UK planning to remove Huawei equipment from its 5G networks.

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Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

According to a Financial Times article, the UK is going to remove Huawei from their 5G network and make efforts to remove all Huawei components in the next 3 years. The move by the UK should be welcome news for the US, as Trump administration officials have been pressuring the UK to not use Huawei for their 5G network.

The US has argued that Huawei could build backdoors into network infrastructure and assist in spying efforts by the Chinese government. In the past, the US threatened intelligence efforts between the two countries could be limited if the UK does proceed with the Huawei 5G network.

The recent news developments shifts away from previous UK policy limiting how much Huawei equipment could be used in the 5G networks. Yesterday’s announcement signals a significant shift away.

Other online sources reporting the news also claim the UK response is partially due to public sentiment about China and their handling of the corona virus pandemic.

If your company exports to Huawei and have any questions about compliance with the changing export rules, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

$252,000 in “prop currency/money” seized by Customs.

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Image of seized bundles of “prop money”, source: CBP.gov

In Mid-May, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Ohio seized counterfeit $100 bills totaling over $252,000. The shipment was from China to an address in Oklahoma. The package was selected for examination and an x-ray of the package showed what appears to typically be bundled currency.

Upon further inspection, CBP officers found $252,300 in cash (photo above is the actual seized currency). The currency was determined to be fake because it was printed on regular paper and had the same serial number for every bill. Additionally, on the back of the currency were the words in simplified Chinese: 道具专用 (see photo below of the actual image released by Customs).

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Image of simplified Chinese writing on the back of the $100 bill, source: CBP.gov

As an aside – simplified Chinese is the writing used in mainland China. Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan all use the traditional form of writing Chinese characters.

The CBP media release explained the Chinese words as foreign writing and did not translate the words in Chinese. The words in Chinese roughly translate to “for prop use only”.

CBP says these notes are “Foreign Writing Notes” and are against Federal law and considered contraband. Sometimes they are also referred to as “motion picture, foreign writing notes”. While the currency is noted for “prop use only”, the currency is seized as the foreign notes are frequently passed off as real currency.

Just my thoughts:

  1. My guess is the person in Oklahoma was going to use the fake money for a video or movie and purchased the play money through a China-based e-commerce portal.
  2. I have never held this kind of prop currency, but maybe the writing in Chinese is erasable? The Secret Service is concerned about the importation of foreign writing notes, and probably has seen many people pass off these notes as real – perhaps the writing in Chinese can be removed?
  3. The CBP media release did not say this importation was referred to the Secret Service or HSI, CBP probably will seize the currency, issue a seizure notice. Without a referral to HSI, CBP has probably determined there was no criminal activity on the part of the importer of record in Oklahoma.

If you have had funny money, or any other of your goods seized by Customs – contact David Hsu if you have any questions – you can call/text 832-896-6288 or email attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

$400,000 in counterfeit merchandise seized by CBP.

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Image of seized goods containing unregistered Bluetooth marks, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Detroit seized electronic goods and licensed merchandise imported from China. The seized goods contained bluetooth marks (unregistered with Bluetooth) on the headphones, smart bands, and various speakers. In addition to the electronic devices, included counterfeit hats bearing copyrighted Star Wars images. If authentic, the value of all goods would retail for about $325,000.

If you have had your goods seized by Customs, contact David Hsu for a no cost consultation on what you need to do to protect yourself – call anytime by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Game over – CBP seizes counterfeit PS4 controllers.

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Image of fake controllers, source: CBP.gov

This week, CBP seized a shipment of fake PS4 wireless controllers that arrived from Hong Kong. The shipment contained 55 of the dual shock 4 wireless controllers and suspected the controllers were counterfeit since they all had the same serial number.

As is the usual case with seizures based off intellectual property rights violations, an image of the seized controllers was sent to Sony for verification. I’ve never had a trademark holder agree with a client the goods were not authentic.

If authentic the seized controllers would retail for $3,300. If you have had your goods seized by Customs, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

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Alternate image of fake controllers, source: CBP.gov

China announces 80% tariffs on Australian barley – the new trade war?

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Photo by Samuel Silitonga on Pexels.com

That escalated quickly! In addition to banning imports of Australian beef, the Chinese government announced on Monday, May 18th, 2020 an 80% tariff on Australian barley exports starting today.

The tariffs are likely in response to Australia’s government demanding an inquiry into the cause of the corona virus. The Chinese President Xi Jinping has claimed China acted “with openness and transparency” in their handling of the outbreak.

Also on Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) also agreed to launch an independent probe into how they handled the international response to the corona virus. The countries requesting the investigation included African, European and other countries and is looking for a review of the WHO’s response to the corona virus outbreak.

In response to the new tariffs, Australia’s Minister for Trade Simon Birmingham on Monday night denied Australia had subsidized or dumped barley in China. Will be following this news carefully as China accounts for 33% of Australia’s total exports at $135 billion in 2019.

China blocks imports of Australian beef in response to Australian inquiry to the origin of the corona virus.

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Photo by Catarina Sousa on Pexels.com

According to theweek.in, an India news publication – Beijing is blocking imports of Australian beef after the Australian goverment asked for an inquiry into the source of the origin of the corona virus. However, China’s foreign ministry claims the suspension of beef imports is to protect Chinese consumers after violations of inspection and quarantine requirements by Australian companies.

The article highlights other instances of Beijing restricting imports:
1. China blocks imports of Norwegian salmon after a human rights prisoner was awarded the nobel prize
2. China blocks imports of canola from Canada to pressure Canada to release Huawei executive
3. China blocks imports of Philippine bananas in response to dispute over territory in the South China Sea

However, the article notes this is the first time Beijing has used banning imports in response to criticism over the corona virus. In response to the ban on Australian beef, the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia draws clear lines on certain issues And those things are not to be traded.

This isn’t the first time China has blocked imports of Australian goods – in 2019, China suspended imports of Australian coal in response to Australia’s government recision of a visa for a Chinese businessman.

Will be interested to see what happens to the status of Australian beef imports to China.

Potential antidumping duties on tires from Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam?

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Photo by Leo Cardelli on Pexels.com

On May 13, 2020, The United Steelworkers (USW) union announced they were filing antidumping and countervailing duty petitions on passenger vehicle and light truck (PVLT) tires from Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

The petition by the USW claims tires from the 4 countries are “dumped” into the US after being made at a much cheaper cost than can be produced by US manufacturers. Potential dumping margins listed in the petition range from as low as 33% to 217%. As you are aware, the USW previously obtained AD/CVD orders on PVLT tires from China in 2015 that led to a drastic reduction of Chinese tire imports. However, the AD/CVD orders had the indirect impact of shifting tire manufacturing to Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

The full press release can be found here.

If you have any questions on how the potential antidumping and countervailing duties will impact your business, contact trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Department of Commerce amends direct product rule to restrict Huawei’s use of US technology and software.

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Photo by Pok Rie on Pexels.com

Yesterday, May 15, 2020, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced plans to restrict Huawei’s use of U.S. technology and software to design and manufacture its semiconductors abroad by amending the foreign-produced direct product rule. This change to the rule was established to counter Huawei’s acquisition of semiconductors that are the direct product of certain software and technology from the US.

While BIS added Huawei and its affiliates to the Entity List in 2019 and therefore requiring US companies wishing to export items to Huawei required the companies to obtain a license. Despite being placed on the Entity List, Huawei continued to use software and technology from the US to design semiconductors, there by getting around the basis for placement on the Entity List. Specifically, Huawei would use semiconductor fabrication facilities overseas that incorporated U.S. equipment.

The rule changes specifically mention Huawei and are written to close the loophole. The full announcement and full text of the rule changes can be found at the Department of Commerce website here.

If you have questions how the changes may impact your company, contact export compliance attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Counterfeit Pokemon, gotta catch ’em all!

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Seized Pokemon, source: CBP.gov

Pennsylvania U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers didn’t catch them all, but they did catch 86,000 of them. The seized shipment from Hong Kong was described as “plastic furnishing articles” but instead contained counterfeit Pokemon figurines in 15 boxes.

The figurines were seized for violations of violating U.S. intellectual property rights along with being a potential choking hazard. The estimated value of the shipment, if authentic is approximately $603,936. CBP usually tests counterfeit toys for lead levels, but did not do so in this instance.

If your goods have been seized by Customs, contact David Hsu by phone/text for a no cost or obligation consultation at 832-896-6288, or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP Seizes Fake Cat and Dog Flea Collars.

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Counterfeit “seresto” brand food, source: cbp.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Pittsburgh seized 58 fake “Seresto” brand dog and cat flea collars so far this month. CBP officers seized the 13 parcels and submitted samples the the trademark holder, Bayer. The shipments were from China and Hong Kong and if genuine have an approximate retail value of $3,500.

CBP has warned pet owners to not purchsae counterfeit collars as they may contain harmful ingredients that could cause chemical burns or fur loss.

If your goods have been seized by Customs, contact David Hsu by phone/text for a no cost or obligation consultation at 832-896-6288, or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.