CBP seize human brain in shipment from Canada Post.

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Photo of the actual brain seized by Customs, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized a human brain at the Area Port of Port Huron during a routine examination of a Canadian mail truck.

The outer packaging labeled the shipment as an “Antique Teaching Specimen” and was opened by CBP. Inside CBP found the human brain in a jar (actual seized item image above), without any appropriate paperwork as required by the Centers for Disease Control.

Shipments containing body parts do need the required approval from the CDC – if you have any questions or need  help applying for this permit, contact experienced import seizure attorney David Hsu by phone at 832-896-6288 or email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Huawei’s latest license extension cut in half by US government, 45 instead of 90 days.

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Photo by Alex Fu on Pexels.com

Since May of 2019, Huawei has been placed on the US entity list and therefore unable to conduct business with US companies. However, the Trump administration did permit companies to do business with Huawei through license extensions.

The most recent 90-day extension was granted in November 2019, allowing companies to do business with Huawei until the expiration of 90 days.

Last week, an 45-day extension was granted. After 45 days, and if no further extensions are granted, then American companies can no longer do business with Huawei.

Contact experienced export compliance attorney David Hsu by phone/text if you have any questions how the current prohibitions against Huawei and ZTE will impact your business. Email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Federal Court rules against Huawei.

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Photo by JJ Jordan on Pexels.com

Yesterday, a federal judge in Texas ruled in favor of the United States, concluding Congress acted within its powers by including contract prohibitions against ZTE and Huawei in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.

Also earlier this week, the government also charged Huwei and a couple of their subsidiaries with federal racketeering and conspiracy (RICO) charges to steal trade secrets from US companies.

The recent decision stems from a Huawei lawsuit filed in March 2019, in which they claim Section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act was unconstitutional because it limited Huawei’s business in the US. Huawei’s main argument was the NDAA overbroad in restricting sales to Huawei and violated Huawei’s due process.

Contact experienced export compliance attorney David Hsu by phone/text if you have any questions how the current prohibitions against Huawei and ZTE will impact your business. Email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

What is a Customs Form 28 (CF-28)(CBP Form 28) Request for Information?

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Image of the CF-28, source: CBP.gov

If you are an importer, you may have received a Customs Form 29 (CF-29) or CBP Form 28. This form is an official request for information from Customs.

Why did I receive a CBP Form 28?
Upon importation of your goods, if Customs finds incomplete, inaccurate or insufficient information, they will send a CF 28 to your office.

What does Customs ask for?
Customs will ask for different things depending on what you imported. They could ask for more information or ask for a sample, or any additional information related the specific goods you imported.

What are some common reasons to receive a CF-28?
Most common issues relate to HTS code classification, intellectual property rights, antidumping and countervailing duty and more.

Do I need to respond?
Yes, you need to respond honestly to the CF-28 wihtin the time specified on the letter. A response is due 30 days from the date of the request (the Date of Request is located in box #1 at the top left corner of page 1).

What do I do if I receive a CF-28?
1. Make a note of the due date.
2. Try to respond as quickly as possible.
3. Answer all questions, be sure to look at box 14 to see if there are any additional items you are asked to provide.
4. Talk to your Customs broker if you need copies of any documents.
5. Respond to all questions honestly

Feel free to reach out to Customs if you have questions. The CF-28 will contain the name, email and telephone number of the CBP Official in boxes 17-21 at the bottom of the page.

If you have any questions on how to respond to the CF-28, contact experienced Customs attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP Returns artifacts to Cyprus Government

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Image of seized coins being returned to the Cyprus Government; source: CBP.govQ

Back in 2009, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) seized a shipment of ancient coins in a 2009 air cargo shipment from London to a coin collector in Missouri. CBP officers seized the coins and sent a request to the coin collector for documentation to show they could import the goods.

In general, CBP is tasked with returning cultural property (arts, artifacts, antiques, etc) to the country that owns the cultural property. CBP does require importers to have the correct documents to show they have the ability to import the goods in to the US. In the instnat seizure, the collector in Missouri told CBP they did not have authority from Cyprus and the coins were seized. Recently, the coin collector lost their legal battle and the coins were returned to the government of Cyprus in a ceremony at the Cyprus Embassy in Washington D.C.

According to the Customs media release:

An appraisal determined that the collection dated from the Roman Empire, from several periods during 81 BC through 217 AD. The collection includes:

Two bronze coins from an unspecified Roman period
One coin from the Ptolemaeus period, 81 BC -58 BC
One coin from the Augustus period, 27 BC – 14 AD
Two coins from the Tiberius period, 14-37 AD
One coin from the Severan period, 193 AD – 217 AD

If you have had your import seized because they were a “cultural artifact”, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu to evaluate your options. Phone/text 832-896-6288 at anytime or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP intercepts dead birds sold as pet food from traveler from China.

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Image of seized small birds, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized a package of tiny dead birds in the luggage belonging to a traveler from China. The package was labeled as pet food and contained small birds of an unknown species about 2.5 to 3.5 inches in length.

All birds from China cannot be imported due to the threat of pathogens from avian influenza. According to the media release, the birds were seized and destroyed by incineration.

Questions about whether you can import something to the US? Give David Hsu a call/text at 832-896-6288, or email attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

NY-titled vehicles cannot be exported.

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Photo by Ibrahim Boran on Pexels.com

As of February 7, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will no longer allow vehicles titled in New York state for export because CBP and NY’s Department of Motor Vehicles can no longer share information.

New York no longer allows CBP (or any federal agency) to access their DMW records in order to prevent federal agencies from accessing the identity of illegal aliens who have a New York driver’s license.

If you are a vehicle exporter, do not purchase any New York titled vehicles.

Puerto Rico seizes counterfeit goods and currency.

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Counterfeit Nike shoe, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP Officers and Import Specialist seized over 130 shipments of counterfeit goods in January – including stacks of counterfeit currency.

As usual, the counterfeit goods included watches, jewelry, bags, clothing and sunglasses featuring brands such as Nike, Pandora, LV, Gucci, D&G, Rolex, Adidas and Cartier. If authentic, the total value of the entire seized shipments is $4.2 million. An image of the seized counterfeit Nike shoes is pictured above.

The currency seizure involved a  mail package from China labeled as “cards”, but upon inspection, CBP officers found the package contained counterfeit $100 bills.

If you are an importer and have had your shipments seized, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Whistleblower against clothing importer awarded $170,000.

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Photo by JJ Jordan on Pexels.com

Earlier this year, a whistleblower was awarded $170,00 for helping the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York recover $1 million from Notations, Inc., a garment wholesaler from Warminster, Pennsylvania. Starting in 2017, Notations admitted to ignoring signs of import duty evasion by Yingshun Garments. Yingsun Garments imported clothing from China and submitted false invoices to CBP. The submission of false imports was at a 75% discount and designed to lower the amount of customs duties to be paid.

Unlike the usual customs false claims cases, the government did not go after the importer, but instead went after the reseller and purchaser instead of the usual foreign manufacturer and importer. Additionally, the whistleblower also received an award eevn though the whistleblower did not specifically mention Notations – instead the whistleblower’s report opened the door leading to an investigation of Novations.

The whistleblower learned through a family member of Yingshun and filed a qui tam law suit under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729, qualifying the whistleblower as a relator to a lawsuit with a potential of an award ranging between 15% to 25% of any funds recovered.

If you or someone you know is aware of any false claims activity that may allow a company to under report the duties paid, contact experienced qui tam attorney David Hsu by phone/text directly at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Japan-US Trade Pact in effect starting January 1, 2020.

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Mt. Fuji in the background, source: Jane Chang

The Japan-U.S. trade agreement started in April 2019, and starting January 1st, comes into effect, resulting in an immediate cut in tariffs on American farm products and a variety of Japanese industrial goods. Unfortunately, the trade agreement does not include passenger cars and auto parts. In addition to a trade agreement, the US and Japan reached an agreement on digital trade. As the US pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, this trade agreement was crucial for continued US/Japan trade.

Some terms of the trade deal include a reduction in import duty of US beef from 38.5% to 26.6%, with the ultimate duty rate of 9% in 2033. Other duties on cheese, wine, pork will eventually reach zero. In return, US duties on Japanese air conditioner parts and fuel cells were also removed as part of the deal.

While this current trade deal does not address import duties on cars and parts from Japan, second round talks with Washington (set for April 2020) may result in a trade deal. But the United States maintains import duties on cars and auto parts from Japan, despite strong calls for their abolition by the Japanese side.

We have been keeping up with this new trade deal, if you are wondering how it may impact your business, give us a call or text at 832-896-6288 or send us an email to David Hsu at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or work official email: dh@gjatradelaw.com.