Paul Vandevert, Principal of OCHIM Trade Law PLC, has been delivering innovative international trade legal solutions to cross-border business around the world for more than 30 years. Paul’s primary objective is to provide clients with compliant, cost-effective advice and direction that conforms to the needs of an ordinary business. In the course of his career, Paul has provided strategic advice on structuring transactions and organizing business operations to keep duty costs to the legal minimum, while maximizing operational efficiency. Paul has extensive experience in trade and Customs controversy management, including penalty cases, investigations, audits, and responses to questionnaires and requests for information in jurisdictions throughout the world.
For more than 23 years, Paul worked as an in-house international trade and Customs counsel at Ford Motor Company, Delphi Automotive Systems, and General Motors. In those positions, he honed his ability to provide innovative and practical solutions that met the needs and objectives of the business, often achieving significant cost savings, while demonstrating full legal compliance to the authorities. Paul has been a work-partner to all areas of a business: engineering, purchasing, marketing and sales, logistics, finance, and tax, anywhere in the world they are located. Paul’s in-house experience has made him an expert in delivering advice and direction to companies where the arcane and complex world of trade regulation is not a core competence.
Examples of Paul’s work are:
- Structuring transactions and operations in the US, EU South Africa, the Philippines, Thailand and elsewhere for optimal trade compliance and cost-effectiveness
- Working with businesses to capture available trade preferences and duty reductions, including FTAs (e.g., NAFTA, ASEAN, CETA, KORUS and MERCOSUR), FTZs, maquiladoras, IMMEX, etc.
- Obtaining Customs valuation approvals in China, South Africa, EU, Canada, and Russia
- Managing Customs audits in Canada, Norway, EU as well as the US resulting in no material comments and/or cancellation or significant reduction in assessments
- Representing the private sector with trade negotiators to develop trade policies and rule sets that can readily be applied to realize trade benefits.
Paul founded OCHIM Trade Law so that the broader trade community, particularly manufacturers with global operations and smaller companies looking to enter or expand into global markets, will benefit from his expertise and experience.