CBP seize human brain in shipment from Canada Post.

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Photo of the actual brain seized by Customs, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized a human brain at the Area Port of Port Huron during a routine examination of a Canadian mail truck.

The outer packaging labeled the shipment as an “Antique Teaching Specimen” and was opened by CBP. Inside CBP found the human brain in a jar (actual seized item image above), without any appropriate paperwork as required by the Centers for Disease Control.

Shipments containing body parts do need the required approval from the CDC – if you have any questions or need  help applying for this permit, contact experienced import seizure attorney David Hsu by phone at 832-896-6288 or email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Huawei’s latest license extension cut in half by US government, 45 instead of 90 days.

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Photo by Alex Fu on Pexels.com

Since May of 2019, Huawei has been placed on the US entity list and therefore unable to conduct business with US companies. However, the Trump administration did permit companies to do business with Huawei through license extensions.

The most recent 90-day extension was granted in November 2019, allowing companies to do business with Huawei until the expiration of 90 days.

Last week, an 45-day extension was granted. After 45 days, and if no further extensions are granted, then American companies can no longer do business with Huawei.

Contact experienced export compliance attorney David Hsu by phone/text if you have any questions how the current prohibitions against Huawei and ZTE will impact your business. Email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

What is a Customs Form 28 (CF-28)(CBP Form 28) Request for Information?

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Image of the CF-28, source: CBP.gov

If you are an importer, you may have received a Customs Form 29 (CF-29) or CBP Form 28. This form is an official request for information from Customs.

Why did I receive a CBP Form 28?
Upon importation of your goods, if Customs finds incomplete, inaccurate or insufficient information, they will send a CF 28 to your office.

What does Customs ask for?
Customs will ask for different things depending on what you imported. They could ask for more information or ask for a sample, or any additional information related the specific goods you imported.

What are some common reasons to receive a CF-28?
Most common issues relate to HTS code classification, intellectual property rights, antidumping and countervailing duty and more.

Do I need to respond?
Yes, you need to respond honestly to the CF-28 wihtin the time specified on the letter. A response is due 30 days from the date of the request (the Date of Request is located in box #1 at the top left corner of page 1).

What do I do if I receive a CF-28?
1. Make a note of the due date.
2. Try to respond as quickly as possible.
3. Answer all questions, be sure to look at box 14 to see if there are any additional items you are asked to provide.
4. Talk to your Customs broker if you need copies of any documents.
5. Respond to all questions honestly

Feel free to reach out to Customs if you have questions. The CF-28 will contain the name, email and telephone number of the CBP Official in boxes 17-21 at the bottom of the page.

If you have any questions on how to respond to the CF-28, contact experienced Customs attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP Returns artifacts to Cyprus Government

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Image of seized coins being returned to the Cyprus Government; source: CBP.govQ

Back in 2009, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) seized a shipment of ancient coins in a 2009 air cargo shipment from London to a coin collector in Missouri. CBP officers seized the coins and sent a request to the coin collector for documentation to show they could import the goods.

In general, CBP is tasked with returning cultural property (arts, artifacts, antiques, etc) to the country that owns the cultural property. CBP does require importers to have the correct documents to show they have the ability to import the goods in to the US. In the instnat seizure, the collector in Missouri told CBP they did not have authority from Cyprus and the coins were seized. Recently, the coin collector lost their legal battle and the coins were returned to the government of Cyprus in a ceremony at the Cyprus Embassy in Washington D.C.

According to the Customs media release:

An appraisal determined that the collection dated from the Roman Empire, from several periods during 81 BC through 217 AD. The collection includes:

Two bronze coins from an unspecified Roman period
One coin from the Ptolemaeus period, 81 BC -58 BC
One coin from the Augustus period, 27 BC – 14 AD
Two coins from the Tiberius period, 14-37 AD
One coin from the Severan period, 193 AD – 217 AD

If you have had your import seized because they were a “cultural artifact”, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu to evaluate your options. Phone/text 832-896-6288 at anytime or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP intercepts dead birds sold as pet food from traveler from China.

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Image of seized small birds, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized a package of tiny dead birds in the luggage belonging to a traveler from China. The package was labeled as pet food and contained small birds of an unknown species about 2.5 to 3.5 inches in length.

All birds from China cannot be imported due to the threat of pathogens from avian influenza. According to the media release, the birds were seized and destroyed by incineration.

Questions about whether you can import something to the US? Give David Hsu a call/text at 832-896-6288, or email attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

NY-titled vehicles cannot be exported.

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Photo by Ibrahim Boran on Pexels.com

As of February 7, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will no longer allow vehicles titled in New York state for export because CBP and NY’s Department of Motor Vehicles can no longer share information.

New York no longer allows CBP (or any federal agency) to access their DMW records in order to prevent federal agencies from accessing the identity of illegal aliens who have a New York driver’s license.

If you are a vehicle exporter, do not purchase any New York titled vehicles.

Dulles CBP officers seize $32,000 in unreported currency.

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Seized currency from Ghana bound traveler, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)  media release, CBP officers at Washington Dulles International Airport seized $32,000 from a traveler headed to Ghana for violating currency reporting requirements.

While stopped by CBP, the US citizen and resident of Liberia made verbal representations he was in possession of $15,000. Additionally, the media release claims the traveler also declared in writing that he was only carrying $15,000. Not mentioned in the media release – but Customs will ask you to sign the Fincen form. If you are asked to sign this form, be sure to report ALL the currency you are carrying and include all the travelers in your group.

It is important to write the actual amount you have and anyone you are traveling with. Our clients have had their money seized for under reporting by just $8 dollars (yes, not a typo – eight dollars).

After the verbal and written declaration, CBP officers did a baggage examination and found a total of $33,040.

What’s not written in the article is the incredibly invasive nature of the baggage examination – CBP will take you and your luggage to a room and go through everything: unzip everything, check every pocket, check every sock, check every single item of clothing and open anything that can be opened. This will take a long time and you will miss your flight.

In the instant seizure, CBP returned $750 as a “humanitarian release” and allowed the traveler to continue on his way. The humanitarian release is a discretionary amount that does not have to be provided to the traveler and the amount returned can be nothing to several hundred. This humanitarian release of $750 is fairly generous for a single traveler –

If you have had your hard earned cash and currency seized by Customs, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text for immediate assistance – my number is 832-896-6288 or you can email me at my catch-all email: attorney.dave@yahoo.com or official work address: dh@gjatradelaw.com.

If you have received a seizure notice, don’t delay, time is running from the date of the letter and you must take action.

Trump administration focusing on stopping online sale of counterfeit goods.

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Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

According to a report released by the Department of Homeland Security last week, the Trump administration is taking “immediate action” against the sale of counterfeit goods by fining and issuing other penalties to online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon.

Click here for the full report of the “Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods – Report to the President of the United States“.

Other parts of the plan include suspending repeat offenders, issuing civil fines and penalties and investigating and prosecuting intellectual property violations throughout the supply chain. While the goal of the new plan was in the report, details of actual new measures to be taken were not.

The recently issued report is a result of President Trump’s call to action for the Department of Homeland Security to look at slowing the sale of counterfeit goods on third-party websites like eBay and Amazon.

Last year, the US government seized over 28,000 shipments containing counterfeit goods valued at about $1.5 billion dollars.

If you were the importer of record and received a seizure notice for importing goods that were determined to be counterfeit by Customs – contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Customs seizes $32,000 in currency from travelers.

SAT Currency Seizure 2

Image of seized unreported currency, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection media release, CBP officers working at the San Antonio International Airport carried out 2 seizures of currency currency from travelers who under reported the amount of currency they were carrying.

In the first seizure, CBP officers stopped a pair of travelers arriving from Mexico. The travelers individually reported they were carrying less than $10,000, but upon subsequent questioning by CBP, admitted they divided the money amongst each other to get below the $10,000 threshold. This agreement among parties to divide the money amongst themselves is known as “structuring” in the eyes of Customs. The total amount seized from the two travelers totaled $14,807.

Similarly, in the second seizure, 2 Mexican nationals were detained and questioned regarding the amount of currency they were carrying. Both individuals reported carrying below the $10,000 threshold amount, however, they both admitted they divided the currency before boarding the flight. The combined amount of currency totaled $17,200.

In short, the two take aways are to always report how much currency you are carrying and to answer all questions by CBP truthfully.

Other tips to avoid currency seizures:

  1. Always declare any amounts you have.
  2. Always declare any currency (regardless of denomination), monetary instruments such as checks, cashier’s checks, money orders, etc.
  3. If you are traveling in a group, count the group as one.

While not mentioned, I believe the travelers were alerted to CBP by trained dogs and then the travelers were followed on camera prior to the flight.

“Travelers are provided multiple opportunities to mak

If you or someone you know have had their hard earned currency seized by Customs, contact experienced currency seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

15,000 invasive mitten crabs seized since September 2019.

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Image of seized mitten crabs, source: CBP.gov

According to a US Customs and Border Protection media release, Customs agents in Cincinnati have seized 3,700 mitten crabs from China and Hong Kong in the past 4 months.

Over the past 4 months, 3,700 mitten crabs have been found in 51 shipments and were set to be delivered to New York. The shipments were labeled as “tools and various clothing articles”. Nationwide, Customs has seized over 15,000 mitten crabs since September 2019. The mitten crabs are considered a delicacy in Asia.

Here in the US, mitten crabs are an invasive species because they are omnivores and eat anything, impacting the food supply to aquatic plants, fish, algae, other crabs and all living organisms in the water. Mitten crabs are also especially invasive as they are found in fresh water when young and salty water in adult life. Mitten crabs also tend to burrow furthering land erosion and weakening levees and flood control measures.

If you have received a letter from Customs regarding the wrongful importation of invasive species or if you have questions about the exportation of foods that may be subject to Fish and Wildlife regulations, contact experienced Customs and seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.