you need to get an import license in the first place.
You don’t necessarily need an import license to act as an importer. But some goods require a license or permit from various government agencies in order to be imported.
You likely need an import license if you plan to import.
If you wish to import malt beverages (beer), distilled spirits, or wine containing 7% alcohol or more, you must first obtain an import license.
2. Tobacco-Related Products
Importers of cigars, cigarettes, pip tobacco, loose tobacco, and even smokeless tobacco (like snuff) must obtain an import permit. This is an important business compliance requirement that can result in significant fees and penalties if you fail to meet it.
Most imported cheeses require an import license and are subject to quotas. This means even if you obtain an import license, you may be limited in how much cheese you can import per year.
4. Plants and Plant Products
These include fruits, vegetables, seeds, sugarcane, plants, cut flowers, and more. If you are purchasing these general types of goods from an international source, you need an import license. You should also double check to see if the specific type of plant or plant product you are importing has additional restrictions. For example, some endangered species of plants are prohibited altogether.
5. Pets and Wildlife
If you wish to import a live pet into the United States, you are subject to a long list of restrictions, prohibitions, and permits by several government agencies. If the animal you wish to import is not prohibited, it may require a designated-port-permit, which restricts which ports you can have it delivered to. It may also require an import permit by the Fish and Wildlife Service, and in some cases an export license from the exporting nation’s wildlife authority.
We help our clients who are parties to legal disputes outside of Florida collect monies owed to them in Florida. Whether you have a foreign judgment or an arbitration award, we can help you collect the losing party’s assets located in Florida.
A judgment is an official decision of a court. It is the final determination of the rights of the parties in a legal action or proceeding. If there was a loss suffered, the judgment may include damages, a monetary compensation for the loss suffered. If the judgment comes from a court outside the state of Florida, in Florida it is said to be a foreign judgment.
A foreign judgment must go through the process of domestication in order for a prevailing party to collect money for, or enforce the judgment in Florida. This requirement comes from the Florida Domestication of Foreign Judgments Act.
Domestication is a separate litigation process that requires a special hearing to grant an order to recognize the foreign judgment in Florida. Once the judgment has been recognized, a Florida Final Judgment will be issued. This final judgment is fully enforceable in Florida, and will allow your Florida attorney to collect the monies owed to you in the foreign judgment.
An award is the official decision rendered by arbitrators. It is the final determination of the controversy submitted to them in arbitration, and it is binding in virtually every jurisdiction. If there are damages attached to the award, and the losing party has assets in Florida, the prevailing party may seize those assets. While an arbitration award does not require domestication, is subject to a different body of international laws and rules. Among other factors, enforcing an arbitration award depends on the member status of the countries of the parties to certain Conventions and the existence of Treaties. At a minimum, to enforce an arbitration award in Florida you must file Petition to Enforce the award.
Take note: if the prevailing party was a business, that business needs to hire an attorney to represent it, either in the domestication process or in the enforcement of the award. This is because a business is required by law to hire an attorney to represent it. Choose a Florida business attorney who has experience collecting judgments and awards for his clients.
To collect money located in Florida, you must file a domestication of foreign judgment in Florida.
If you’re planning to move to Florida or the United States from another country, and you plan to invest in a U.S. business, you may qualify for an investor’s visa. Some investor visas offer permanent US Residency. Two of the most popular paths to becoming an investor immigrant include the EB-5 visa and the E-2 visa. Each of these paths includes filing a detailed and lengthy visa application. An experienced immigration attorney can streamline the process and ensure that you fulfill every legal obligation.
The most advertised investor’s visa is the EB-5 visa. The EB-5 visa grants residency in the United States to anyone who invests at least $1 million ($500,000 in some instances) and creates 10 or more jobs.
Two major upsides to the EB-5 visa is that the residency it grants is permanent in nature, and it extends to the immediate family of the investor as well. To meet the requirements, you must invest in a qualifying entity, like Skyrise Miami, which accepts EB-5 investors. On the EB-5 application an immigration business plan is also required. You’ll want to hire an attorney highly experienced in business immigration and international business law to assist you the creation of your business plan.
An E-2 visa is a more affordable type of investor visa. The E-2 visa is 5-year temporary visa that is granted to individuals who invest a certain amount into a United States company. To fulfill the investment requirements for obtaining an E-2 visa the individual may choose to invest a substantial sum into an existing business, buy an existing business, or even start a new business within the United States.
One important upside to the E-2 visa is that it is renewable every five years so long as you meet the requirements. Satisfying the ongoing requirements is imperative if you plan to live in the United States for more than five years. Another significant upside is that the E-2 visa can be a stepping stone to an EB-5 visa. If you are unable to make a $1 million investment immediately, you may be able to apply for an E-2 visa and build your way up to the $1 million total investment over time. Alternatively, if you are employed by a foreign company with a U.S. sister company, you may qualify for an L1 visa. It is important to know the differences between the L1 visa and the E-2 visa, which an experienced immigration attorney can explain to you.