What could Apple do to reduce the tariff impact on September 1st?

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If Trump levies a 10% tariff on over $300 billion of goods on September 1st, all of Apple’s products from China would be impacted. What options does Apple have?

  1. Exclusions – Apple can apply for an exclusion of their goods that are covered by the proposed List 4.
  2. Country of origin – Apple’s major contract manufacturer, Hon Hai has additional production ability in Taiwan, India, Thailand and Vietnam and a shift to one of those countries may be possible. Samsung makes their Galaxy phones in Vietnam.
  3. Apple can ask their suppliers for price reductions to make up for the additional 10% duties.

Like Apple, other these options are also available to any company that manufactures in China. If you want to know what your company can do to lessen the impact of the potential duties, or want to know other ways to save money on duties – contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Trump: Apple goods from China will be subject to duties.

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According to the AFP, earlier today, President Donald Trump warned he would deny Apple’s “exclusion request” for tariff exemptions on device components imported from China.

Specifically, President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter:

“Apple will not be given Tariff wavers, or relief, for Mac Pro parts that are made in China. Make them in the USA, no Tariffs!”

Trump’s message on Twitter is in response to Apple’s filing of an “exclusion request” with the U.S. trade representative. Apple claims that some parts of the Mac Pro desktop being sold at $6,000 can only be sourced in China and therefore not be subject to 301 duties.

If your imported goods from China are subject to the current “List 3” duties and you would like to file an exemption, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com or by phone/text at: 832-896-6288.

Apple shifts Mac Pro production to China, then asks to not pay tariffs on imported Mac Pros.

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The Mac Pro was the last Apple product manufactured in the US, and last June, Apple announced they would shift Mac Pro production to China.

On July 18th, Apple filed “exclusion requests” with the US Trade Representative to exclude certain items from the 25% 301 duties on goods imported from China.

The parts include a CPU, heat sink, power supplies, USB charging cables, circuit boards, graphics processing modules, computer enclosure, the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad.

To view Apple’s exclusion requests, go here: https://exclusions.ustr.gov/s/PublicDocket and search by “Organization Name” for “Apple”.

If you want to file an exclusion request, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Hong Kong Customs seizes fake Apple and Samsung parts at a repair facility.

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According to a South China Morning Post article, Hong Kong Customs officials investigated and ultimately raided a cell phone repair shop after receiving complaints from a trademark holder (not specified whether Apple or Samsung complained).

The article claimed the repair shop refurbished devices for clients in the US, UK and Australia that sent second-hand phones for repair at 1/3 the typical rate of an authorized repair facility. The repairs typically included replacing the screen or housing.

HK Customs officials claimed the repair shop used counterfeit parts to repair damaged iPhones, and seized over $120,000 worth of fake goods.

Based on the article, I’m pretty sure Apple complained about the IP violations since most Samsung phones do not have the housing replaced when being refurbished. While not listed in the article, the IP violations probably were for the wordmark “iPhone” or the trademark Apple logo found on the back housing. The iPhone replacement glass do not have any IP marks, so the seized goods were most likely the housings.

If you have any cell phone seizures, contact experienced cell phone seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Chinese companies retaliate against Apple following Huawei CFO’s arrest.

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Following Canada’s arrest of Huawei’s Global CFO on December 1st, several companies in China have announced new policies to encourage (and even require) the use of Huawei products instead of America’s Apple iPhone.

According to the Yahoo article – several companies in China now offer subsidies for employees exchanging iPhone handsets for Huawei and even placing a penalty on employees who purchase an iPhone for themselves. Several other companies take the boycott even further and are discouraging their employees from buying American made products such as cars.

The backlash against Apple may be due to Huawei’s position as the number 2 smartphone manufacturer in the world behind Samsung. Unfortunately for Apple, this recent backlash will only hurt their already low sales numbers in China (Huawei holds the largest share of the Chinese market for smartphones).

Qualcomm asks Judge to block iPhone imports – Judge says no because of “public interest factors”.

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Qualcomm appeared in front of the US International Trade Commission Judge on Friday to request a ban on the importation of Apple iPhones due to Apple phones infringing Qualcomm’s patent related to power management technology. Apple’s position is that Qualcomm is requesting royalties for technology unrelated to Qualcomm.

The administrative law judge, Thomas Pender, found Apple did infringe on one patent, but denied the request for a ban citing “public interest factors”.

From my experience, CBP will readily and gladly detain and/or seize any import that infringes upon any intellectual property or trademark registered by the holder. We all know the reason why the Judge said he would not ban the importations of iPhones – he does not want to be known as “that guy” that banned importation of some iPhones to the US – especially due to the release of the new iPhone max and other variations.

Unfortunately, this decision highlights the rules being selectively applied to some and not to others.

If your imports have been detained or seized by Customs, contact experienced trade attorney, David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Colorado woman fined $500 by Customs for not declaring an apple.

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As has widely been reported, Colorado resident Crystal Tadlock was catching a connecting flight in Minnesota back to Colorado from a trip to France when CBP in Minnesota stopped her and fined her for not declaring an apple. At the time, CBP indicated they would fine her $500 for failure to declare the apple. Crystal claims she packed the apple (served as part of the in-flight meal service) in her carry-on and forgot about it until she was clearing Customs.

Customs has discretion to fine up to a $1,000 penalty for first time offenses of bringing in prohibited agricultural products and Crystal will likely receive a notice in her mail in about 30 days. Not sure if Crystal is a frequent traveler, however the other consequence of this seizure will be the loss of Global Entry Status.

If you or someone you know has had a Customs seizure and you have received a penalty notice from Customs – call experienced Customs attorney David Hsu for immediate help – 832.896.6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Importing Refurbished Cell Phones and Customs Seizures.

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Today’s blog post is in response to our firm seeing an increase in the number of importers having their Samsung or Apple phones seized by Customs.

Typically, our client is a company in the United States that purchases used Apple iPhones or Samsung Galaxy phones from the US. The used phones vary anywhere from A to C stock and may have broken screens, defective home buttons, scratched, dented or damaged housing or cracked camera lens. Some phones are store demos with burn-in on the screens, customer returns or old, new stock. The phones are packaged and then sent to China for repair and refurbishing. The fixed phones are then sent back to the US for sale through wholesalers and distributors.

However, as the phones are shipped back to the company in the US, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detains shipments to review whether or not the cell phones violate any intellectual property rights (IPR).

CBP will first detain the phones and has 30-days to speak to the trademark or IPR holder to determine the authenticity of the trademark or IPR. The trademark could be the “Samsung” logo, the “Apple” logo or even the “iPhone” trademark printed in text on the back of the phones. More often than not, the shipped phones change from being “detained” to being “seized”.

The majority of the seizures are due to trademarks found on the rear housing of the phones. As most importers cannot provide authorization by the trademark or IPR holder the right to use the mark, CBP considers the importer phones to be counterfeit and are then subsequently seized.

If you have had your refurbished iPhone or Samsung phone seized by Customs, call experienced cell phone seizure attorney David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com. There are certain time limitations after a seizure has occurred so contact David Hsu today.