FinCEN Form 105 FAQ

Currency Seizure

We get a lot of inquiries from travelers who were requested by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to complete and sign the FinCEN Form 105, so we thought it would be helpful to post a short Frequently Asked Questions page about Form 105. Please note the information can change at anytime so it’s best to always check the official Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website.

What is FinCEN Form 105?
FinCEN Form 105 is a form you must complete to report that you are carrying more than $10,000 in currency while entering or leaving the US.

What is considered currency?
The FINCEN definition of currency: The coin and paper money of the United States or any other country that is (1) designated as legal tender and that (2) circulates and (3) is customarily accepted as a medium of exchange in the country of issuance.

Do I only report coin and paper money?
CBP says all travelers are required to report “negotiable monetary instruments” which includes currency or endorsed checks valued more than $10,000.

What are “negotiable instruments”?
-Coin or currency from US or other countries;
-Gold coins (excludes gold bullion);
-Travelers checks;
-Checks;
-Promissory notes;
-Money orders;
-Checks or money orders made out to someone else;
-Checks or money orders endorsed without restriction (for deposit only);
-Incomplete checks that are signed even if the “To” line is blank
-Securities or stocks in bearer form

What if I fail to declare currency in amounts more than $10,000?
Customs will seize the currency. The seizure process at the airport takes time and you will be delayed and/or miss a connecting flight.

I’m a foreign visitor to the US, do I still have to fill out a FinCEN Form 105?
Yes, anyone entering or leaving the US is required to report their currency.

What if I have a layover in the US on my way to another country, do I still have to fill out a FinCEN Form 105?
Yes, a layover in-transit to a foreign country at a US airport is still considered entering the US.

If I report the currency, is there a duty on the amount I report?
No, CBP does not collect duty on any currency.

What does the form look like?
The most recent version of Form 105 (July 2017) can be found here:
https://www.fincen.gov/sites/default/files/shared/fin105_cmir.pdf

Is the form available in other languages?
Unfortunately the form is only available in English. If you need the FinCEN form translated in Chinese, I can help out.

My currency was seized, what should I do?
Contact me soon as there are time requirements on getting your seized currency returned to you.

I have more questions, can I contact you?
Feel free to email me at dhsu@givensjohnston.com or 832.896.6288.

 

Import Advisory – citrus fruits cannot be brought into the US from Canada.

Citrus Fruits

CBP issued a media release yesterday reminding travelers that mandarin oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and pomelo are banned from non-commercial import into the US.

During the holiday season, CBP notices an uptick of travelers bringing in ‘Christmas Oranges” (mandarin oranges). The main reason for banning the importation of citrus fruits is because the fruits may be infected with highly contagious diseases such as citrus canker, sweet orange scab, and citrus black spot. These diseases can easily be transferred through coming into contact with infected fruit or by people carrying the infection on their hands, clothing or equipment.

Fortunately these diseases are not harmful to humans, but they do result in production declines, leading to loss of income for growers and costly quarantines.

Also, don’t forget to declare all fruits, vegetables, plants, meats, processed animal products (soup mixes and pet food), pets, wood products (including firewood) to CBP at your port of entry. Failure to declare could result in fines of up to $1,000.00.

Travel safe everyone.

Givens & Johnston Secures Favorable Scope Ruling Regarding Pipe Spools.

Pipe Spools

Givens & Johnston PLLC recently secured a scope ruling excluding certain pipe spools manufactured in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from Chinese anti-dumping duties (ADD) and countervailing duties (CVD). The exclusion covers pipe spools fabricated from non-Chinese originating pipe and pipe fittings (e.g. Japanese, Korean, U.S., etc.). In 2016, the ITA and Customs determined that all pipe spools fabricated in PRC were within the scope of the ADD & CVD orders applicable to Chinese pipe and pipe fittings as part of the ITA’s Westlake scope ruling decision.

In the Westlake case, the ITA declined to apply a substantial transformation analysis to the fabrication of pipe spools. Instead, the ITA used a mixed media analysis that looked at the components individually rather than as part of a whole. In Westlake, the ITA held that the pipe and pipe fittings fabricated into a pipe spool continue to have the same characteristics of pipe, so the ITA continued to treat them as pipe for ADD & CVD purposes. More recently, the ITA used the same method of analysis, except determined that because the non-Chinese origin pipe spool components were not subject to Chinese ADD & CVD, the fabrication into pipe spools did not change this result.

The full text of the scope ruling can be found here.

This ruling is crucial to companies who fabricate goods in the PRC from non-Chinese originating components and to any importers interested in importing pipe spools that are not subject to Chinese ADD & CVD. If you have any questions regarding how this ruling may affect you or your business, please give Givens & Johnston a call:

950 Echo Lane, Suite 360
Houston, Texas 77024
Phone: (713) 932-1540
Fax: (713) 932-1542

Current Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Developments since the US Withdrawal.

TPP

The 2017 APEC Summit was held in Da Nang this year from November 6th – 11th.

At this meeting, 11 countries in the Pacific Rim decided to continue plans for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after the US withdrawal.

The former agreement known as TPP was renamed the “Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership” or (CPTPP). The primary reason for the change was the old TPP agreement required ratification within two years by economies that consitute 85% of the total GDP of the 12 members. The US withdrawal from TPP leaves Japan unable to constitute 85% of the total GDP (the US constituted 60% of the former TPP bloc’s combined GDP). The 11 remaining countries – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam – agreed to revise the 85% total GDP ratification clause.

Since the US withdrawal, there have been four rounds of negotiations and the details of the CPTPP are yet to be released. However, based on the Government of Canada Ministerial Statement on CPTPP, the CPTPP appears to replicate the original TPP.

The 11 current members still are committed to key trade industries as textiles, removing barriers to trade, addressing competition, state-owned enterprises and labor and dispute settlements.

The main difference with the new CPTPP agreement versus the old TPP are the removal of approximately 20 provisions requested by the US. Some provisions requested by the US included a copyright protection rule of 70 years. Under the new CPTPP, the copyright protection has been reduced to 50 years. Other differences concern competition rules for state-owned enterprises and change in time required for trade unions to be subject to dispute settlement measures.

As of today, the revised CPTPP agreement has been agreed to in principle at the summit but remains to be ratified.

US Department of Commerce Self-Initiates ADD/CVD Investigation on Alloy Aluminum Sheet from China.

Aluminum Antidumping

According to a press release issued by the US Department of Commerce on November 28, 2017; the Commerce Department has self-initiated an ADD/CVD investigation of imports of alloy aluminum sheet from China. This action is noteworthy as most ADD/CVD investigations are brought forward by US manufacturers – with the last self-initiated ADD investigation occurring in 1985 on semiconductors from Japan.

The merchandise subject to investigation is common alloy aluminum sheet that is flat-rolled having a thickness of 6.3 mm or less but greater than 0.2 mm, in coils or cut-to-length, regardless of width. Alloy aluminum sheet is usually used in business, construction, transportation, appliances etc.

While the initiation of the case is unique, the investigation itself will follow any other trade remedy investigation. Look for a preliminary decision on or before January 16, 2018.

January 2018 may see potential tariffs on all solar panel imports to the US.

Solar Panels

President Trump campaigned with a tough on trade message and it appears January 2018 may be the first of many actions taken by the current administration.

The potential tariffs involve the importation of solar panels from around the world. Currenly, manufacturers in China account for almost two-thirds of all solar panel production worldwide and in the last 10 years, China’s manufacturers have lowered the global prices of solar panels by 90 percent. While Chinese manufacturers argue the lower solar panel prices benefit the environment, American producers successfully argued for the US to impose tariffs for Chinese solar panels “dumped” into the United States.

These tariffs have resulted in Chinese manufacturers shifting the manufacturing of solar panels to Southeast Asia to avoid paying anti-dumping duties to the US. In response, American producers have now asked the Department of Commerce to implement tariffs on all solar panel imports to the US regardless of country of origin. With a fast approaching deadline of January 26th, we will see whether the Trump administration upholds their tough on trade message.