460 counterfeit “Rolex” watches seized.

Partial image of the over 460 seized “Rolex” watches. Source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), media release, CBP officers seized over 460 counterfeit watches in late April from multiple shipments.

The two shipments seized originated from Hong Kong and were to be delivered to an individual home in Brooklyn. The CBP media release mentioned the address has a history of receiving counterfeit goods. Most likely CBP singled out these shipments and upon further inspection found a total of 460 counterfeit Rolex watches with a combined MSRP over $10 million if authentic.

If you have had your goods seized by Customs, or if you receive a notice from Customs detaining or seizing your goods, contact David Hsu anytime by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Did you purchase ANY merchandise on your overseas trip? Be sure to declare it.

Sample of seized goods from traveler arriving from Thailand, source: CBP.gov

According to a CBP media release, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Dulles Airport seized consumer goods from an individual flying back into the US after a trip to Thailand.

The passenger was flying to Dulles on a flight from South Korea. When clearing Customs at Dulles, CBP officers asked her if she purchased any merchandise on her trip.

In response, she declared in writing and verbally that she did not purchase any items and was returning from Thailand with six pieces of luggage. However, when CBP performed a secondary inspection, they found and seized over 298 counterfeit items among 12 pieces of luggage belonging to the passenger. The total value of the goods, if authentic totaled over $500,000.

She stated that she returned from Thailand with six pieces of luggage, but declared, both verbally and in writing, that she did not purchase any merchandise on her trip.

She stated that she returned from Thailand with six pieces of luggage, but declared, both verbally and in writing, that she did not purchase any merchandise on her trip. However, when airline employees brought the woman’s baggage to the CBP inspection area, they examined 12 bags that were tagged to the traveler. After examining the bags, CBP found 298 pieces of clothing, hats, shoes and jewelry with marks from brand names such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry, Prada, Gianni Versace and others.

After the seizure, experts from the Center for Excellence and Expertise determined the goods were counterfeit. Counterfeit goods were then seized by Customs.

This media release is a good reminder for travelers to:

  1. Don’t lie to CBP and never sign anything that is not truthful.
  2. If you are asked about quantity of any items or value of currency – be sure to over estimate. There is no duty and no cost to bring in currency or monetary instruments – but you must declare it.
  3. CBP likely already knows the answers to their questions before they search you and before they ask you any questions. CBP has access to passenger information and has developed profiles on passengers and certain metrics they use to determine which passenger gets secondary screening.

If you or anyone you know has had your goods seized by Customs, contact customs seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Counterfeit Designer Clothes Worth Over $2 Million Seized

Norfolk IPR_1
Counterfeit goods seized by Customs; source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Virginia seized a shipment of designer dresses and shawls estimated to be worth more than $2 million dollars due to trademark violations. The shipment destined for Ohio contained counterfeit dresses, women’s slippers and shawls (see above photo of the actual seized items). The seizure included 1,120 garments for violating intellectual property rights from brands such as Gucci, Apple and Louis Vuitton. If authentic, the MSRP value of the shipment was worth $2.3 million dollars.

If you have had your shipment seized for IPR violations, contact David Hsu by phone/text/email at 832-896-6288 or attorney.dave@yahoo.com to discuss your options.

CBP seizes $46,000 in currency from outbound travelers.

Image of seized currency, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, officers at Dulles airport seived more than $45,000 during two separate currency seizures from individuals leaving the country. The first traveler was a U.S. citizen traveling to Ghana. This traveler initially reported $14,000, but closer inspection revealed over $20,404. In this instance, CBP returned $404 in “humanitarian relief” and released the traveler. The other seizure occurred when a dog alerted officials to a couple traveling to Egypt. The couple reported $15,000, but a subsequent search discovered over $26,403 – $1,043 of that which was returned to the couple as “humanitarian relief”.

Humanitarian relief is an amount CBP can return to the travelers, but is not required to do. The amount can vary and depends on the circumstances – such as the amount seized and the number of travelers.

If you or anyone you know has had their currency seized by Customs, contact David Hsu anytime by phone/text/email at: 832-896-6288, attorney.dave@yahoo.com. Don’t wait as time may run out on your ability to file a claim.

New Indo-Pacific Economic Framework?

green palm tree near sea
Photo by Jess Loiterton on Pexels.com

Last week, the United States launched the creation of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), an effort by the current administration to improve U.S. ties with the region which the White House said aims to strengthen U.S. ties in the Asia-Pacific region. The IPEF effort is to also limit China’s influence in the region as China has officially applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The initial IPEF members include: Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. While Taiwan is absent from the initial 12 member list, the U.S. claims they will work on a separate bilateral agreement with Taiwan on trade and economic affairs.

According to the press release, the goals and purpose of the IPEF include:

  • digital economy and e-commerce, including cross-border data flows, data localization, online privacy, and discriminatory and unethical use of artificial intelligence
  • labor and environment issues and corporate accountability
  • supply chain resiliency, including establishing an early warning system, eliminating bottlenecks in critical mineral supply chains, improving traceability in key sectors, and coordinating on diversification efforts
  • accelerated implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement
  • facilitating agricultural trade through science-based decision-making and sound, transparent regulatory practices
  • clean energy, decarbonization, energy efficiency standards, infrastructure, and methane emissions
  • enforcement of effective tax, anti-money laundering, and anti-bribery regimes that include provisions on the exchange of tax information, criminalization of bribery in accordance with UN standards, and effective implementation of beneficial ownership recommendations

The participants will meet later in June to work out the details that will ultimately need Congressional vote and approval. More information about the IPEF will be posted as they become available.

If you have any trade, customs, import, export or compliance questions – please contact David Hsu by phone/text/email, anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

CAATSA enforcement blocks imports made from forced labor – are you at risk?

national flags
Photo by Leo Altman on Pexels.com

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release – CBP officers prohibited the entry of products made in whole or in part by North Korean nationals under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

The CAATSA blocks the entry of goods that are suspected of being mined, produced, or manufactured by North Korean citizens – whether they are in North Korea or elsewhere in the world. An importer with goods denied entry under CAATSA must prove by “clear and convincing” evidence the goods were not made with forced labor.

According to the CBP media release, CBP will now detain merchandise from sporting goods manufacturer Li-Ning. Li-Ning and any other importer with seized goods will then have 30-days to provide evidence that the merchandise was not made from convict, forced or indentured labor.

If you have received a CAATSA notice or any other notice from CBP related to forced labor – contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, DH@GJATradeLaw.com.

If you do not have an import compliance program – David Hsu can also assist – don’t wait, call today to be sure you are in compliance with the CAATSA and the other alphabet soup of government regulations for importers.

$4+ Million in Counterfeit Jewelry Seized by Customs

Seized Richard Mille watch, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers in Louisville seized three packages from various shippers containing watches, bracelets, earrings, rings and necklaces that appear to be counterfeit.

They didn’t specify which air mail service, but Louisville is a major hub for DHL, UPS and FedEx flights from overseas.

The first shipment from Hong Kong were headed to Canada and contained watches bearing luxury marks such as Rolex, Breitling, Omega, Hublot among others. If authentic, the goods were valued at approximately $1.1 million.

The second seizure were composed of two packages and contained counterfeit jewelry – Tommy Hilfiger necklaces, Rolex bracelets, Gucci bracelets and rings and more. This shipment, also from Hong Kong, was headed to Miami. If real, the value of the seized goods totaled $1.19 million.

Lastly, the final parcel from the UAE contained a single Richard Mille watch with an MSRP of $2.25 million if authentic.

Typically, import specialists will detain shipments to verify with the trademark holder if the goods are authentic. From the media release, it appears Customs, in this instance, already pre-determined the goods were counterfeit. In general, Customs will seize any luxury branded good from Hong Kong that is poorly packaged and manufactured with poor quality. Most likely, the importer of record for all these shipments will receive a “Notice of Seizure” in a few weeks with a 30-day deadline (from the time of the seizure) to resolve the seizure. After 30-days, the goods are forfeited and a potential civil penalty will be issued to the importer of record.

If you have received a notice of seizure or have your goods detained, contact David Hsu by phone direct/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com; DH@GJATradeLaw.com.

US and Allies Contemplate Revoking Russias Favored Nation Trade Status

the famous saint basil s cathedral in russia
Photo by Дмитрий Трепольский on Pexels.com

Earlier this week, President Biden said the United States and 7 other nations plan to take further action against Russia for their President’s invasion of the Ukraine. The actions would include ending normal trade relations, effectively placing Russia on the same trade status as other nations like Cuba and North Korea.

The US will likely begin next week on formal legislation to implement this shift in US trade policy towards Russia.

Since the invasion of the Ukraine, the US has already, or will take the following actions in trade towards Russia:

  1. Plan to ban imports of Russian seafood and alcohol which totaled $550 million last year;
  2. Biden intends to ban exports from the US to Russia of luxury goods;
  3. US has already stopped purchases of Russian oil and energy products.

However, the US will still depend on Russia for palladium used to make catalytic converters.

If you have any questions about how new US policy towards Russia will impact your business, feel free to contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, DH@GJATradeLaw.com at anytime.

CBP seizes palm oil due to forced labor findings.

Image of seized palm oil. Source: cbp.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized shipments of palm oil in due to information that the palm oil was manufactured by forced labor. The shipments valued at $2.5 million consisted of super packs of palmitic acid. Super packs are large flexible durable bags used to ship grain, sand, coffee beans and powdery substances.

The seized palmitic acid is a type of palm oil that has been refined into a powder and used in manufacture of food, drinks, skin and health care goods.

The seizure of palm oil is due to a January 28, 2022 CBP Notice of Finding where CBP determined that certain palm oil and products produced in Malaysia were made using convict, or forced or indentured labor. When CBP determines a good is produced using convict, or forced or indentured labor – the goods are inadmissible under 19 USC 1307 and 19 CFR 12.42.

If you have had your good seized for suspicion of forced labor – contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

EMP Slot Machine Jamming Device Seized.

Image of EMP device, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release. Officers at
the Port of Milwaukee seized a slot machine jamming device from Hong Kong. Slot machine jamming devices are prohibited by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC).

The FCC prohibits EMP devices because they emit a pulse that disrupts the machine’s electronics when within a meter range. The main reason the EMP devices are banned because the interfere with radio communications, mobile phones, and other communication devices.”

If you have had your shipment seized by Customs, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com for immediate assistance about your options.