Custom seizes counterfeit baseball jerseys.

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According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), officers seized 314 counterfeit jerseys for Phliadelphia Phillies player, Bryce Harper. If authentic, the estimated value of the counterfeit totals over $44,040.

CBP’s media release further states the harm to the wearer (potential use of flammable textiles) and the economic harm to the US (trademark holders lose revenue, loss of revenue for American workers) and the funding of black market activities such as human trafficking.

If you have had a CBP seizure for the suspicion of counterfeit items, contact experienced customs seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Counterfeit Juul pods seized by CBP.

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Seized Juul pods. Source: US CBP

Earlier this week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Philadelphia reported a seizure of more than 1,152 counterfeit Juul pods, three chargers and a Juul device from overseas.

According to the CBP, the description of the item was “plastic pipe sample” from China. Upon inspection, CBP found 36 cartons of Juul pods suspected to be counterfeit.

Working with CBP’s Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Centers for Excellence and Expertise, officers verified the merchandise were counterfeits through the trademark holders.

CBP claims the merchandise has a MSRP of $4,700 if authentic. The rest of the media release reminds the public of the danger posed by unregulated manufacturing facilities that may result in products that are hazardous to the public.

If you or someone you know has had a customs seizure, contact experienced customs attorney David Hsu for information on how we may be able to get your goods released. Call or text 832-896-6288 or email attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

$270,000 worth of counterfeit luxury hats seized by Customs.

Images of the seized hats. Source: CBP media release website.

According to a Customs media release, Dulles Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized 450 counterfeit hats worth about $207,000 if they were the genuine articles. The hats were seized as they arrived from Washington Dulles International airport destined for US addresses.

The shipment of hats contained brands such as Gucci, Chanel, LV, Supreme, Adidas and Louis Vuitton.

If you have had a seizure of goods suspected of being counterfeit, contact experienced customs seizure attorney David Hsu at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, or text/call 832.896.6288.

CBP seizes $170k in smuggled cash.

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Image of seized cash in bundles, hidden in tailgate. Source: CBP media relations website.

Earlier this month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported a seizure of $170,000 dollars in money hidden in the tailgate of a pick-up truck.

According to the media release, the currency was wrapped in black tape and hidden within the tailgate of the truck.

CBP seized the money and the driver and passenger were placed into custody by Homeland Security Investigation special agents.


I’ve handled countless currency seizures and here are some answers to currency seizure questions you may or may not have:

Can they get the seized money back?
Most likely not – (1) because of the method taken to conceal the money, also, (2) the case was turned over to HSI instead of with CBP. If the case stayed with CBP, then they are dealing with FP&F. If a case is with HSI, then there’s likely no civil seizure petition method.

What do you have to show to get your seized money back?
Short version – you need to show legitimate source and use of funds. Every case is different, call David Hsu to discuss yours – 832.896.6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

CBP seizes caprine (goat) skull from Africa.

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Image of seized caprine skull. Source: US CBP

Last week, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Tennessee seized a caprine skull from a shipment originating from the African country of Djibouti.

Shippers from Djibouti described the contents as “gift salt”, however, upon inspection, CBP found a salt-encrusted caprine skull with horns and tissue inside the skull. A goat-antelope is known as a caprine and are usually found in the mountains of Africa, Asia, North America and Europe.

Agriculture inspectors with the USDA seized the item because Djibouti is known to CBP as a country affected by foot and mouth diseases – a disease that was eradicated in the US in 1929.

While importers typically have a means to petition for a release of seized goods – given the nature of this shipment and the hazards posed to US livestock by foot and mouth disease, CBP destroyed the skull using “steam sterilization.”

If you have had any customs seizure or received a letter from the DOT, FDA, USDA, etc regarding seized goods, contact experienced customs seizure attorney David Hsu at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or by phone at 832.896.6288.

Blue Furniture Solutions reach plea deal on lying to avoid paying tariffs.

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Jeff Zeng, President of Blue Furniture Solutions in Miramar, Florida signed a plea agreement in March admitting his participation in a plan to avoid payment of tariffs.

As you are aware – furniture from China, especially wooden bedroom furniture is subject to antidumping and countervailing duties. Most importers attempt to avoid the duties by shipping the goods from China to Vietnam/Malaysia/Indonesia and relabeling the boxes as any other country but China – a practice known as transshipment.

However, Blue Furniture Solutions and instead tried to get around the duties (as high as 216% percent) by submitting customs forms mislabeling their furniture. Most likely they reported the country of origin as some place other than China.

If you are a furniture importer and are interested in looking at ways to save on duties – there are some ways our firm can help. Email antidumping and countervailing duty attorney David at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or call/text 832.896.6288 for a free, confidential consultation.

Upcoming tariffs on European cheese and wine?

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The US argues the European Union subsidies for aerospace corporation Airbus is creating a disadvantage for US-based Boeing. As such, the Trump administration has threatened to levy tariffs on European goods into the US if the EU subsidies to Airbus do not end – potentially leading to tariffs on wine, cheese, aircraft and motorcycles. The potential tariffs would total approximately $11 billion or about 1/30th the value of the tariffs on Chinese goods. This past Monday, the U.S. Trade Representative presented the proposed list of tariffs, covering other goods such as champagne and seafood.

WTO ruling sets precedent for WTO authority to determine whether national-security concerns justify trade restrictions.

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According to Bloomberg on April 5, 2019, the WTO ruled on a Russia and Ukraine dispute that set the precedent for two things: (1) rights of nations to impose trade restrictions on national-security grounds and (2) WTO’s authority to determine whether a national security threat justifies trade restrictions. However, the US hold the position the WTO does not have the power to rule on these two issues.

Ironically, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo agrees the WTO should not mediate regional security conflicts, but said the cases were brought to the WTO and that the world body did not have an option.


Personally, I don’t believe China will bring a case to the WTO for the steel and aluminium duties as the US and China are currently reaching a deal. Also, if China and the US bring a case to the WTO, they would further justify and open the door for the WTO’s authority and national-security determination decision making power over any member to the world body.

I believe this WTO decision is a single occurrence likely to not happen again. The WTO is a trade organization and is not capable of understanding, addressing and enforcing regional security issues such as those between Russia and Ukraine.

Will be interesting to see what happens – will post more as updates become available.

Can you import refurbished cell phones?

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I get asked this question a lot – and the answer is yes you can. However, cell phones are frequently detained and seized by Customs.

Why are imported refurbished phones detained or seized?
Customs enforces the intellectual property and trademarks of any manufacturer or holder of intellectual property. Apple and Samsung have filed their trademarks and word marks with Customs and CBP may seize your phones (and batteries if they are branded Samsung).

I thought there was an exception for counterfeit goods?
I previously posted on my blog about the counterfeit exception for 1 item. However, that exception only applies if it is carried on you, it will not apply if the counterfeit item is sent by mail.

But my goods are genuine iPhones, why are they still seized?
When suspected counterfeit goods are seized – CBP will take a photo and send to Apple, Samsung (or other property rights holder). The trademark holder will more likely than not tell CBP the phone is counterfeit. From my experience, I have never had any trademark holder agree that the phone is authentic.

How do I know if my cell phone shipment is seized?
Customs will send you a Notice of Seizure signed by the Fines, Penalties and Forfeiture officer of the port where your phones were seized. You have 30 days from the day of the letter to respond. Please note the 30 days is not from the day you receive the notice.

What if I don’t respond to the seizure notice?
If you do nothing, then the goods will be forfeited after the response date. Forfeited means destroyed. Customs may then issue you a civil penalty based on the value of the phones. The value will be retail and not reflect what you paid wholesale or your actual cost. The valuation of the shipment is important because that value is used to determine civil penalties.

I have more questions!
Call David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com. There are some things we can do and time is of the essence – call now, no cost or obligation.

Japan and US set for bilateral trade talks in mid-April.

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The US and Japan will hold trade talks on April 15 and 16 in Washington as part of President Trump’s campaign promise for fair and reciprocal trade. Trump will most likely work on resolving the large trade deficit with Japan.

The US would like to see increase US beef exports while Japan said the trade talks will only cover goods only and not agriculture.

It will be interesting to see how the talks proceed – Japan is already a party to the 11-member agreement formerly known as the Trans Pacific Partnership along with an economic partnership agreement with the EU.