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Duty Drawback was the second law passed by the first Congress of the United States in 1789, and C.J. Holt is the oldest continuously operating drawback specialist in the United States. C.J. Holt's long history parallels that of the growth of the U.S. since the 19th century. Through civil war, industrialization, world wars, depression and economic growth, C.J. Holt has been and continues to be a growing company always looking for new ways to help expand American business and industry by applying the principles of duty drawback.
The firm of Chas. J. Holt & Son was established in 1856 in New York City by Charles J. Holt and William H. Holt to conduct Customs brokerage and duty drawback. A historical document dated June 5, 1861 shows that William H. Holt was given permission by the Executive Department of the State of Virginia to cross through infantry lines during the Civil War to transact Customs business in Winchester, Virginia.
In 1886 the firm of Chas. J. Holt & Son was dissolved. The business was continued in the individual name of Chas. J. Holt and operated as such until August 1, 1907 when a partnership was formed between Charles J. Holt and John W. Van Buskirk. The partnership was named C.J. Holt & Co. with Charles J. Holt as the senior member.
On January 4, 1919 C.J. Holt & Co. was incorporated as C.J. Holt & Co., Inc. With the licensing of Customhouse Brokers in the late 1920's, C.J. Holt & Co., Inc. was issued corporate Custom-House Broker license #73-A. Also, on September 27, 1929 John W. Van Buskirk was issued an individual Customhouse Broker license using the same corporate number. The company remained family held for many years, being passed down to John M. Van Buskirk and eventually to John (Jay) W. Van Buskirk. John W. sold the company on October 10, 1987 to Comstock & Theakston, Inc. C.J. Holt & Co., Inc. is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Comstock & Theakston, Inc. (another drawback specialist over 100 years old) with David Simcox as president for both companies.
In 1951, C.J. Holt & Co., Inc. was involved in a court case which became the basis for determining what constituted a manufacture for drawback purposes. In C.J. Holt & Co., Inc. v. United States, 27 Cust. Ct. 88 C.D. 13852 (1951), the United States Customs Court held that the assembly of a tire onto a wheel was a manufacture for purposes of the drawback manufacturing law. The court accepted the plaintiff's contention that spare wheels with tires and tubes are necessary parts of automobiles 27 Cust. CT., at 89. This major court decision became the basis for Customs Service Decisions 81-142 and 84-52 which are still in effect today.
In the 1990's, members of the firm C.J. Holt were integral in writing the drawback portion of the Customs Modernization Act and were selected to serve on the Drawback Regulations Team, which rewrote the Drawback Regulations (Part 191) using interest-based problem solving methodology. This method was a totally new approach to writing regulations because it took into consideration both Customs' and Trade's interests and concerns about drawback and reached resolutions which both could support.
Through the years C.J. Holt has collected refunds on commodities such as textiles, petroleum, chemicals, metals, film, tobacco, leather, pharmaceuticals and automobiles. By working with so many different companies on such a variety of commodities for over 150 years, C.J. Holt has established its reputation as the most versatile and experienced continuously operating drawback specialist in the United States.