Counterfeit 3M masks seized by CBP.

Fake Masks
Image of seized masks, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers at Chicago O’Hare International Mail Branch detained (and subsequently seized) a package from China manifested as containing contents as industrial masks on May 30.

The shipment contained in 24 boxes with each box containing 10 3M brand, 8822 Plus Masks. CBP suspected the masks as counterfeit due to low value, poor quality and poor packaging.

After CBP detained the masks, samples were sent to 3M where the shipment was selected for exam due to x-ray inconsistencies. Inside the parcel were 24 boxes each containing 10 counterfeit 3M 8822 Plus masks. Import Specialists noted the poor packaging, low value, and poor quality. A subsequent 3M authenticator (didn’t know they had those) confirmed the masks were counterfeit – if real, the masks would have an MSRP of $813.

Given the increase in COVID-19 cases, we will likely see more importations of counterfeit PPE, medicine and thermometers.

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

To combat these criminal activities, CBP is targeting imports and exports that may contain counterfeit or illicit goods. The products in targeted shipments often include false or misleading claims, lack required warnings or lack proper approvals.

Britain confirmed to quit Huawei in its 5G network.

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According to the Voice of America quoting a British political insider – the British government will quit plans to use Huawei technology in its 5G network, with an announcement coming soon. The announcement will also discuss the gradual removal of the current Huawei technology in place. Part of the decision is due to the COVID-19 crisis and public disillusionment with Beijing along with strong opposition to Huawei from senior members.

The VOA article stated initial public support for Huawei changed due to China’s handling of the coronavirus and the situation over Hong Kong. Lastly, the article mentions Britain’s Prime Minister Johnson’s fight against COVID-19 also likely resulted in a tougher view towards China.

In response, Huawei launched an advertising campaign reminding the British public of their 20 year involvement in the UK and their “commitment to helping bring fast reliable mobile and full fiber broadband networks to every part [of] the country.”

The United States will likely welcome the news as they have been lobbying the UK government and according to a statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “The United States stands with our allies and partners” and “stands ready to assist our friends in the U.K. with any needs they have, from building secure and reliable nuclear power plants to developing trusted 5G solutions that protect their citizens’ privacy,” Pompeo said.

It will be interesting to see whether Nokia or Ericcson are picked to replace Huawei in England. Will post more as news becomes available.

Birmingham CBP seizes unapproved thermometers.

Image of seized thermometers, source: CBP.gov

CBP officers in Birmmingham seized 500 unregistered non-contact and infrared thermometers with country of origin as Malaysia or China. If genuine articles, the value of the shipment would have totaled $21,400.

The thermometers did contain the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) markings on the packaging and the devices, but the shipment was still seized as the shipping company was not registered with the FDA when the thermometers were imported. The registration of the shipping company is required as part of the pre-market notification process under section 510(k) of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

According to CBP, so far this year they have seized 107,000 illegal COVID-19 test kits, 11,000 doses of chloroquine and more than 750,000 counterfeit masks. Given the current increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, CBP will likely be seizing more thermometers, face masks and chloroquine in the near future.

If you have had your goods seized by Customs, contact seizure attorney David Hsu to discuss your options anytime by mobile phone at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

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.

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.

Unauthorized COVID-19 medicine seized.

Seized COVID-19 medicine, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized 360 pills of medicine marketed to treating COVID-19. The medicine was a violation of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules preventing unauthorized medical treatments that may mislead consumers by making false claims to prevent or treat diseases or may in fact harm the consumer.

The FDA is especially concerned with unauthorized COVID-19 treatments that are marketed towards curing, treating or preventing serious illnesses.

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

Customs seizes Chinese medication for treatment of COVID-19.

pills

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

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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.

US pork exports to China increase while US faces meat shortage.

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As part of Phase 1 of the US/China trade deal, China agreed to purchase more US goods and one such product has been pork to replace 1/3 of China’s hog population that was decimated in mid-2018 due to African swine fever. Besides pork, China also imported more US beef and poultry products after lifting a prior ban on US poultry. However, one downside of the Phase 1 trade deal has been exasperated by the meat processing plant closing as a result of COVID-19 infections. This has created the issue of too much meat being exported and not enough fresh meat being stocked in US grocery stores.

The U.S. meat shortage and the Phase 1 goals of increasing exports to China seem to be opposing forces, raising the question of whether sales and shipments will or should be limited. Some restrictions would not be surprising given U.S. President Donald Trump’s more combative tone in his recent comments on trade with China.

March 2020 saw the second highest volume of pork to China with the US exporting 95,892 tons, with a combined total of 280,507 tons of pork and pork product exported so far in 2020 (an increase of 300% over the first three months of 2019) with chicken feet being the largest exported US poultry item to China. The combined value of all pork, beef and poultry exports to China for January to March of 2020 totaled $781 million.

If you have any questions about the China trade deal or the 301 duties, contact David Hsu anytime by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.