Fake NBA championship rings worth $560,000 seized by Customs.

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Image of counterfeit NBA rings, source: cbp.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release – officers assigned at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) seized 28 counterfeit NBA rings with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $560,000.

According to the media release, the rings were shipped from China and packaged in a wooden box to be sold as a collection of championship rings from multiple teams – including the Cavaliers, Lakers, Bulls, etc.

When CBP suspects items are counterfeit, they will take photos or send samples to the  Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Center of Excellence (CPMM Center) for a final determination regarding the authenticity of the items. If they are determined to be counterfeit, CBP will seize the goods and issue a seizure notice to the importer of record (in this instance, it is a not a formal entry – so the notice would be shipped to the person receiving the goods).

If you have had your goods seized by CBP, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Counterfeit goods seized at Kentucky World Fest.

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Counterfeit goods seized at 2019 WorldFest. (Source: Louisville Metro Alcoholic Beverages Licences)

According to WDRB, a local station in Louisville, Kentucky – an investigation funded by a 2-year, $25,000 federal grant from the US Department of Justice resulted in the seizure of more than $1 million worth of counterfeit goods from this past weekend’s WorldFest.

The article did not specify the brands that were seized, but did mention the counterfeit items included purses and sunglasses. Two men, 59-year-old Kassoum Thiam and 52-year-old Saidou Djau were cited for selling counterfeit merchandise at five separate booths.

While this was not a customs seizure, I’m pretty sure the next step for investigators is coordinate with CBP to determine how or where the two men received the merchandise.

If you or anyone you know is facing accusations of importing counterfeit merchandise or have had items seized by Customs for suspicion of being counterfeit – contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP finds rare first-in-nation pest in importation of corn.

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A specimen of Cratosomus punctulatus
Gyllenhal
, source: cbp.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Brownsville, Texas intercepted a rare “First in Nation” pest in a shipment of corn.  The interception of the pest occurred at the Los Indios International Bridge import lot in a shipment of fresh corn from Mexico.
When the corn was inspected, CBP officers found the pest and submitted it to a U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist. The initial identification was later confirmed by a national specialist as Cratosomus punctulatus Gyllenhal (Curculionidae) a pest not known to occur in the United States and intercepted for the first time in the nation.
This is a type of snout weevil that are plant feeders and many weeevils are pests of agricultural crops and forests.
If you have had your shipment seized due to pests or other invasive species, there may be some alternatives besides the ones given to you by Customs – contact experienced wood packing material and pest seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP posts their 2018 intellectual property rights seizure statistics.

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Seized Asus and LG Phones. Source: cbp.gov

Earlier this month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection posted their 2018 intellectual property rights statistics. The annual report lists statistics for the products that infringe upon US trademark and copy rights or othersize subject to exclusion orders involving various agencies such as CBP, ICE, and HSI.
Here’s a summary:
1. How much product comes into the US? 11 million containers by sea, 10 million containers by truck, 3 million by rail and 250,000,000 by cargo/postal/express pacakages through the air.
2. 33,810 total seizures (333 less than FY 2017’s 34,143).
3. Total MSRP of seized goods 1.4 billion (1.2 billion in FY 2017).
4. ICE-HSI arrested 381 people, obtained 296 indictments, 260 convictions.
5. CBP’s Integrated Trade Targeting Networking (ITTN) conducted over 120 operations and seized 4,891 shipments of IPR-infringing goods with a total MSRP of $94 million.
6. Investigations by CBP’s Center of Excellence and Expertise totaled 24, with a MSRP of seized goods totaling over $11.5 million.
7. The “Truth Behind Counterfeits” public awareness campaign to educate the public on the negative impacts of counterfeit products included major billboards at airports and online ads on travel websites – it is estimated the campaign generated over 200 million views.
8. In 2018, CBP enforced over 17,641 active trademark and copyright recordations, including 2,289 new recordations and 812 renewals of expiring recordations.
9. There were over 161 million express shipments and 475 million shipped through international mail.
10. Over 90% of all IPR violations occurred among the international mail and express environments.
11. 18% of all seizures were wearing apparel/accessories, footwear came in number 2 at 14%.
12. Counterfeit watches and jewelry was the most seized product, totaling 44% of all seizures with a MSRP almost $618 million.
13. China was the number one trading partner with the most seized goods at 54% of the total number of seized goods.
The full report can be downloaded here:
If you have received a letter from Customs for alleged intellectual property rights violations, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu on his cell at 832-896-6288, or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP incorporates US Virgin Islands into ACE.

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Photo by Mario Cuadros on Pexels.com

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, this week, the CBP has incorporated the U.S. Virgin Islands into the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) in order to expedite the importation process.   This marks the end of a 3-year process known as the ““Paving the way forward: Transforming the V.I. Trade through Technology”.

As you are aware, the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) is the system through which the trade community reports imports and exports and the government determines admissibility. 
CBP officers and representatives were also in the VI to perform training and to introduce the ACE system along with the APHIS Fruits and Vegetables Import Requirements (FAVIR) database.  The FAVIR database allows customers to search fruits and vegetables by commodity and or country.
Besides discussing ACE and FAVIR, CBP also discussed the risk of importing counterfeit medicine and merchandise – with CBP stressing that “medicine can be dangerous and pose a great risk to your health” and that the ” proceeds from the sales of illicit and counterfeit goods can have a negative impact on the economy”.

CBP Officers seize counterfeit items.

Entire IPR Nike & Exclipse

Images of the seized Nike earbuds and watches, source CBP.gov

According to a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, officers at the Champlain Port of Entry seized a shipment of more than 500 counterfeit Nike ear buds and over 200 counterfeit Eclipse watches. The shipment had a Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) value of $22,599.

The ear buds were suspected to be counterfeit due to the poor quality. Further examination confirmed the goods were counterfeit.

While not mentioned in the media release, CBP will send photos or samples to the holder of the intellectual property for verification. Most likely a photo was taken and submitted to Nike along with the details of the shipment. Nike would then confirm the shipment to be counterfeit.

The goods from Canada were seized. Also not mentioned in the media release, CBP will send a seizure notice to the importer of record. If the importer of record does not take any action, the goods will be forfeited and destroyed by Customs at a later date.

If you have had a seizure for intellectual property violations and want to discuss your options, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Houston CBP finds Asian Gypsy Moths and Egg Masses on international vessel.

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Image of egg pods seized in Houston, source: CBP.gov

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), agriculture specialists from Houston found two dead female Asian Gypsy Moths (AGMs) and 20 Asian Gypsy moth egg masses on the superstructure of an international vessel. CBP was notified of this vessel after they received notification from Japanese inspectors of 52 egg masses and 52 live moths before the vessel departed to the US.

The AGM’s are an invasive species that damages hardwood forests and urban landscapes. CBP says the AGM’s can lay 500-1,000 eggs that become hungry caterpillars, resulting in a potential to defoliate a million acres annually.

When vessels are found to contain invasive pests, Customs requires the vessel and shipment to be re-exported, fumigated, then returned to Houston. According to the media release, the vessel had to depart and return “multiple times” before CBP determined it did not contain AGM or their egg masses.

t of Agriculture (USDA) for identification; the agency confirmed Aug. 2 that the pests were in fact AGM. As required by law, the vessel left the port to receive treatment and to provide verification that it was free from AGM and egg masses.

The vessel had to depart and return multiple times before CBP agriculture specialists determined that it was absolutely free from AGM egg masses.

If you or someone you know has a shipment seized by CBP for containing invasive species or eggs from invasive species, contact experienced trade and customs attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

CBP officers seize $663K in unmarked Viagra pills.

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Image of the seized pills, source: cbp.gov

According to a US Customs and Border Protection media release, CBP officers in Mississippi seized a shipment containing 27,000 unmarked Viagra capsules.

The shipment originated from Hong Kong and was estimated to have a MSRP of $663,000. The capsules were seized due to improper marking and only after inspection were the pills discovered to contain the active ingredient in Viagra – Sildenafil citrate. Specifically, the shipment violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, prohibiting the importation of drugs that are adulterated or misbranded.

If you have had a seizure by Customs, call our office immediately, there are certain things you must do within 30 days of any Customs seizure – David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

CBP finds and destroys Asian Gypsy Moth egg masses.

AGM Masses in Vials

Images of AGM egg masses seized in Baltimore, source: cbp.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection media release, agriculture specialists in Baltimore discovered egg masses belonging to the Asian Gypsy Moths (AGM). The AGM are an invasive pest that threaten US forests and urban landscapes.

Customs claims the AGM can travel up to 25 miles per hour and lay egg masses that produce hundreds of hungry caterpillars that eat and attack over 500 species of trees and plants.

Vessels from Asia entering the US are typically subject to greater inspection to detect and remove the egg masses and vessels departing ports are inspected and certified to be free of AGM or egg masses.

If you have any import, export, trade or compliance questions, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP seizes toys without proper labels – won’t somebody think of the children?

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Image of the seized toys. Source: cbp.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers at the Champlain Port of Entry seized a shipment of toys valued at $28,747 due to a lack of a required tracking label and lack of a General Certificate of Conformity as required by the Consumer Product Safety Act.

What is a General Certificate of Conformity (GCC)?

  1. A GCC is required for products made overseas or by a US manufacturer of a domestically produced good.
  2. The certificate reflects the results of a test of each product.
  3. An extensive list of all non-children’s products requiring a test can be found here.
  4. The GCC is accompanied with a shipment and manufacturers/importers must provide GCC to a distributor or retailer.
  5. If a manufacturer or importer sells direct to consumers, then no GCC is necessary.
  6. If you would like a Sample GCC form, please email me.
  7. A GCC does not need to be filed with the Government.
  8. Electronic certificates are okay, with some manufacturers and importers posting their certificates online.
  9. A GCC is required for EACH shipment.
  10. A GCC does not need to be signed.
  11. Failure to provide a GCC could lead to civil and criminal penalties.

If you have any questions or want to be in compliance with the GCC requirements, contact David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.