CAATSA enforcement blocks imports made from forced labor – are you at risk?

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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.

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.

“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.

$800,000 in Counterfeit AirPods Seized.

Image of counterfeit “AirPods”, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the International Falls Port examined a rail container arriving in Minnesota. Upon further inspection, CBP officers found counterfeit Apple AirPods. CBP seized about 5,088 pairs of AirPods and 384 AirPod chargers with an MSRP of $813,216, if the goods were authentic.

If you have had a detention or seizure of alleged counterfeit Apple AirPods or other products, contact seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

1,000 counterfeit solar panels from China seized.

Image of seized solar panels, source: CBP.gov

In late September, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials in Baltimore seized 1,000 solar panels from China destined to Denver. The 365-watt crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules from China were seized because the ELT markings were applied with the ETL trademark owner’s authorization. The Intertek ETL mark is only allowed on authorized goods that meet Intertek’s standards for compliance with North American performance and safety standards.

The seized panels were appraised at $275,000, if authentic. If you have had your shipment detained or seized due to not having the appropriate mark or alleged unauthorized use of a mark even though you have authorization – contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com for immediate assistance to explore your options.

CBP issues Withhold Release Order on Malaysian glove producers

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Please see below for the text of CBP’s WRO for disposable gloves produced by Malaysian company – Smart Glove

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Release Date: November 4, 2021

Agency will detain imports of disposable gloves produced using forced labor

WASHINGTON — Effective November 4, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at all U.S. ports of entry will detain disposable gloves produced in Malaysia by a group of companies collectively known as Smart Glove. This group of companies includes Smart Glove Corporation Sdn Bhd, GX Corporation Sdn Bhd, GX3 Specialty Plant, Sigma Glove Industries, and Platinum Glove Industries Sdn Bhd.

“In the past two years, CBP has set an international standard for ensuring that goods made with forced labor do not enter the U.S. commerce,” said Troy Miller, CBP Acting Commissioner. “Manufacturers, like Smart Glove, who fail to abide by our laws will face consequences as we root out this inhumane practice from the U.S. supply chain.” 

CBP issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) against disposable gloves produced by Smart Glove based on information that reasonably indicates that Smart Glove production facilities utilize forced labor. CBP identified seven of the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) indicators of forced labor during its investigation.

Federal statute 19 U.S.C. 1307 prohibits the importation of merchandise produced, wholly or in part, by convict labor, forced labor, and/or indentured labor, including forced or indentured child labor. CBP detains shipments of goods suspected of being imported in violation of this statute. Importers of detained shipments have the opportunity to export their shipments or demonstrate that the merchandise was not produced with forced labor.

“There is no place for forced labor in today’s world, particularly in U.S. supply chains”, said CBP Office of Trade Executive Assistant Commissioner AnnMarie R. Highsmith. “It undermines not only the U.S. economy but our commitment to upholding human rights throughout the world.”

This is the third WRO CBP has issued in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022.  In FY 2021, CBP issued seven WROs and two Findings. The ILO estimates that 25 million workers suffer under conditions of forced labor worldwide. Foreign companies exploit forced labor to sell goods below market value. This exposes vulnerable populations to inhumane working conditions like physical and sexual violence, isolation, restriction of movement, withholding of wages, excessive overtime, and more. It also hurts law-abiding businesses, threatens American jobs, and exposes consumers to unwittingly supporting unethical business practices. 

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If you have any questions about this WRO, or if you are subject to a WRO and want to explore your options – contact David Hsu by phone/text at anytime: 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

CBP Issues Withhold Release Order on Supermax Corporation Bhd. and its Subsidiaries.

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See below for the text of the actual CBP media release:

WASHINGTON —Effective Oct. 21, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at all U.S. ports of entry will detain disposable gloves produced by Supermax Corporation Bhd.’s wholly-owned subsidiaries, Maxter Glove Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd., Maxwell Glove Manufacturing Bhd., and Supermax Glove Manufacturing.

“With this Withhold Release Order, the Biden-Harris Administration continues to make clear that products made in whole or in part by forced labor will not be allowed into the United States,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “DHS will continue to set an international standard for the elimination of the deplorable practice of forced labor. We will remove it from American supply chains.”

CBP issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) against Supermax Corporation Bhd. and its subsidiaries based on information that reasonably indicates their use of forced labor in manufacturing operations. CBP identified 10 of the International Labour Organization’s indicators of forced labor during its investigation.

“This Withhold Release Order will help protect vulnerable workers,” said Troy Miller, CBP Acting Commissioner. “CBP is a global leader in forced labor enforcement, and we will continue to exclude products made by modern slavery from entering into the United States.”

Federal statute 19 U.S.C. 1307 prohibits the importation of merchandise produced, wholly or in part, by convict labor, forced labor, and/or indentured labor, including forced or indentured child labor. CBP detains shipments of goods suspected of being imported in violation of this statute. Importers of detained shipments have the opportunity to export their shipments or demonstrate that the merchandise was not produced with forced labor.

“With 10 of the 11 forced labor indicators identified during the course of our investigation, CBP has ample evidence to conclude that Supermax Corporation Bhd. and its subsidiaries produce gloves in violation of U.S. trade law,” said CBP Office of Trade Executive Assistant Commissioner AnnMarie R. Highsmith. “Until Supermax and its subsidiaries can prove their manufacturing processes are free of forced labor, their goods are not welcome here.”

In Fiscal Year 2021, CBP issued seven WROs and two forced labor findings. The International Labour Organization estimates that 25 million workers suffer under conditions of forced labor worldwide. Foreign companies exploit forced labor to sell goods below market value. This exposes vulnerable populations to inhumane working conditions like physical and sexual violence, isolation, restriction of movement, withholding of wages, excessive overtime, and more. It also hurts law-abiding businesses, threatens American jobs, and exposes consumers to unwittingly supporting unethical business practices.

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If you are subject to a WRO or have any questions how a CBP WRO will impact your business, contact David Hsu anytime by phone or text to: 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

$26 Million in Counterfeit Watches Seized

Image of counterfeit seized watches, source: CBP.gov

Back in mid-September, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Kentucky seized 2,168 counterfeit designer watches with a MSRP of $57.84 million.

The shipment from Hong Kong and Turkey were destined for addresses in Florida and Michigan before they were inspected, detained and seized (1/4 of all counterfeit goods seized in the US originate from Hong Kong) The seizure included 21 counterfeit “Richard Mille” watches that would have been worth $25.56 million MSRP if authentic. The $25.26 million seized is only a fraction of the average $650 million of counterfeit watches and jewelry seized per year by CBP.

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