Custom seizes counterfeit baseball jerseys.

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According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), officers seized 314 counterfeit jerseys for Phliadelphia Phillies player, Bryce Harper. If authentic, the estimated value of the counterfeit totals over $44,040.

CBP’s media release further states the harm to the wearer (potential use of flammable textiles) and the economic harm to the US (trademark holders lose revenue, loss of revenue for American workers) and the funding of black market activities such as human trafficking.

If you have had a CBP seizure for the suspicion of counterfeit items, contact experienced customs seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

$270,000 worth of counterfeit luxury hats seized by Customs.

Images of the seized hats. Source: CBP media release website.

According to a Customs media release, Dulles Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized 450 counterfeit hats worth about $207,000 if they were the genuine articles. The hats were seized as they arrived from Washington Dulles International airport destined for US addresses.

The shipment of hats contained brands such as Gucci, Chanel, LV, Supreme, Adidas and Louis Vuitton.

If you have had a seizure of goods suspected of being counterfeit, contact experienced customs seizure attorney David Hsu at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, or text/call 832.896.6288.

CBP seizes $170k in smuggled cash.

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Image of seized cash in bundles, hidden in tailgate. Source: CBP media relations website.

Earlier this month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported a seizure of $170,000 dollars in money hidden in the tailgate of a pick-up truck.

According to the media release, the currency was wrapped in black tape and hidden within the tailgate of the truck.

CBP seized the money and the driver and passenger were placed into custody by Homeland Security Investigation special agents.


I’ve handled countless currency seizures and here are some answers to currency seizure questions you may or may not have:

Can they get the seized money back?
Most likely not – (1) because of the method taken to conceal the money, also, (2) the case was turned over to HSI instead of with CBP. If the case stayed with CBP, then they are dealing with FP&F. If a case is with HSI, then there’s likely no civil seizure petition method.

What do you have to show to get your seized money back?
Short version – you need to show legitimate source and use of funds. Every case is different, call David Hsu to discuss yours – 832.896.6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

CBP seizes caprine (goat) skull from Africa.

caprine skull

Image of seized caprine skull. Source: US CBP

Last week, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Tennessee seized a caprine skull from a shipment originating from the African country of Djibouti.

Shippers from Djibouti described the contents as “gift salt”, however, upon inspection, CBP found a salt-encrusted caprine skull with horns and tissue inside the skull. A goat-antelope is known as a caprine and are usually found in the mountains of Africa, Asia, North America and Europe.

Agriculture inspectors with the USDA seized the item because Djibouti is known to CBP as a country affected by foot and mouth diseases – a disease that was eradicated in the US in 1929.

While importers typically have a means to petition for a release of seized goods – given the nature of this shipment and the hazards posed to US livestock by foot and mouth disease, CBP destroyed the skull using “steam sterilization.”

If you have had any customs seizure or received a letter from the DOT, FDA, USDA, etc regarding seized goods, contact experienced customs seizure attorney David Hsu at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or by phone at 832.896.6288.

Blue Furniture Solutions reach plea deal on lying to avoid paying tariffs.

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Jeff Zeng, President of Blue Furniture Solutions in Miramar, Florida signed a plea agreement in March admitting his participation in a plan to avoid payment of tariffs.

As you are aware – furniture from China, especially wooden bedroom furniture is subject to antidumping and countervailing duties. Most importers attempt to avoid the duties by shipping the goods from China to Vietnam/Malaysia/Indonesia and relabeling the boxes as any other country but China – a practice known as transshipment.

However, Blue Furniture Solutions and instead tried to get around the duties (as high as 216% percent) by submitting customs forms mislabeling their furniture. Most likely they reported the country of origin as some place other than China.

If you are a furniture importer and are interested in looking at ways to save on duties – there are some ways our firm can help. Email antidumping and countervailing duty attorney David at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or call/text 832.896.6288 for a free, confidential consultation.

US Customs agents ensure pest-free flowers just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Customs VDay

Source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) press release, Customs’ agriculture specialists are working hard to examine the hundreds of millions of cut flower stems arriving into the US in time for Valentine’s Day later this week. CBP will especially exam cut flower stems to look for plant diseases and plant pests before they enter the United States.

While it is okay to bring flowers and floral arrangements into the US, there are some prohibited plant species that will be used in the arrangement and that all agricultural products are declared.

CBP officers at the Laredo filed office processed 11.3 million cut flower stems from January to February 14th and ranks fifth largest office by volume for cut flower importations nationwide.

If you  have received a notice from Customs or have any further questions, call experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

CBP issues detention order against Tunago No. 61.

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According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP issued a withhold release order against tuna and tuna products from the Tunago No. 61. The basis for the withhold order is information obtained by CBP indicating tuna is harvested with the use of forced labor.

The order is effective immediately starting on the date of issuance – February 6, 2019.

What is a detention order?
Detention orders require detention of entry of tuna and any such merchandise manufactured wholly or in part by the Tunago No. 61. Importers of detained shipments are provided an opportunity to export their shipments or demonstrate that the merchandise was not produced with forced labor.

What is the law on forced labor?
19 U.S.C. § 1307 prohibits the importation into the US of goods made, in whole or in part, by forced labor, including convict labor, forced child labor, and indentured labor. If CBP believes forced labor was used, CBP will issue a “withhold release order”. Most of the orders are a result of information presented to CBP that “reasonably indicates” the imported goods were made with forced labor.

If you have received a notice or are being investigated by CBP for use of forced labor, call experienced trade and customs attorney, David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

General Tips for New Importers.

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Importing anything into the US is a trap for the unweary and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP or “Customs”) does not accept “I didn’t know that” as a valid excuse. CBP requires all importers and exporters to be aware of the law before they import or export and as the old saying goes, “ignorance of the law is not an excuse”.

Here are a few tips –
1. You do not need an “import license” to import into the US.
2. You may need a license, certification or permit from other Federal agencies depending on what you want to import.
3. You need an Importer of Record number, typically your IRS business registration number.
4. If you don’t have an IRS business number, you can apply for a number from CBP through Form 5106 (after the shutdown).
5. Consult the Harmonized Tariff Schedule to see how your merchandise will be classified when entering the US.
6. You can get a ruling prior to an importation of merchandise through CBP to ensure proper classifcation and rate of duty.
7. Seek out the assistance of a Customs Broker licensed by CBP. You can find a list of Customs Brokers at your port through the CBP.gov website.

The seven tips above are just the tip of the iceberg of what CBP will require an importer to know. Feel free to give us a call before you begin importing – we’re here to help. Call David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

US ICE seizes million websites in crackdown on

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As reported by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website in late November, ICE agents seized over 1 million copyright-infringing website domain names that sold counterfeit electrical parts, personal care items, automotive parts and other fake and counterfeit goods.

The seizure was part of ICE’s “Operation In Our Sites” and roughly 33,600 website domain names were seized from 26 different countries. The press release indicates that a total of 1.21 million domain names were seized and shut down along with 2.2 million e-commerce links on social media platforms and other third-party marketplaces.

ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) claims counterfeit goods such as counterfeit airbags and sensors pose a potential safety hazard to drivers. In addition to a public safety hazard, counterfeit goods also fund criminal groups and other illegal activities. ICE and HSI are part of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) center established by the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015. The IPR is comprised of 24 member agencies that share information, develop initiatives and conduct investigations.

If you have had your goods seized for alleged intellectual property rights violations, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com for immediate assistance.

Importer Alert – CBP enforcing wood packaging material regulations.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers along with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officers in Houston are strictly enforcing the USDA’s prohibition of non compliant wood packaging material (WPM).

Non compliant materials are typically ordered for immediate exportation along with any associated cargo in the same bill of lading. CBP and USDA officers typically find WPM non compliant if evidence of prohibited live insects is found during inspection. If any invasive species such as a wood boring wasp or other insects and larvae are found during inspection, CBP/USDA will issue an Emergency Action Notice ordering the cargo to typically be exported in 7 days for repackaging and/or fumigation.

A finding of noncompliance will have a detrimental impact on shippers, importers, consignees and the resulting delay in reexportation can cause major problems for time sensitive project cargo.

If you or someone  you know has had a WPM issue with the presence of larvae or living insects or if you  have received an emergency action notice – contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at: attorney.dave@yahoo.com