Counterfeit footwear valued over $270k seized in Kentucky.

Counterfeit Louis Vuitton, source: CBP.gov

In early June, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Kentucky seized a shipment of counterfeit luxury footwear from Turkey headed for a home in Georgia.

The seizure consisted of two shipments of counterfeit Louis Vuitton sandals carrying an MSRP of $276,540 if authentic.

CBP claims the purchase of counterfeit goods supports criminal activity while robbing businesses of revenue. The early June seizure of sandals is only a small portion of the reported $4.3 million worth of counterfeit products seized daily last year, as reported by CBP.

If you have had your goods seized by Customs, you do have to act fact – certain time lines are in effect from the day Customs issues the seizure notice.

Contact trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com anytime for immediate help.

San Juan CBP seizes counterfeit luxury products worth $265,000.

Image of seized Rolex watches, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents in San Juan seized counterfeit watches and jewelry from a shipment from Hong Kong. If genuine, the value of the counterfeit products would total approximately $256,000. The above image from Customs shows a display of the fake Rolex brand watches seized.

If you have had your goods seized by Customs, you may face both criminal and civil penalties. Contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 to discuss your options – feel free to also send us an 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.

Will new US export controls block Huawei’s 5G ambitions?

Photo by Pok Rie on Pexels.com

As previously posted on my blog, the May 19th Commerce Department export rules are part of the US effort to limit Huawei’s access to semiconductor chips needed to build components in their 5G infrastructure. The new rules prohibit chipmakers located mostly in Taiwan and South Korea from using U.S. origin machines and software to produce semiconductors for Huawei.

Huawei relies on Taiwan and South Korean chipmakers to make the actual chips – however the chipmakers are now subject to the US export rules since the machines and software used are based off American machines from US companies and technology.

These new rules were meant to close a loophole that allowed semiconductor foundries to manufacture chips for Huawei as long as the manufacturing occurred outside of the U.S.

The U.S. government views Huawei as a national security threat because their hardware could potentially allow them to access sensitive information and hand it over to the Chinese government – a claim denied by Huawei.

If you have any questions how the new US export control regulations will impact your ability to do business with Huawei or one of its entities, contact export control attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Bill introduced to ban government employees from using Huawei, ZTE products.

night skyline skyscrapers shanghai

Photo by Manuel Joseph on Pexels.com

Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley will introduce a bill banning US officials from using projects from Chinese companies that have been deemed to be national security threats. In the past, Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE have been deemed to be national security threats.

The proposed legislation is named the “Countering Chinese Attempts at Snooping Act” and would prohibit federal employees from conducting official business through technology from companies deemed by the State Department to be under the control of the Chinese government.

If passed, the bill would also require the State Department to create a list of companies supported by the Chinese company that could pose a threat and be used to conduct espionage.

This proposed legislation comes one month after President Trump signed into law legislation that barred the use of federal funds to purchase equipment from Huawei and ZTE.

If you have any questions about export compliance or think it’s time to revisit your compliance program, contact experienced compliance attorney David Hsu for a no-cost consultation by/phone or text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

New rules on exports to China, effective June 29, 2020.

mountains clouds historical great wall of china

Photo by Manuel Joseph on Pexels.com

Yesterday, the Federal Register published new guidelines by the Bureau of Industry and Security governing the export, reexport and transfer of goods to the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to expand license requirements on exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) of items intended for military end use or military end users in the People’s Republic of China (China).

The first major change will require U.S. companies to obtain a license before selling certain items in China that can support the military, even if the products are for civilian use. Previously, a loophole allowed an exception for civilian technology to be exported with a license.

The new regulations will impact several industries in the US, such as the semiconductor industry.

The second major change will require U.S. companies to file declarations for all exports to China, regardless of value.

A third proposed rule change will require foreign companies shipping American goods to China to seek approval from the US prior to export.

There will be a brief comment period to collect information on the proposed changes.

If you would like to submit a comment, or if you would like an evaluation of your company’s export (and import) compliance program, or have any trade questions – contact experienced trade law attorney David Hsu by phone/text at anytime: 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or dh@gjatradelaw.com

Corona virus’ January and February impact on trade.

birds eye view photo of freight containers

Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels.com

According to the Financial Times, global trade dropped 2.6 percent in February compared to the same time in 2019. This February drop also follows a 1.5 percent drop from January 2020. Specifically, China had a 7.3 percent fall in imports in January 2020 due to parts of the country shutting down in response to the Corona virus. For February, China had another 3.2 percent drop for the month.

The US did not show any impact in trade volume while the EU trade volume dropped 1.5 percent for February 2020. Will be interesting to see March and April numbers when reported.

General importing/exporting questions? Contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/email at: attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Port Laredo #1 in two-way trade.

pexels-photo-764998

Photo by Yigithan Bal on Pexels.com

They say everything is bigger in Texas and Port Laredo is no exception.

According to census data analysis by WorldCity, for the second time in a year, Port Laredo has occupied the number 1 spot out of 450 international gateways, with a recorded 18.6 billion in two-way trade for the month of February. At the number 2 spot for recorded trade of $17.2 billion, the Port of Los Angeles. Port Laredo also surpassed the Port of Los Angeles in March 2918.

World City attributed LA’s second place ranking to the US-China trade war and corona virus pandemic impacting LA and the state of California.

Port Laredo is located in South Texas along the U.S. Mexico border and includes four vehicle bridges, international rail bridge and an international airport. World City expects Port Laredo to continue holding the lead as the Port of Los Angeles seaport will be impacted by the corona virus and ongoing trade war.

Questions about importing/exporting? Contact experienced trade law attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 for a no cost or obligation consultation. Email attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

90-day suspension of tariff payments.

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Photo by Frans Van Heerden on Pexels.com

Last Sunday, the Treasury Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced a rule delaying payment of tariffs on certain goods coming into the US for 90 days. The announcement indicated the U.S. importer seeking a 90-day delay must “demonstrate a significant financial hardship” and also must have work operations that are “fully or partially suspended during March or April 2020 due to orders from a competent governmental authority limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings.”

While providing some relief to importers, the announcement was not a complete tariff delay for all imports as was sought by retailers. Other noticeable exceptions to the 90-day delay included steel and aluminum imports from China along with antidumping and countervailing duties.

If you are interested in seeing if your company is able to defer duty payments, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text anytime to 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP seizes counterfeit 3M masks.

3MMasks

Image of seized “3M” masks, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers in Cincinnati examined a package from China with its contents manifested as “mask” on April 3rd. Upon examination, CBP officers discovered 2,000 counterfeit masks branded as 3M. If authentic, the value of the masks would have been approximately $7,000. The package was destined to an individual residence in Austin, Texas.
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If CBP seizes your goods for violating intellectual property rights, such as importing facemasks using the “3M” mark, you will receive a Notice of Seizure or Seizure Notice in the mail. The notice will be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested (CMRRR) and will be sent to the address on the package or the listed importer of record.
From 30 days of the date of notice (and not the day you receive it), you will need to file a response. The options are: forfeit the items, offer in compromise, refer to court or file a seiure petition.
What if you do nothing? Then after 30 days, CBP will begin forfeiture of the seized goods – ie, CBP will take and destroy the items.
And then? Then you (importer of record) may receive a civil penalty notice (ie, a fine) for importing goods that violate a trademark registered with Customs.
If you have had your shipment seized by Customs, contact David Hsu by phone/text anytime at 832.896.6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.