Trump Administration may place overseas Amazon.com websites on the counterfeit goods list.

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According to the Wall Street Journal, the Trump Administration may place several of Amazon.com’s international websites on the “Notorious Markets” list.

The “Notorious Markets” list is an annual publication by the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) Office of global marketplaces known to sell counterfeit goods.

In response, Amazon claims they “strictly prohibit” counterfeit products on their online platforms and take many efforts to prevent customers from buying counterfeit goods.

In the past, the Notorious Markets list has included Taobao (China’s largest e-commerce platform owned by the Alibaba Group).

Currently, the USTR has been asked by the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) to include domains owned and operated by Amazon on the list.

If you have any questions about the Notorious Markets List, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Customs seizes $25,000 in unreported currency.

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According to a Customs media release, CBP officers at Dulles International Airport seized $25,151 in unreported currency from a U.S. couple traveling to Accra, Ghana.

As you are aware, all travelers must report all currency more than $10,000 to a CBP officer when entering or leaving the country. 

Here are the other currency reporting requirements:

-There is no limit how much money you can bring into or out of the US.

-However, if you or people you are traveling with have more than $10,000 in currency or negotiable monetary instruments, you must fill out a “Report of International Transportation of Currency and Monetary Instruments” FinCEN 105 (former CF 4790).

-If you are traveling with a family, then count everyone, everyone in your traveling party.

-You can obtain a FinCen 105 form before traveling or when going through CBP. If you have questions, CBP officers can assist you.

Do you have a question about the CBP currency reporting requirements? Contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Huawei shipping phones made without US components.

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As a result of the current export ban on US companies to do business with China’s Huawei, Huawei’s latest flagship (the Mate 30) is now shipping without US parts.

According to arstechnica.com, the new Mate 30 includes flash memory from Samsung (Korea) or Japan’s Toshiba and chips from US based Skyhook and Qorvo have been replaced by Huawei’s own HiSilicon versions.

As the article mentions, while sourcing non-US hardware isn’t a problem for Huawei, the biggest problem is software and app support. Huawei cannot use Google apps or Google’s Play store for users to download apps. As a result, popular apps like Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Lyft and Amazon are not found on the Mate 30 phones.

In addition to including Huawei on the sanction list, the White House may consider putting Huawei on the Treasury Department’s “Specially Designated Nationals” (SDN) list, effectively prohibiting Huawei from the US banking system.

If you have any questions about the Huawei export ban, or are interested in updating your company’s compliance program to become compliant with the multiple landmines that occur when exporting, contact experienced trade compliance attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

US may impose 100% tariff on French champagne, cheese and handbags over digital services taxes.

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This past Monday, the Trump administration announced the United States may impose duties of 100% on $2.4 billion in imports from France of items including champagne, handbags, and cheese in response to France’s 3% tax on digital services earned by companies with more than $27 million in French revenue and 750 million euros worldwide.

The US opposition to the tax has bipartisan support, with top Republican and top Democrat Senators Charles Grassley and Ron Wyden claiming “the French digital services tax is unreasonable, protectionist and discriminatory.”

French officials counter by saying the digital tax is not aimed specifically at US technology companies, but rather any digital firm.

The public is able to submit public comments through January 14th on the proposed tariffs and a public hearing is scheduled for January 7th.

If you have any questions how the proposed duties may impact your business, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

US China trade war update.

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According to a Bloomberg article today, sources close to the negotiations indicate the US and China are working on an agreement to phase one of a trade deal, despite Congress’ recent resolution in support of the Uighur population in Xinjiang coupled with the Trump administration’s signing of a bill supporting pro-democracy Hong Kong protesters.

The agreement will likely occur before December 15th, when the next list of tariffs are set to rise. Currently issues include guarantees of China’s purchases of US agricultural goods and which duties to roll back.

More news will be posted once an agreement has been reached. If you have any questions how the US/China trade war will impact your business, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

 

Children’s toys containing lead seized by CBP.

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Image of seized toys containing lead, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized 190 toy finger puppets after it was determined that they contained excessive amounts of lead. The article does not specify the country of origin, but does say the shipment originated from Ottawa, Ontario and destined for a distribution center in the US.

CBP officers detained the shipment of toys to examine whether the toys contained lead in the paint. With the involvement of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), they determined the toys were contaminated with lead. As a result, the finger puppets will be destroyed by CBP.

If you have had a shipment seized by Customs, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu for immediate help by cell/text at 832-896-6288, or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Counterfeit Juul pods seized by CBP.

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– Image of counterfeit Juul pods, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection media release, CBP officers at the port of St. Louis seized 2,379 counterfeit Juul pods. The counterfeit Juul pods were shipped from Hong Kong to an address in Missouri. If authentic, the approximate value of the seized pods were approximately $38,040.

Due to the recent media attention of vaping deaths, the United States Food and Drug Administration (and through CBP) is very concerned about harmful products that may cause illnesses and death to people who vape.

One other giveaway is the importation of Juul pods, as Juul pods are produced in the US according to US government standards.

If you have had your goods seized, and want to discuss your options. Contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by cell/phone at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP seizes 20,000 counterfeit Oral-B brush heads from China.

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Image of seized counterfeit brush heads, source: CBP.gov

According to a  U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized 20,400 counterfeit Oral-B toothbrush. CBP officers noticed the poor packaging and lack of quality control while branded with the Oral-B brand name.

As is the case with all suspected counterfeit goods, the CBP Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Centers for Excellence and Expertise verified with Oral-B the goods were not authentic. Customs estimated if authentic, the seized goods have an MSRP of $95,600.

CBP claims the counterfeit goods “pose a serious health threat to consumers, as do all counterfeit healthcare products. Counterfeit brush heads are manufactured in unsanitary facilities with substandard materials that may sicken users or cause bleeding to a user’s gums or mouth, and structural defects may cause the brush head to detach and potentially choke users.”

This is one of the few instances where I believe the counterfeit goods should be avoided – definitely not worth buying the counterfeit goods as they risk harm to your dental health.

If you are caught importing counterfeit goods, you may be hit with a civil penalty at a later date – contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu immediately for help – 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Louisville CBP seizes over $95 million in counterfeit goods over 3 month period.

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Image of seized counterfeit watches, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection media release,  CBP officers in Louisville, Kentucky seized 164 shipments containing counterfeit goods with an estimated MSRP of $95 million. This figure represents an increase of 75% over the same period last year.

The seized items include counterfeit designer bags, jewelry, shoes, sunglasses and more. While CBP handles the seizures, CBP officers work along with the CBP Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Centeres for Excellence and Expertise (CEE) to verify authenticity of trademarks. As a side note, I have never had a trademark holder agree that the goods were not counterfeit – I don’t believe any trademark holder will agree their goods are authentic.

The rest of the media release talks about why buying counterfeit goods are bad (poor quality control, maybe contains hazardous materials, funds criminal activity, etc.).

If you have had your good seized, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com. There may be something we can do to get your seized goods back.

Importer pays $3+ million civil penalty to Customs.

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According to an U.S. Customs and Border Protection media release, a company named Satisloh paid $3,320,425 for customs violations.

Satisloh imported machinery used to produce optical lenses but was hit with penalties for violation §19 U.S.C. 1592. Section 1592 allows Customs to issue penalties against importers who enter goods into the US by “false statements” or “omissions”.

We see many importers violate section 1592 because a false statement or omission can occur when describing a good for import, classifying a good by product number (HTSUS number) or providing false information on entry paperwork.

After a violation of section 1592, customs may issue a civil penalty, from there, the importer of record can try to submit an offer in compromise to customs to settle any claims. In this instance, Satisloh settled with Customs for $3,320,425.

If you have received a penalty notice, or notice of seizure or any other Customs action or Form. Contact experienced customs attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.