Man pleads guilty in multi-million dollar counterfeit cellphone scheme.

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According to CBS 2 news in Boise, Idaho – a man in Boise pleased guilty to trafficking in counterfeit cellphones and accessories. Artur Pupko, age 28, pleaded guilty to selling counterfeit cellphones and cellphone accessories on Amazon and eBay.
According to court documents, Pupko would buy bulk products from China, then repackage the products and claiming them as new and genuine. Pupko may face up to 10 years in prison and a $5 million dollar fine. Sentencing will occur on December 17, 2019.
If you have had your goods seized by Customs and are facing criminal or civil penalties, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by text/call at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Huawei 5G technology coming to the US?

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As Huawei is on the US Commerce Department’s Entity List, Huawei is prevented from doing business with US companies without permission (ie without a license from BIS).
However, media outlets report that Huawei is discussing licensing of their 5G technology to unnamed American companies who have shown interest in long term and one-time transfers. Even a license to an American company may be a violation even if no goods exchange hands.
The Huawei inclusion on the entity list is part of an effort to prevent suspected Chinese government surveillance onto their communications equipment.
If you or your company is interested in doing any business with Huawei – contact experienced BIS/trade compliance attorney David Hsu by text/phone at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Huawei admits they are impacted by US blacklist.

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According to a recent Forbes article, Huawei has confirmed the U.S. blacklist in place since May is impacting their ability to offer Google software onto their mobile phones. The Forbes article also says Huawei has not finished their in house operating system.
The black list that took effect in May restricts Huawei from access to the US supply chain for software and hardware. While Huawei has been able to source non US goods for the hardware, they have not been able to replace Google’s Android software.
While our blog earlier indicated Huawei would be launching their own in-house operating system, it is not yet ready for smart phones. Huawei has launched their Harmony OS, but that software is limited to smart TVs.
While not mentioned in the article, without Google’s Play Store, Huawei users will likely have to download APK files from online if they want to install their aps onto a new Huawei phone.
Things for Huawei will also get worse next month – this November marks the expiration of a temporary exemption on certain suppliers.
If you  have any questions how your company may be impacted by the trade restrictions with Huawei, contact experienced export compliance attorney David Hsu by text/phone at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Florida Tomato Exchange asks Commerce Department to reopen antidumping investigation

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On Monday, the Florida Tomato Exchange requested for continuation of the antidumping investigation of fresh tomatoes from Mexico. This is surprising as the investigation was suspended on September 19, 2019, when a new suspension agreement between the Department of Commerce and Mexican growers and exporters went into effect.
The reason for the reopening of the investigation is that the Mexican tomato industry doesn’t agree with the agreement, even though they voluntarily signed the agreement last month.
While the investigation may be reopened, the suspension agreement is not automatically terminated. Once the new investigation is completed, Commerce and the International Trade Commission is tasked to determine whether or not Mexican tomatoes were dumped into the US and whether it caused injury to the US tomato industry. If there is a finding of injury, then the agreement will stay in place – if there is no finding, the agreement will be terminated.
If there is an affirmative finding, the Mexican growers have the option to withdrawal from the agreement, triggering another 90-day time frame to renegotiate before antidumping duties are imposed.
If you have any questions about this or any other antidumping and countervailing duty action, contact trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Taiwan seeks entry into CPTPP

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Credit: Tony Tan

As reported by the Central News Agency in Taiwan – Taiwan’s President, Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said she hopes Japan will support Taiwan’s admission into the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Since the US’s withdrawal, Japan has led the trade initiative and President Tsai hopes the strengthening ties between the two nations will help Taiwan enter the CPTPP.
Part of this recent push could be related to the recent loss of two of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies – Pacific island nations of Kiribati and the Soloman Islands. The loss of these two allies is the result of a pressure campaign by China and reduces Taiwan’s diplomatic allies from 17 to 15.

CBP intercepts destructive long-horned beetles.

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Spondylindinae (Cerambycidae) larvae, source: CBP.gov

According to a CBP media release, CBP Officers in Baltimore intercepted the long-horned beetle larvae species known as Spondylidinae (Cerambycidae). According to Customs, the Long-horned beetle larvae are voracious wood borers that can cause extensive damage to living trees or untreated lumber.
After discovering the larvae, CBP issued an EAN (Emergency Action Notification) requiring the importer to re-export the shipment. Additionally from our experience, CBP will also issue a civil penalty for non-compliant wood packaging material.
This seizure in Baltimore is just a typical day for CBP, where CBP agriculture specialists across the nation seize approximately 4,552 prohibited plant, meat, animal byproduct, and soil, and intercepted 319 insect pests at U.S. ports of entry per day.
If you have had a wood packaging material penalty notice, or have received an Emergency Action Notification, contact experienced customs attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by  email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP seizes prohibited fertilizer from Mexico.

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Bottle of seized fertilizer, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Baltimore along with agriculture specialists detained two travelers from California carrying a bottle of what was declared as “organic liquid fertilizer” containing soil, compost, ashes and cattle manure.
As soil may contain invasive pests and other items such as weed seeds and fungal and bacterial diseases, US agriculture specialists tested the fertilizer. Since cattle manure poses an agriculture threat for cattle diseases, it is not allowed entry into the US unless an import permit and certificate the manure was properly treated.
If you have had a customs or CBP seizure and want your items back, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Huawei claims they are victims of 1 million cyber attacks daily.

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According to a Forbes.com article, the Huawei security chief, John Suffolk claims Huawei is cyber attacked almost 1 million times per day on the Huawei networks and computers. According to their security chief, most of the attacks are looking for intellectual property theft as Huawei leads the world in 5G technology. In response to these attacks, Huawei has pledged to work with their customers to secure their defenses from further cyber attacks.
On the other hand, the US government has alleged that Huawei receives Chinese state support and as such is subject to assisting Beijing with intelligence gathering overseas through backdoors in their hardware.
The US is not alone in its suspicion, the Forbes article also cites a EU report warning of the “combination of new technologies and 5G networks risks hostile state control of critical infrastructure, logistics, transportation even law enforcement”. The EU report did not cite China or Huawei but the article did indicate that 5G suppliers from countries “with poor democratic standards,” for which the reference to Huawei and China was clear.
If you do business with Huawei and have questions about maintaining Huawei compliance, contact export compliance attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Phase 1 of the China trade deal explained.

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Earlier this week, US and Chinese representatives met for the 13th time in ongoing negotiations to reach a trade deal. On Friday, President Trump outlined what has been referred to as “Phase 1”:
1. Suspension of tariff hike set for October 15th that would have increased tariffs from 25% to 30% on $250 billion in Chinese goods.
2. Some intellectual property protections on copyrights, trademarks and piracy (no movement on technology transfers, data flows, cyber security, product standard reviews or the new social credit system.
3. China’s commitment to purchase $50 billion in US agricultural products
The announcement is short on details and more information should be available in 5 weeks and details will be posted as soon as they are available.
If you have any questions how these duties will impact your business, or for any questions on trade with China, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Customs seizes more than $400k in fake luxury watches.

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Counterfeit watches, source: CBP.gov

According to a  U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, officers in Philadelphia seized 38 designer brand watches that, if authentic, would have had a manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of $412,750. Instead, they’re headed to destruction.
The shipment from Hong Kong was labeled as containing “Lithium Ion Batteries in CO”, upon further inspection, CBP found counterfeit watches bearing the Rolex, Invicta, Rado and Hublot luxury brand names. CBP also enlisted the efforts of the Consumer Products and Mass Merchandise Centers for Excellence and Expertise (CEE) for verification with the trade mark holders.
If you have had your shipment seized for suspicion of being counterfeit, contact experienced customs seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, or dj@gjatradelaw.com.