Doing business with India

Trade Compliance Attorney Joe Valentine has significant experience in India, working in senior positions for the Government in import-export and shipping regulatory compliance. He also consulted for the private sector in the manufacturing and information technology services sectors. Brief highlights of his experience in India are as follows:

Multi-national engineering and Information Technology Corporation, India, Global Trade Compliance, 2003 – 2012.

  • Worked with attorneys, CPAs, and business personnel to ensure export licensing, regulatory and tax compliance in United States and India, and implement Export Management Compliance Program.
  • Assisted attorneys in drafting of Outsourcing, Non-Disclosure, Licensing, Joint Venture & Software as a Service Contracts. Ensured regulatory and contractual compliance while ensuring customer satisfaction.
  • Assisted attorneys in filing copyright registration and provisional patent applications for IP protection. Sourced new technologies, developed international collaborative arrangements, including joint ventures and technology licensing in heat transfer equipment manufacture with U.S. and European companies.
  • Obtained export license regulatory approvals and ensured documentation and regulatory compliance.
  • Researched demand and project feasibility for fabricating heat transfer equipment for the oil sands sector in Alberta, Canada, and analyzed the implications of freight, customs tariff and NAFTA on production cost.
  • Assisted attorneys in filing counter claims, discovery, depositions and legal arguments before LA Federal Court to win a favorable settlement in litigation involving contract law and intellectual property rights.
  • Researched tax exemption, under the Double Tax Avoidance Agreement, and service tax exemption in India for income earned by foreign service provider from services provided abroad for Indian company.
  • Planned and implemented, in collaboration with attorneys and CPAs, the exit of foreign Joint Venture Partner including financial valuation, breach of fiduciary duties and contract analysis to support claims for damages, litigation before Company Law Board, dispute resolution, negotiation, stock pricing and compliance with tax, foreign investment, and stock exchange regulations.
  • Set up offshore software development center in Software Technology Park (Foreign Trade Zone) with licensed customs bonded warehouse to avail of duty exemption on imported inputs and export incentives on software exports.

Government of India, Shipping & Transport Ministry, Deputy Director General of Shipping, 1999 – 2001.

  • Improved growth prospects for the industry by analyzing international shipping trends, completing a global study of competitiveness, and formulating new fiscal policies including tax rationalization.
  • Drafted proposals for legislation to protect seafarers’ rights and was responsible for crew labor relations, framing of legislative proposals and enforcing regulatory compliance.
  • Interacted with the IMO and enforced regulatory compliance in matters relating to chartering, dredging, cabotage, safety, crew recruitment, training, certification, Flag state and Port state inspections.
  • Enhanced transparency and efficiency in procedures involving conduct of various Certification exams and issue of licenses such as Continuous Discharge Certificates.
  • Presented Papers on Recruitment of Seafarers and Issue of Seafarers’ Identity Documents before the International Transport Workers’ Federation and on the need for ratification of Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention at the national seminar organized by DG Shipping and the ILO.
  • Collaborated with Government departments, ILO, IMO, foreign organizations, shipping companies and crew unions for shipping development and protection of human rights of crew members.
  • Managed the work of teams of associates nationwide, analyzed and validated contractual regulatory compliance terms for a 25-year, $8 billion project to import LNG from Qatar to India.
  • Coordinated two national conferences with ILO, Geneva and successfully persuaded Government departments, ship owners and crew unions to reach a consensus to ratify two major ILO Conventions.
  • Successfully argued cases before Tribunals involving interpretation and application of law to crew matters.
  • Conducted dispute resolution to resolve a strike by crew on a passenger ship through a carefully conducted eight-hour long negotiation, receiving appreciation from the Lt. Governor for resolving the crisis.
  • Successfully moved several proposals for amendments to the Merchant Shipping Act and allied Rules for bringing legislation up to date with modern requirements of the shipping industry.

Government of India, Finance Ministry, Dept. of Revenue, Joint Commissioner of Customs, 1989 – 1999.

  • Practiced Customs law as a quasi-judicial authority in India for over ten years adjudicating over 500 cases.
  • Managed the work of teams of officers, collected over $150 million customs duties, dealt with evasion, classification, valuation, adjudication, prosecution, related party, country of origin, misdeclaration, audit, rebate, drawback, licensing, anti-dumping, countervailing, safeguard, refund, and transfer pricing cases.
  • Implemented licensing prohibitions and restrictions for exports and imports and FTA as well as Country of Origin and GATT Valuation rules, and decided numerous disputed classification, valuation, licensing, refund, rebate, drawback, duty exemption, conditional use and other cases as quasi-judicial authority.
  • Collected and analyzed intelligence, detected, investigated, and issued notices, adjudicated and prosecuted over 500 cases of customs duty evasion, classification, licensing, valuation and drug enforcement to effectively counter smuggling and drug trafficking.
  • Enforced anti-dumping, countervailing and safeguard duties, analyzed and reported trends in imports.
  • Worked with the Navy, Coast Guard, and Police to ensure coastal security.
  • Conducted audits and inspections of over 60 companies identifying significant violations and tax evasion. Processed applications for notification of Customs Warehouse stations, issued bonded warehouse licenses, regulated operations of public and private bonded warehouses and Free Trade Zones.
  • Collaborated with attorneys to represent the Government in prosecuting cases before Tribunals and Courts.
  • Successfully implemented an alternate dispute resolution tax amnesty scheme, by creating a database with algorithms and reports to identify, track and manage high potential litigants, collecting over $25 million in duty arrears within six months, avoiding litigation.
  • Seized drugs and a Middle East country ship used to smuggle drugs from Karachi, Pakistan to Amsterdam via Mumbai. Interrogated and arrested the smugglers, recorded confessional statements, collected evidence, completed investigations, and assisted Government attorney in filing prosecution complaint.
  • Selected for appointment to the Indian Civil service with rank of 233 out of half a million in National Civil Services Exam.

Joe has a well-developed network of contacts in the Indian government as well as in the private sector, due to his experience in the Civil Services and his status as an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. With his deep experience and network of contacts as well as partnerships with Indian law firms, Joe is well positioned to help American companies do business in India.

Contact Joe by completing and submitting the Inquiry Form below.