CBP in Arizona changes Mariposa hours of operation.

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According to a – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, the Mariposa Commercial Facility operating hours will be 8 am to 8 pm starting Monday, April 16th. The reduction in operating hours at the Mariposa Crossing due to the COVID-19 virus, with shorter hours that will limit CBP officer exposure to the virus and and potentially slowing the spread. It is important to note commercial traffic hours remain the same.

“The Port of Nogales continually works closely with local partners and industry stakeholders,” stated Area Port Director Michael Humphries. “The reduction in hours will further CBP measures to protect our employees from exposure while stopping the potential spread of COVID-19.”

If you have any general trade, customs, import/export or compliance questions – contact David Hsu by phone/text: 832.896.6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

New Update – Port of Anchorage, Alaska closed.

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I earlier posted about CSMS #42243866, in which the Port of Anchorage was closed Thursday and Friday due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19. However, CBP subsequently released CSMS #42247648 in which they announced the Federal Building at 605 West 4th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska that houses the CBP Area Port office (3126) is now closed for at least 14 days.

The CSMS further announces any documents (entry packages, FP&F payments, petitions, etc.) that would be sent to the 605 West 4th Avenue address should be submitted to: CBP Cargo Office at Ted Stevens International Airport (4600 Postmark Drive, Room NA207, Anchorage, Alaska, 99502).

The Anchorage Seaport and Cargo operations are still running and business as usual.

Hope the employee has a quick and speedy recovery!

Port of Anchorage (3126) closed Thursday and Friday due to the coronavirus.

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According to the CBP Cargo Systems Messaging Service (#42243866), the Port of Anchorage, Alaska (port code 3126) located at 604 West Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska will close for the rest of the week due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19. The CSMS says the port may close for a total of 14 days.

Customs, trade, import/export or compliance question? Contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

 

Taiwan customs officers seize exports of face masks.

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According to the Focus Taiwan website, airport officials seized 3,020 surgical face masks from a Taiwanese citizen heading to Singapore in late February – the largest seizure since export restrictions on face masks were put in plate in late January due to the corona virus.

Each Taiwanese citizen is permitted to export 250 masks per trip. After seizing the face masks, Customs returned 250 to the passenger. The seized masks will be sent for use by the government in their efforts to prevent the spread of the corona virus.

I usually don’t post about non-US customs seizures, but found this article interesting for several reasons:

  1. No mention of secondary inspections, no seizures followed by a letter from CBP with threats of a civil penalty, etc.
  2. Sounds like the seizure process in Taiwan is slightly more painful than in the US and it appears the traveler didn’t miss her flight. If this happened in the US and there was a restriction on the export of face masks, I’m sure she would have been detained, all her belongings searched and then held in detention until they missed their flight.
  3. While it seems like this would never happen in the US since it appears to lack due process for a taking by the government, and while I am usually very supportive of individuals who have their goods (especially currency) seized, this time I am siding with the Taiwanese government on this one.

Interesting to note, the Taiwan customs reported confiscating over 171,450 face masks over 851 seizures since the rule was passed on January 24th. Besides export control efforts at the airport, Taiwan Post (equivalent to our USPS), has also seized outbound shipments of surgical masks destined for overseas. The ban on exports ends on April 30th unless extended. I also read another article from Focus Taiwan that Taiwan is expected to ramp up production of face masks to about 13 million per day.

Anyways, interesting read and the first time I’ve heard of a customs seizure at an airport in a foreign country.

Questions about customs seizures? Give me a call or text, David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

China tariff cuts coming soon?

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Last Thursday, the US Trade Representative’s office said they were seeking public comments on lifting additional Section 301 duties (tariffs) on Chinese imports for goods that could help the US fight the current coronavirus pandemic.

The public comments will allow anyone to submit comments if they believe modifications to the Section 301 tariffs may be necessary. Since the corona virus crisis started, the USTR granted exclusions for medical products from China that included medical masks, examination gloves and antiseptic wipes.

Even with the exclusions, the 20-month long duration of the Section 301 China duties still covers over $370 billion in Chinese imports.

A trade deal came into effect on February 15th known as “Phase 1”, but no new trade deals will be announced until after the corona virus crisis ends.

If you have would like to submit comments on what other goods should be excluded – contact experienced customs and trade law attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Mexico and US agree to close border except for trade and workers.

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According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. and Mexico have reached an agreement on closing border traffic between the two nations except to allow for trade and workers and essential traffic. The

Essential traffic includes for medical purposes, attend educational institutions and emergency response workers.

President Trump cited the CDC’s order on need to slow the spread of the Corona virus and to ensure there are enough health-care resources for US citizens. This closure comes a day after Canada and the US agreed to also close their border.

Besides traveling to Mexico or Canada, the State Department on Thursday issued a new travel alert asking Americans to go travel abroad and to return home unless planning to live abroad.

Second shipment of prohibited coronavirus test kits seized.

Medical Test Kits

Images of seized test kits, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release on Thursday, CBP officers at O’Hare International Airport, International Mail Facility (IMF) seized packages containing medical drug kits from the United Kingdom. These test kits were to test for viruses and diseases such as meningitis, IVF, MRSA, apple, salmonella and COVID-19.

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) prohibits the importation or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce, or the causing thereof, of any food, drug, device, tobacco product, or cosmetic that is adulterated or misbranded.

CBP says coronavirus testing should occur in laboratories and the public should be aware of counterfeit home testing kits sold online.

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

Port Houston closing two terminals due to corona virus.

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An employee working at two Port Houston terminals tested positive for the coronaviorus. The Port of Houston Authority reported an employee working at the Barbours Cut and Bayport container terminals tested positive for COVID-19 and as a result the public terminals are closed with operations temporarily suspended. The Port of Houston Authority owns and operates the Barbours Cut Container Terminal and the Bayport Container Terminal.

The Houston ship channel and the other private terminals are still in operation. The Port Houston is one of the largest container ports in the Gulf of Mexico and handle approximately 70% of the containers moving through the gulf.

Canada approves USMCA trade deal.

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While the US is focused on the Corona Virus (COVID-19), on Friday, Canada formally approved the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the last nation needed to implement the deal to replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The trade deal was ratified by the Mexican legislature last June, the US legislature this past January and formally ratified by Canada on Friday. The Canadian parliament is now shut down for five weeks in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com if you have any questions about how the new USMCA will impact you and your business!

Suspected counterfeit corona virus test kits seized.

That didn’t take long – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at LAX seized a package containing what they suspect are counterfeit COVID-19 (corona virus) test kids from the UK.

Earlier this week, the CBP officers inspected a package labeled as “Purified Water Vials” with a declared value of $196.81, upon further inspection, CBP officers found six bags of vials filled with a white liquid and labeled “Corona Virus 2019nconv (COVID-19)” and “Virus1 Test Kit”.

CBP turned over the suspected fake test kids to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for analysis.

In general, there is something you can do if your shipment has been detained or seized for being suspected as counterfeit – however, in this situation, and given the current concerns over corona virus, the importer of record will likely not get this shipment returned and may receive a civil penalty notice from CBP in the upcoming weeks.