Huawei’s Google maps alternative.

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Photo by Ingo Joseph on Pexels.com

As you are aware, Huawei’s inclusion on the US entity list means no access Android and the Google Play Store. As a result Huawei has been looking at alternative companies to replace the Google Maps application – and last week, found their replacement.

According to Reuters, Huawei reached a deal with Dutch mapping company, TomTom which will see TomTom providing Huawei access to their navigation, mapping and traffic information.

With the TomTom information, Huawei will create their own proprietary apps for their own Harmony Operating System.

If you have any questions how Huawei’s inclusion on the BIS entity list will impact your business or if you are in need of export compliance, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

15,000 invasive mitten crabs seized since September 2019.

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Image of seized mitten crabs, source: CBP.gov

According to a US Customs and Border Protection media release, Customs agents in Cincinnati have seized 3,700 mitten crabs from China and Hong Kong in the past 4 months.

Over the past 4 months, 3,700 mitten crabs have been found in 51 shipments and were set to be delivered to New York. The shipments were labeled as “tools and various clothing articles”. Nationwide, Customs has seized over 15,000 mitten crabs since September 2019. The mitten crabs are considered a delicacy in Asia.

Here in the US, mitten crabs are an invasive species because they are omnivores and eat anything, impacting the food supply to aquatic plants, fish, algae, other crabs and all living organisms in the water. Mitten crabs are also especially invasive as they are found in fresh water when young and salty water in adult life. Mitten crabs also tend to burrow furthering land erosion and weakening levees and flood control measures.

If you have received a letter from Customs regarding the wrongful importation of invasive species or if you have questions about the exportation of foods that may be subject to Fish and Wildlife regulations, contact experienced Customs and seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP seizes $900,000 in counterfeit money.

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Image of seized envelope containing $1 bills, source: CBP.gov

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Image of cartons containing counterfeit US currency, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, officers at the International Falls Port of Entry in Minnesota detained a rail container from China and referred to a Customs Exam inspection. Upon inspection, CBP officers found 45 cartons of currency in $1 denominations. CBP referred the seized currency to the US Secret Service who determined the currency was counterfeit.

If you have had your shipment detained, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

US – UK trade deal by end of the year?

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Photo by Alessio Cesario on Pexels.com

With the UK set to formally leave the EU at 11:00 pm next Friday, January 31st, both the US and the UK have expressed strong interest in forming their own trade deal expected to be reached by the end of the year.

The goal at the end of the year reflects a comment by US Treasury Secretary Mr. Mnuchin in December 31 stating he wanted an “aggressive timeline” and that “It’s an absolute priority of President Trump and we expect to complete that within this year.”

Besides the US, it is expected that the UK seek trade deals with world wide and even the EU. EU negotiator Michel Barnier mentioned that “We are looking at a possibility of a relationship in the trade side where we will have zero tariffs and zero quotas between the EU and UK.” This would be the first for any non EU party and would allow access to the 450 million people under the EU umbrella.

USMCA to be signed on Wednesday 1/29.

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

As you are aware, the Senate passed the USMCA legislation last week. According to Reuters, President Trump will sign the USMCA trade agreement next Wednesday at the White House. The Reuters article cites unnamed sources regarding invitations for the upcoming ceremony.

This new US Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) wills replace NAFTA and still requires formal approval from Canada.

Contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com if you have questions how the new USMCA may impact your business.

CBP seizes $90,000 in counterfeit goods from Hong Kong.

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Image of seized goods. Source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, officers seized two shipments of counterfeit products arriving at Pittsburgh International Airport.

The first shipment’s manifest indicated the package contained men’s casual shoes. Upon inspection, CBP found a Rolex watch, LV bracelet, Christian Loubouton shoes, par of Amiri jeans, Gucci jacket and a LV sweatshirt. If authentic, the merchandise would have a manufacturer suggested retail price of $90,798.

In the second shipment, the packing list indicated phones cases – but instead contained designer brand charms and jewelry.

As is the case in most counterfeit seizures, poor quality of items and lack of authentic packaging were common indications of counterfeit merchandise.

CEE?
In all counterfeit seizure cases, CBP typically sends the counterfeited items to the Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Centers for Excellence and Expertise (CEE for short). The CEE center is sort of a misnomer, as the CEE offices are located throughout the US and not in a centralized location. The CEE center then verifies the authenticity of the goods with the trademark holders. In all cases, the trademark holder will claim the seized goods are counterfeit.

So what happens after a seizure?
The importer of record (person who will receive the package) will receive a seizure notice by certified mail, return receipt requested. The importer of recorder can then either abandon the items, file a petition, offer in compromise or refer to court action.

If you have had a shipment seized by Customs for alleged counterfeit violations or if you have received a notice of seizure, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

What’s the current status of France’s proposed digital tax?

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Photo by TravelingTart on Pexels.com

Last year, France threatened a “digital tax” of 3% on digital revenue of big tech companies such as Facebook and Google. In response, the US threatened tariffs on $2.4 billion of French goods such as wine, cheese, and makeup.

On Monday, January 20th, France said they would delay the the tariffs for the remainder of 2020 in response to US pressure.

And earlier today, at the Davos World Economic Forum, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reiterated the Trump administration’s claim a digital tax is discriminatory and in response, he threatened tariffs on auto manufacturers if a deal does not work out and the digtal tax is put into effect.

What’s next? Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and his counterpart, France’s foreign minister Bruno Le Maire met earlier today (Wednesday January 22nd), but no news has been released about an agreement between the US and France. Will post more news as it is released.

Trump administration eases regulations on exportation of small arms and ammunition.

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Photo by Alex Andrews on Pexels.com

The Trump administration issued new rules related to the export licensing of firearms and ammunition products. Firearms and ammunition exports will now be managed by the Commerce Department and not the State Department.

In other words, small arms and ammunition shifts from the Department of State’s International Traffic in Arm’s Regulations US Munitions List to the US Department of Commerce’s Export Administration regulations.

ITAR concerns defense-related exports whereas EAR is “dual use” for commercial or military use, and therefore less strict export rules versus the State Department.

The new Trump administration rules also eliminates the $2,250 registration fee for gunsmiths and small companies who do not manufacture, or export firearms or ammunition.

The final rule will be published on January 23 rd and implemented 45 days later after formal publication.

If you have any questions how these new rules will impact your small arms or ammunition export business, contact experienced export compliance attorney David Hsu by phone/text at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or dh@gjatradelaw.com.

US Government agencies end use of Chinese-made drones.

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Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery on Pexels.com

Last June, I posted about China-based drone manufacturer DJI shifting some drone production to America in order to manufacture US-spec drones to assuage fears China-made DJI drones could transmit sensitive US government data back to China.

Despite efforts by DJI, the US government agency, specifically the US Department of the Interior, has decided to ground their Chinese-made drone program. As a result, around 800 drones were grounded last October while a review evaluated the risks of using Chinese-made drones. This past week, government agencies decided to permanently cancel the drone program. 

The drones were used by scientific teams to map terrain, survey land, monitor earthquakes and also used by rescue teams – such as the rescue of a victim of the volcanic explosion in Hawaii in 2018. Drones used to fight wild fires and rescue people are still allowed to operate.

Besides government agencies, the US Army has also banned troops from using DJI-made drones due to cyber-security concerns.

Government agencies claim drone use is cheaper and less risky – without drones, manned aircraft would have to be used.

Undeclared currency seized by traveler to Lebanon.

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Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, a passenger traveling to Lebanon had her undeclared currency seized at Philadelphia International Airport.

CBP officers approached the traveler and informed her of the currency reporting requirements. After explaining the requirements they asked the traveler how much money she was carrying. She replied $10,000 and upon subsequent examination or her belongings, CBP officers seized a total of $15,000.

Customs released $300 to her for “humanitarian purposes” and released her.

As you are aware, all currency over $10,000 needs to be declared. The currency is not taxed nor taken, but only has to be reported. People traveling in the same party are subject to the $10,000 limit as a party and not individually. The humanitarian relief is a discretionary amount and is not always given to the travelers.

If you have had a  currency seizure at the airport or any of the 400+ ports of entry to the US, contact experienced currency seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.