Client Alerts & Newsletters

It’s a Plane: Significant Modifications do not Result in Substantial Transformation

Mar.13.2017

On March 10, 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection published a final determination under the Trade Agreements Act that the country of origin of a Brazilian-manufactured military cargo airplane would remain Brazil, even after the aircraft undergoes significant conversion into a civil fire-fighting aircraft within the United States. According to CBP, the U.S.-origin changes to the aircraft—which include removing and adding various systems and components to install fire suppression capability—are not sufficient to change the aircraft’s “fundamental identity” and thus, do not constitute “substantial transformation.” The CBP emphasized that the aircraft would maintain its “most important” systems, the “basic structural integrity and the aerodynamics of the aircraft” would remain unchanged, and there was no evidence to demonstrate meaningful changes to the aircraft’s power, speed and range, or to the electronics and instruments used to fly the plane.

For more information, please contact the professional(s) listed below, or your regular Crowell & Moring contact.

Alan W. H. Gourley
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2561
Email: agourley@crowell.com

M. Yuan Zhou
Counsel – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2666
Email: yzhou@crowell.com

Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with approximately 550 lawyers representing clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory and policy, and transactional matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity, equity and inclusion. The firm has offices in Brussels, Doha, London, Los Angeles, New York, Orange County, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Washington, D.C.

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