University of Miami International and Comparative Law Review


This paper examines the case of Andritz v. United States—first filed in the U.S. Court of International Trade then transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas—as a demonstrative case study highlighting the collaboration between U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of the Department of Homeland Security and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the Department of Agriculture. CBP is charged with facilitating legitimate trade and travel while safeguarding the borders of the United States to protect against, inter alia, the entry of dangerous goods, including through agricultural import and entry inspection. Where these priorities overlap and potentially conflict, the agency is tasked with making reasonable decisions quickly, on the basis of the information available and in consultation with relevant subject matter experts across the Federal Government. To facilitate this process and, where challenged, its expeditious and effective judicial review, counsel advising the trading community should familiarize themselves with the legal sources governing the allocation of relevant authorities and providing for appropriate judicial review. The Andritz case provides a useful view of CBP’s enforcement of the importation-related aspects of the Plant Protection Act, and showcases the agency’s close collaboration with the Department of Agriculture. The case also suggests important lessons for international trade attorneys, concerning both the potential impact of agricultural laws upon importation and the appropriate avenue for judicial review in this context.