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
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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.

Busiest container transhipment port – Singapore.

marina bay sands singapore
Photo by Kin Pastor on Pexels.com

According to the numbers released by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore in mid-January, Singapore’s port handled a total of 37.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units – an increase of 1.6% from 2020.

In 2021, Singapore handled 599 million tons of freight, more than 2020 but less than pre-COVID times.

The four next-busiest ports are all located in China: Shanghai, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Shenzhen and Guangzhou Harbor.

Counterfeit ED medication seized.

Counterfeit Viagra pills, source: CBP.gov

Since the start of 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have seized 21 shipments of improperly imported erectile dysfunction medicine such Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra through the Port of Cincinnati. For the month of January, Officers seized approximately 32,556 pills of the prescription drugs in shipments of vitamins, supplements, watches, and other medications. In addition to being in pill form, seized shipments also contained over 1,000 packets of various jellies and honey containing sildenafil – the active ingredient in Viagra.

CBP seized the goods even though they were sold as “dietary supplements”. Additionally, only 3 percent of pharmacies overseas reviewed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy are in compliance with U.S. pharmacy laws and practice standards – highlighting the risk of purchasing drugs online.

CBP recommends people think with their mind and not their wallet when purchasing prescription medications overseas because many are made in facilities that do not meet good manufacturing practices. Also, CBP says there are few measures in place to ensure the goods are manufactured correctly and may be potentially dangerous when consumed.

If you want to import medication from overseas, contact our office before you begin shipments. Contact David Hsu by phone/text at all times to: 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Over $2 MM in counterfeit goods seized

Image of seized goods, source: CBP.gov

In early February, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers In Chicago seized a shipment from Israel containing over $713,000 worth of counterfeit bracelets, rings, and necklaces from famous designer brands such as Cartier, LV and Versace.

Besides the shipment from Israel, Chicago’s CBP officers seized at lease one shipment a day containing counterfeit goods – bringing the January 2022 counterfeit seizure total of 29 shipments valued over $2.88 million, if authentic.

Besides bracelets, rings and necklaces, CBP officers seized counterfeit shoes, wallets, designer goods, and handbags. Shipments of counterfeit goods also arrived from other places such as China, Hong Kong, Russia, Thailand and Mexico.

If you have had your shipment seized for suspicion of being counterfeit – contact seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at anytime: 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

China’s WTO victory: China can levy duties on $645 million in US imports.

cargo ship near port
Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels.com

This week, an arbitrator with the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Appellate Body in Geneva ruled in favor of China – permitting China to levy duties on approximately $645 million worth of US imports each year.

While this action may appear in response to the Trump-era 301 duties, this past week’s decision has its beginnings during the Obama administration – when in 2012 the WTO established a panel to address Chinese complaints about unfair duties imposed by the United States on products such as paper, tires and solar panels. At that time, the U.S. argued the duties were necessary to counteract the alleged “dumping” of Chinese-made goods in the US market. 2 years later, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body sided with China when they permitted China to place tariffs on $2.4 billion in US goods.

WTO siding with China is nothing new, in 2019, another WTO arbitrator allowed China to levy duties on $3.6 billion worth of US imports.

Since China’s entry into the WTO, the US government has complained about the US’ unfair treatment in the WTO dispute settlement system. It was former President Donald Trump who stopped the WTO Appellate Body from hearing cases when the Trump administration blocked appointment of new Judges. Ironically, after the Biden administration took office, new Judges were appointed and cases were heard – leading to this current win for China.

“Pop” Toys Seized by CBP

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers in New Orleans seized a shipment of popular fidget toys that “pop”. You may not know the name but you have probably seen school kids talk about “pop-its”. Pop-it’s are a new-ish fad replacing the fidget spinners from a few years back. Most pop-its are in various bright colors and shapes varying in “2×2” configuration with a keychain or up to “20×20” and larger.

The pop-it’s mimic the bubble wrap used to protect items in transit – but unlike bubble wrap – can be reused by turning over the pop-it.

While most pop-its are in basic geometric shapes, some manufacturers overseas (China), are importing pop-its in the shape and or image of counterfeit trademark items such as Star Wars characters, Marvel characters, clothing brands and even Simpsons characters (see sample images below from Customs of the counterfeit goods):

Counterfeit “Bart Simpson” pop-it; source: CBP.gov
“Yoda” pop-it; source: CBP.gov

The above images were seized by CBP in New Orleans and were discovered in a large shipment from Shenzhen, China. As expected, CBP seized the goods due to their counterfeit nature.

If you have had your goods seized by CBP for suspicion of being counterfeit – contact customs seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at anytime: 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.