Over 10,000 assault weapons parts seized by Customs.

Image of seized parts, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized a shipment from China containing over 10,000 assault weapons parts being smuggled into the country. The shipment from Shenzhen, China was to be sent to a home in Florida and valued at approximately $129,600.

According to the media release, the packing list listed the items as “100 Steel Pin Samples”. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regulates and restricts firearms and ammunition and importers of any firearms, ammunition or parts must be a licensed importer, dealer or manufacturer.

If you would like to be a licensed importer with ATF, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

President Trump to sign Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act in response to China’s persecution of Muslim Uyghurs.

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According to CBN News, the Trump administration will sign the “Uyghur Human Rights Policy Acts” this upcoming week – legislation that was passed through both houses of the usually contentious Congress.

The passage of the “Uyghur Human Rights Policy Acts” is the first legislation passed by any nation that has addressed Uyghur’s political, economic, social and religious rights and persecution by China’s communist party. The significance of the new act is the ability to impose Magnitsky sanctions against Chinese officials who have been responsible for persecuting religious and ethnic minorities in China.

The Russia and Moldova Jackson–Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 (Magnitsky Act) authorizes the US government to sanction individuals who perpetrate human rights offenders, freeze their assets, and can ban individuals from entering the US.

Uyghurs are an ethnic minority in China that practice Islam and in recent years (since approximately Spring of 2017), China’s communist regime has been forcing Uyghurs to denounce their religious practices and adopt more non-traditional way of life. According to CBN, more than 3 million Uyghurs are being detained against their will.

New trade war? China advises its citizens to not visit Australia.

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According to the Japan Times website today, China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism advised China’s citizens not to visit Australia due to racial discrimination and violence against Asians due to COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Australia believes Friday’s travel advisory is in retaliation for Australia advocating an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. A claim verified when Chinese Ambassador to Australia – Cheng Jingye told Australian media that the country might face a Chinese boycott of its tourism and exports of wine, beef and other goods if the government pressed for a corona virus inquiry.

This travel advisory is in addition to the 80% tariffs China has placed on the import of Australian barley and a beef ban on Australian beef suppliers due to labeling issues. Australia argues they do not want a trade war and that no evidence supports dumping of Australian barley or errors in beef labeling.

If you have any trade, import, export, or compliance questions – feel free to contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Counterfeit and unapproved COVID-19 products continue to be seized by CBP.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) continues to seize many shipments of counterfeit, unapproved or other COVID-19 products of questionable quality.

At the beginning of June 2020, CBP has seized the following COVID-19 related items:

107,300 FDA-prohibited COVID-19 test kits in 301 incidents;
750,000 counterfeit face masks in 86 incidents;
2,500 EPA-prohibited anti-virus lanyards in 89 incidents; and
11,000 FDA-prohibited chloroquine tablets in 91 incidents.

In addition to the risk of using non-FDA approved drugs, CBP claims the sale of counterfeit COVID-19 goods benefit organized crime.

If you have had your shipment seized by Customs, contact seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at anytime to 832-896-6288 or contact us by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Imported drones seized by Customs for not meeting FAA labeling requirements.

Image of seized drones, source: CBP.gov

Yesterday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offiecers in Detroit seized over 4,600 remote controlled helicopter drones from China (see image of seized drones). The value of the drones is approximately $69,000 even though they were declared at $7,000.

The Customs media release did not specify the deficiencies in the labeling – however, since February 2019, the FCC has required all drones to display a registration number among other requirements.

If you are a toy or hobby importer and import drones and want to ensure your imports are compliant with FAA or Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines, contact import compliance attorney David Hsu by phone/text anytime 24/7 at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

COVID-19 treatment drugs seized by Customs.

Lianhua Qingwen Capsules from China, source: CBP.gov

While coverage of the George Floyd dominates the airwaves, many people are still concerned about COVID-19 as evidenced by the continued importation of COVID-19 treatment drugs from China.

Specifically, earlier this month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Mississippi seized two shipments containing more than 2,000 “Lianhua Qingwen” capsules and “balangen” granules. These two drugs have been touted as treating COVID-19 symptoms.

Customs has seized multiple shipments of these two named drugs and CBP tests reveal the drugs contain sugar and iron. As these drugs do not have FDA approval, they were seized by CBP and will likely be destroyed. The FDA prohibits importation of food, drug, device, tobacco or cosmetic products that are undeclared, misbranded or misnamed. As a rresult, CBP seized the unapproved drugs as they have not been tested and may cause harm or death to US citizens.

Lainhua Qingwen capsules and granules are sold in China and elsewhere in Asia as treating COVID-19 symptoms.

If you have had a Customs seizure, contact David Hsu 24/7 by phone/text to 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Hong Kong could lose special status and trade benefits.

Last year, the US passed a law that requires Hong Kong to retain independence to qualify for the continued favorable trading terms with the US. I mentioned this in my blog post on June 15th, 2019 here.

The bill requires the US Secretary of State to certify each year that Hong Kong remains autonomous from China. If Hong Kong does not pass the certification of independence from China, then Hong Kong would lose trade privileges with the US (goods from Hong Kong will now be subject to duties on goods from China).

Fast forward almost a year later – where in late May China’s central government passed a national security law to apply to Hong Kong (as Hong Kong has not been able to pass such a law since they were handed back to China in 1997). The new security law would ban secession, subversion of state power, terrorism, foreign intervention and allows mainland China’s state security agencies to operate in the city.

After passage of the security law, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress that Hong Kong was no longer independent from China – signaling a potential move towards Hong Kong not passing certification.

If Hong Kong loses it’s special status a big impact would be on tariffs on goods from Hong Kong would now apply. This would impact over $66 billion in trade according to 2018 trade numbers. In 2018, Hong Kong was America’s third-largest market for wine, 4th largest for been and seventh largest for agricultural products.

If you have any questions how your imports or exports to and from Hong Kong may be impacted, contact David Hsu 24/7 by phone/text to 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Customs seizes Chinese medication for treatment of COVID-19.

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Image of seized pills, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the O’Hare International Airport international mail facility seized medication from China. The medication made claims it could treat COVID-19, violating FDA laws and therefore seized by CBP. CBP seized a total of 9,600 capsules of “Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang”. According to various sources online, Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang is a combination of dozens of herbs in capsule form. According to CBP, the shipment contained an estimated value of $28,797.

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

China announces 80% tariffs on Australian barley – the new trade war?

pexels-photo-789555

Photo by Samuel Silitonga on Pexels.com

That escalated quickly! In addition to banning imports of Australian beef, the Chinese government announced on Monday, May 18th, 2020 an 80% tariff on Australian barley exports starting today.

The tariffs are likely in response to Australia’s government demanding an inquiry into the cause of the corona virus. The Chinese President Xi Jinping has claimed China acted “with openness and transparency” in their handling of the outbreak.

Also on Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) also agreed to launch an independent probe into how they handled the international response to the corona virus. The countries requesting the investigation included African, European and other countries and is looking for a review of the WHO’s response to the corona virus outbreak.

In response to the new tariffs, Australia’s Minister for Trade Simon Birmingham on Monday night denied Australia had subsidized or dumped barley in China. Will be following this news carefully as China accounts for 33% of Australia’s total exports at $135 billion in 2019.

China blocks imports of Australian beef in response to Australian inquiry to the origin of the corona virus.

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Photo by Catarina Sousa on Pexels.com

According to theweek.in, an India news publication – Beijing is blocking imports of Australian beef after the Australian goverment asked for an inquiry into the source of the origin of the corona virus. However, China’s foreign ministry claims the suspension of beef imports is to protect Chinese consumers after violations of inspection and quarantine requirements by Australian companies.

The article highlights other instances of Beijing restricting imports:
1. China blocks imports of Norwegian salmon after a human rights prisoner was awarded the nobel prize
2. China blocks imports of canola from Canada to pressure Canada to release Huawei executive
3. China blocks imports of Philippine bananas in response to dispute over territory in the South China Sea

However, the article notes this is the first time Beijing has used banning imports in response to criticism over the corona virus. In response to the ban on Australian beef, the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia draws clear lines on certain issues And those things are not to be traded.

This isn’t the first time China has blocked imports of Australian goods – in 2019, China suspended imports of Australian coal in response to Australia’s government recision of a visa for a Chinese businessman.

Will be interested to see what happens to the status of Australian beef imports to China.