Joseph A. Acayan

Joseph (“Jay”) A. Acayan is a partner of Givens & Johnston, PLLC, and has extensive experience advising clients on a wide range of subjects in customs and international trade law.

For import related matters, his representation includes preparing clients for Customs audits, drafting and implementation of Customs compliance systems, filing of prior disclosures, and fighting Customs decisions administratively and before the Court of International Trade. He also defends clients in penalty cases, liquidated damages cases, and seizures (both goods and currency).

In the export arena, Jay represents clients in matters handled by a host of government agencies, including the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), and the Foreign Trade Division of the U.S. Census Bureau. Representative matters include drafting and implementation of export control systems, analyses of deemed exports, licensing, obtaining agency opinions (i.e., Classification (CCATS), Commodity Jurisdiction (CJ) and General Correspondence (GC) requests), and penalty mitigation.

Jay also advises on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and UK Anti-Bribery Act compliance, agent investigations, and defense.

In his practice, he has represented clients of all sizes from startup companies to multinational Fortune 500 companies. These clients deal in a wide range of merchandise including oil and gas equipment, mining machinery, produce and other food products, chemicals, and raw materials.

Bar & Court Association

  • Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of International Trade


  • University of Notre Dame, B.A., 1998
  • University of Houston, J.D., 2002

Professional & Civic Association

  • Houston, Texas, American, Federal and the Customs and International Trade Bar Associations
  • Asian Chamber of Commerce
  • International Law Section of the American Bar Association