I import clothes from China, will the clothes be banned?

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According to Reuters, China’s Ministry of Commerce claims the US’s recent legislation banning imports of goods from the Xinjiang region as “economic bullying”. The Xinjiang region in China is a large manufacturer of cotton and solar panels and last week’s signing of the import ban will heavily impact US imports of clothing from China.

If you are an importer of any type of clothing or goods made from cotton shipped from China, you may be wondering whether the ban will impact you.

The short answer is: YES.

While the ban specifically mentions the Xinjiang region, enforcement by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs) will apply to goods manufactured elsewhere in China and shipped to the US. From our experience – Customs will ask importer of records who import textiles to prove the cotton is not from the Xinjiang region.

Good shipped from any port in China will be subject to the same scrutiny and it is important to take action now to limit any Customs delay will have on your import (and your business).

If you are an importer of record, I strongly suggest the following:

  1. Email the manufacturer and ask about the supply chain and sourcing of materials.
  2. Ask your supplier where the cotton is from, is it from Xinjiang?
  3. Ask your supplier for proof and documentation of where they source the cotton.
  4. Ask for something in writing (affidavit/certification/etc.) that you can provide in the event CBP sends a CF-29 or detains/seizes your merchandise.

If you want to get an import compliance manual in place – or have any questions about maintaining import compliance with respect to the most recent ban, or any other import risks – contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, DH@GJATradeLaw.com.

Banned! Cotton from Xinjiang, China.

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In early December, the House and Senate unanimously passed a law banning the importation of products made from China’s Xinjiang region. The bill that passed both houses was signed on December 23rd by President Biden. The new bill requires suppliers to prove their products were not produced using forced labor. As previously posted on this blog – many products such as cotton and solar panels are imported from the Xinjiang region of China. In response, China has denied allegations of forced labor.

If you import any clothing from China, contact our office for a free consultation on how you can avoid any upcoming import compliance issues. Contact David Hsu anytime by phone or text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, DH@GJATradeLaw.com.

Fake jewelry and scarves valued over $3 million seized.

Counterfeit “LV” bracelets, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati seized a shipment containing 1,830 counterfeit accessories such as scarves, bracelets, rings and earrings. The counterfeit goods contained marks from designer brands such as LV, Gucci, Chanel and Versace. As with most seizures by CBP, the items were easily identified as counterfeit due to poor product packaging and quality of the materials. According to the media release, the Center for Excellence and Expertise determined all of the goods to be counterfeit.

In total, the value of all the goods, if authentic would have a MSRP of approximately $3.09 million. If you have had your goods seized for suspicion of being counterfeit, contact seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832.896.6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

CBP seizes over $30 million in fake designer goods.

Image of seized goods, source: CBP.gov

According to a CBP media release, CBP officers at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport seized over 13,586 counterfeit designer products arriving from a shipment from China.

For goods suspected of being counterfeit, CBP officers will work with a Center of Excellence and Expertise (CEE) – in the instance of goods suspected to be counterfeit – CBP will work with the Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising (CPMM) CEE.

The CEE will typically send images or samples of detained merchandise to the trademark or intellectual property rights holder for verification whether the goods are authentic or not. In 99.99% of the time, the trademark holder will tell CBP/CEE the goods are not authentic.

In the instant seizure, the counterfeit goods included handbags, tote bags, shoulder bags, crossbody bags, backpacks, shirts, and pants displaying brand names such as Gucci, Chanel, Fendi, YSL and Louis Vuitton. If genuine, the seized goods would have a combined MSRP of approximately $30,473,775.

CBP officers examining a detained purse, source: CBP.gov

Typically after a seizure, CBP will issue a seizure notice to the Importer of Record. This seizure notice will be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested. If you have received a seizure notice, contact David Hsu for immediate assistance by phone or text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Department of Commerce to raise duty rates on importations of Canadian softwood lumber.

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Last week, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued the final results of their second administrative reviews on anti-dumping and countervailing duty (ADD/CVD) orders regarding certain softwood lumber products from Canada.

Instead of maintaining or reducing the current duty rate of 9%, the Commerce Department decided to double the duty rate on Canadian softwood lumber to 17.9%. The new duty rates will also apply retroactively to softwood lumber imports from companies subject to the second administrative review.

If you have any questions about how the results of the administrative review will impact your business, contact David Hsu by phone/text anytime to: 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

USITC votes affirmative to continue 201 duties on silicon PV cells.

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According to the US International Trade Commission (USITC) media release (https://www.usitc.gov/press_room/news_release/2021/er1124ll1852.htm), the USITC has determined that Section 201 tariffs should continue in order to “prevent or remedy serious injury to the U.S. industry” producing crystalline silicon PV cells.

After the USITC prepares a report – the USITC will then send the report to President Biden. The President then will make the decision whether to continue the Section 201 duties sometime after December 8th.

The Section 201 tariffs of 18% are imposed on all solar modules imported into the United States that don’t meet an exemption. If the tariffs are not extended by the Biden administration, the tariffs on solar modules will drop to 0% in February 2020.

If you have any questions on how the Section 201 tariffs on solar modules will impact your business – contact David Hsu anytime by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

$800,000 in Counterfeit AirPods Seized.

Image of counterfeit “AirPods”, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the International Falls Port examined a rail container arriving in Minnesota. Upon further inspection, CBP officers found counterfeit Apple AirPods. CBP seized about 5,088 pairs of AirPods and 384 AirPod chargers with an MSRP of $813,216, if the goods were authentic.

If you have had a detention or seizure of alleged counterfeit Apple AirPods or other products, contact seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

1,000 counterfeit solar panels from China seized.

Image of seized solar panels, source: CBP.gov

In late September, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials in Baltimore seized 1,000 solar panels from China destined to Denver. The 365-watt crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules from China were seized because the ELT markings were applied with the ETL trademark owner’s authorization. The Intertek ETL mark is only allowed on authorized goods that meet Intertek’s standards for compliance with North American performance and safety standards.

The seized panels were appraised at $275,000, if authentic. If you have had your shipment detained or seized due to not having the appropriate mark or alleged unauthorized use of a mark even though you have authorization – contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com for immediate assistance to explore your options.

CBP issues Withhold Release Order on Malaysian glove producers

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Please see below for the text of CBP’s WRO for disposable gloves produced by Malaysian company – Smart Glove

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Release Date: November 4, 2021

Agency will detain imports of disposable gloves produced using forced labor

WASHINGTON — Effective November 4, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at all U.S. ports of entry will detain disposable gloves produced in Malaysia by a group of companies collectively known as Smart Glove. This group of companies includes Smart Glove Corporation Sdn Bhd, GX Corporation Sdn Bhd, GX3 Specialty Plant, Sigma Glove Industries, and Platinum Glove Industries Sdn Bhd.

“In the past two years, CBP has set an international standard for ensuring that goods made with forced labor do not enter the U.S. commerce,” said Troy Miller, CBP Acting Commissioner. “Manufacturers, like Smart Glove, who fail to abide by our laws will face consequences as we root out this inhumane practice from the U.S. supply chain.” 

CBP issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) against disposable gloves produced by Smart Glove based on information that reasonably indicates that Smart Glove production facilities utilize forced labor. CBP identified seven of the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) indicators of forced labor during its investigation.

Federal statute 19 U.S.C. 1307 prohibits the importation of merchandise produced, wholly or in part, by convict labor, forced labor, and/or indentured labor, including forced or indentured child labor. CBP detains shipments of goods suspected of being imported in violation of this statute. Importers of detained shipments have the opportunity to export their shipments or demonstrate that the merchandise was not produced with forced labor.

“There is no place for forced labor in today’s world, particularly in U.S. supply chains”, said CBP Office of Trade Executive Assistant Commissioner AnnMarie R. Highsmith. “It undermines not only the U.S. economy but our commitment to upholding human rights throughout the world.”

This is the third WRO CBP has issued in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022.  In FY 2021, CBP issued seven WROs and two Findings. The ILO estimates that 25 million workers suffer under conditions of forced labor worldwide. Foreign companies exploit forced labor to sell goods below market value. This exposes vulnerable populations to inhumane working conditions like physical and sexual violence, isolation, restriction of movement, withholding of wages, excessive overtime, and more. It also hurts law-abiding businesses, threatens American jobs, and exposes consumers to unwittingly supporting unethical business practices. 

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If you have any questions about this WRO, or if you are subject to a WRO and want to explore your options – contact David Hsu by phone/text at anytime: 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

CBP Issues Withhold Release Order on Supermax Corporation Bhd. and its Subsidiaries.

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See below for the text of the actual CBP media release:

WASHINGTON —Effective Oct. 21, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at all U.S. ports of entry will detain disposable gloves produced by Supermax Corporation Bhd.’s wholly-owned subsidiaries, Maxter Glove Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd., Maxwell Glove Manufacturing Bhd., and Supermax Glove Manufacturing.

“With this Withhold Release Order, the Biden-Harris Administration continues to make clear that products made in whole or in part by forced labor will not be allowed into the United States,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “DHS will continue to set an international standard for the elimination of the deplorable practice of forced labor. We will remove it from American supply chains.”

CBP issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) against Supermax Corporation Bhd. and its subsidiaries based on information that reasonably indicates their use of forced labor in manufacturing operations. CBP identified 10 of the International Labour Organization’s indicators of forced labor during its investigation.

“This Withhold Release Order will help protect vulnerable workers,” said Troy Miller, CBP Acting Commissioner. “CBP is a global leader in forced labor enforcement, and we will continue to exclude products made by modern slavery from entering into the United States.”

Federal statute 19 U.S.C. 1307 prohibits the importation of merchandise produced, wholly or in part, by convict labor, forced labor, and/or indentured labor, including forced or indentured child labor. CBP detains shipments of goods suspected of being imported in violation of this statute. Importers of detained shipments have the opportunity to export their shipments or demonstrate that the merchandise was not produced with forced labor.

“With 10 of the 11 forced labor indicators identified during the course of our investigation, CBP has ample evidence to conclude that Supermax Corporation Bhd. and its subsidiaries produce gloves in violation of U.S. trade law,” said CBP Office of Trade Executive Assistant Commissioner AnnMarie R. Highsmith. “Until Supermax and its subsidiaries can prove their manufacturing processes are free of forced labor, their goods are not welcome here.”

In Fiscal Year 2021, CBP issued seven WROs and two forced labor findings. The International Labour Organization estimates that 25 million workers suffer under conditions of forced labor worldwide. Foreign companies exploit forced labor to sell goods below market value. This exposes vulnerable populations to inhumane working conditions like physical and sexual violence, isolation, restriction of movement, withholding of wages, excessive overtime, and more. It also hurts law-abiding businesses, threatens American jobs, and exposes consumers to unwittingly supporting unethical business practices.

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If you are subject to a WRO or have any questions how a CBP WRO will impact your business, contact David Hsu anytime by phone or text to: 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.