Nogales CBP Officers Seize Drugs and Unreported Currency.

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According to a CBP news release, CBP officers arrested two Mexican nationals and a US citizen for attempting to smuggle 10 pounds of heroin valued at $268,000 and 27 pounds of meth valued at $82,000, 5 pounds of fentanyl worth $56,000 and unreported currency containing nearly $96,000. I typically don’t report on drug seizures, but included posted about this CBP media release as CBP also found seized currency. In general, currency can be released if you can show a legal source and legal use of the funds. Unfortunately, as this currency was seized along with the drugs, it will be hard to convince Customs the seized currency were from a legitimate source and have a legitimate use.

If you or someone you know has seized currency and want to get your hard earned money back, contact experiecned seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Louisville CBP Seizes Nearly $2.6 Million in Counterfeit Merchandise.

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According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release on May 14th, officers seized a large shipment of counterfeit luxury watches, handbags, and sunglasses in Louisville. CBP estimates the manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) for the fake goods are worth an estimated $2.5 million if the goods were genuine.

The shipment contained counterfeit Rolex and Hublot watches, counterfeit Oakley sunglasses and Michael Kors handbags. Samples of the shipment were sent to CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE) where they were determined to be counterfeit.

The shipment contained 57 Rolex watches, 19 Oakley sunglasses, four Michael Kors handbags, and five Hublot watches, all determined to be counterfeit by CBP’s trade experts at the Centers of Excellence and Expertise. Last year, CBP estimates they seized $3.7 million worth of counterfeit products on a typical day.

If you have had your goods seized by Customs for suspected counterfeit or other intellectual property rights violations, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com.

The US Department of Commerce bans Huawei and affiliates from sourcing US components.

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On May 15th, the U.S. Department of Commerce officially placed Huawei and 70 of its affiliates on the Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) “entity list.” The ban prohibits US companies from selling and exporting components to Huawei without government approval through an export license.

Placing Huawei on the BIS entity list comes one day after Trump signed an executive order declaring a national emergency regarding telecommunication equipment from “foreign adversaries” who “are increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology and services.” The impact of Trump’s executive order prohibits U.S. companies from buying telecommunication equipmetn from companies that pose a national security risk. While the executive order does not specifically name Huawei, the order’s exclusion of “foreign adversaries” implies Huawei and other government controlled entities. The Department of Commerce has 4 months and 20 days to determine who is included as a “foreign adversary”.

If you have any questions how Huawei’s placement on the BIS enttiy list may impact you, contact David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Support HR 2261 – Customs Business Fairness Act of 2019

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Representatives Peter King (R-NY) and Gregory Meeks (D-NY) have introduced H.R. 2261, the Customs Business Fairness Act of 2019. This act protects customs brokers in the event an importer-client declares bankruptcy. As currently written, the bankruptcy laws allow bankruptcy trustees to recover duty payments made by the importer to CBP through the customs broker during the 90-day “claw back” period.

The Customs Business and Fairness Act will allow customs brokers to be “subrogated” to the priority rights of CBP for duties paid by the customs broker on behalf of an importer that subsequently files for bankruptcy – allowing a customs broker to standing the shoes of CBP as a credit who collected duties from the importer.

Click on this link below to call or write to Congress about HR 2261:
https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/hr2261/comment

New AD/CVD investigation on metal file cabinets.

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According to the Federal Register here, the US department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission are investigating whether freestanding vertical metal file cabinets with drawers from China are being sold in the US at less than fair value and subsidized by the Government of China. The vertical file cabinets are typically imported under HTSUS 9403.10.00.

The investigation started from a petition from Hirsh Industries LLC in West Des Moines, Iowa. A quick look at the Hirsh website shows they sell office furniture, filing cabinets, desks, storage cabinets, book carts, utility carts, dollies etc.

Not subject to the investigation are file cabinets made of plastic, wood, or non-metals, lateral file cabinets, fire proof file cabinets and pedestal file cabinets.

If you are an importer of metal file cabinets and want to know how this will impact your business, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP stops insects and pests from flowers from Mexico.

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According to a US U.S. Customs and Borader Protection media release, agriculture specialists working at the El Paso area ports of entry will be busy this week as Mother’s Day flowers enter the country in advance of the holiday. CBP officers ensure flowers do not contain insects, pests and diseases that could harm the agricultural and floral industries of the United States.

CBP asks for the public’s health in protecting domestic agricultural and floral industries by declaring all flowers. Unbeknown to most travelers, the CBP website lists which flowers are permissible and which are forbidden – such as chrysanthemums and choysia (floral feller).

China tariffs set to increase to 25% on Friday, May 10th.

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Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

According to the Federal Register, the US is set to increase the tariffs on Chinese goods from 10% to 25%. The increase in tariffs are goods specified on “List 3” that were initially set to increase in March 1st in hopes the US and China could reach a trade deal.

The Federal Register notes that China has not followed through with their previous commitments in earlier negotiation rounds, resulting in the new expected increase.

If you have any questions about potential duty savings or are interested in an “exclusion request”, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

17.5% tariffs on Mexican tomatoes.

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While we frequently hear “tariff” and “China” in the same sentence, we will likely now start hearing “tariff” and “Mexico” more frequently as the Trump administration has placed near tariffs on imports of fresh tomatoes from Mexico.

A little background – in 1996 the US did not pursue tariffs on Mexican tomAatoes based off assurances from Mexican tomato growers would not sell their tomatoes at articially lower prices. However, last year Florida tomato growers requested the Trump administration to investigate whether Mexican tomatoes were being sold at articially low prices. In February 2019, the Trump administration issued a notice they would withdraw from the 1996 agreement on May 7th if a new deal could not be reached. Since no agreement was reached, Mexican tomatoes are now subject to a 17.5% tariff. If a subsequent investigation finds no unfair pricing, then any tariffs paid will be refunded.

Questions about the tomato tariffs, call/text David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Trump Effect – workers in Mexico can now organize labor unions.

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Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

On May 1st, the Mexican government completed passage of a major labor reform bill allowing workers the right to bargain colelctively with employers through independent labor unions, without fear of retaliation or harassment. Workers in Mexico can now vote freely and elect their union representatives.

Part of the impetus for the passage of labor reform is the new trade deal to replace NAFTA. Then-Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto promised to overhaul labor laws as part of the new USMCA trade deal. Labor reform in Mexico was supported by the Trump administration as a way to improve working conditions in Mexico, lowering the incentive for US manufacturers to move jobs south of the border.

Ironically, the party of labor unions, the House Democrats have not yet agreed to the passage of the USMCA as they believe the enforcement of the new labor laws doesn’t exist. Even more ironic is Democrat President Clinton supported the passage of NAFTA – an agreement that did not provide for any means for workers in Mexico to collectively bargain or organize labor unions. Since 1994 and then-President Clinton’s passage of NAFTA, the average factory worker in Mexico is just over $2.00 an hour.

If you have any questions how the new USMCA will impact your business, call/text David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Unreported currency seizures up 62% over last year at Detroit field office.

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection media release, CBP officers in the Detroit field office report an 62% increase in the seizure of unreported currency from international travelers.

As you are aware, all amounts of money, checks, currency (even foreign currency) totaling over $10,000 USD must be reported as you enter or leave the United States. Even if you are in the US temporarily on a layover, you must report this currency.

Back to the recent increase. Specifically, from October 1st to March 31st, CBP has seized over $3.8 million compared to $2.3 million during this same time frame in 2018.

If you have had your hard-earned currency seized, contact experienced customs money seizure attorney David Hsu at 832.896.6288 immediately, you have a certain time to respond so call anytime or email David at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or dh@gjatradelaw.com.