With the US, UK, Australia, and India (as of late July) prohibiting the use of Huawei and/or ZTE components from being used in future 5G infrastructure, China’s Huawei has shifted their focus to other parts of the world – this time on the Africa continent.
According to the South China Morning Post, South Africa hosts Africa’s data-only mobile network with stand alone 5G and is teaming up with Huawei and other local telecommunication companies to expand 5G services. Kenya is likely to follow suit this year followed by Lesotho, Egypt, Nigeria, Uganda, Senegal, Morocco, Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon.
Whereas Western governments have criticized Huawei, South Africa’s President and Kenya’s Minister of Information both have publicly supported Huawei and have chosen Huawei for their 5G network. Huawei’s lower equipment price compared to rivals Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung have also helped their success into African projects along with special financing terms for African nations.
If you have any questions how the Huawei export ban may be impacting your business – contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at email@example.com.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Ohio seized 54 counterfeit watches from two packages shipped from China – and according to CBP, if authentic would total over $1.9 million.
According to Customs, the fake watches were replicas of luxury brands such as: Audemar Piguet, Rolex, Cartier, and Gucci. The watches were manifested as “timers and “watch” with a declared value of $33 and $200.
Author’s note – usually Customs will detain suspected counterfeit goods and then verify the authenticity of the watches. Authenticity usually occurs by sending photos or samples to the property rights holder. 100% of the time the property rights holder will say the goods are counterfeit. During this period of time, there is nothing for the importer to do, except wait to receive notice the goods will be seized. A “Notice of Seizure” will be sent to the address where the watches were to be sent – after you receive a Notice of Seizure, be sure to mark the date of the letter. You will have 30 days to respond to a seizure notice.
If you have received a seizure notice and want to discuss your options – call David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every importer of record needs to make declarations to Customs regarding tariff classification, valuation, origin of imported goods and more. Incorrect declarations can potentially lead to long term and expensive problems for the importer.
The NAFTA rules provided a method in which importers could seek guidance from Customs through an advance ruling to predetermine tariff classification, valuation, regional value issues, questions on qualifications of originating good, country of origin marking requirements, and more. NAFTA limited requests for guidance to only importers in the US and exporters and producers in Canada and Mexico who exported their goods to the US.
Fortunately, the new USMCA implemented several key changes. First, the USMCA not only allows an importer, but also allows an exporter, producer or anyone related to the trade transaction to request an advance ruling. Advance ruling requests are no longer limited to domestic residents.
Secondly, the USMCA agreement requires Customs to make a decision within 120 days – increasing transparency and predictability to the advance ruling process. Additionally, the USMCA also identifies the subjects that can be decided through ruling requests – tariff classification, customs valuation, origin of goods, quotas or “other issues agreed upon”.
Lastly, the USMCA offers increased protection in the event of customs modifying or revoking an advance ruling. Under the USMCA, an advance ruling cannot be revoked or modified if doing so will hurt the original ruling requester – unless the requester did not follow the advance ruling or the ruling was based on false information provided by the requester.
The best way to limit your USMCA import liability is to request an advance ruling – taking out the guesswork before the goods are shipped or entered into the US. Please do not hesitate to contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at email@example.com.
Another day, another seizure – this time in Chicago on July 28th. CBP officers found 555 counterfeit Nike and Air Jordan shoes, 462 Louis Vuitton branded handbags, totes, backpacks, 165 Gucci handbags, totes, wallets, 13 Beats headphones and 10 Apple Airpods.
The media release noted the poor manufacturing and packaging quality as an indication the goods may be counterfeit. The shipment from Hong Kong (likely another reason why Customs believes the goods are counterfeit).
Author’s note – Customs can detain a shipment for up to 5 days to verify the authenticity of the goods seized. In this instance, CBP asked the importer of record to produce documentation showing they were licensed to import trademarked goods. If an importer cannot show they have a license to import goods of a certain brand holder – then the goods will be seized and a seizure notice will be issued.
Also, if a shipment has been detained for suspicion of violating trademark or copyright violations – the 5-day detention rule does not apply. The reason the 5-day rule does not apply is because CBP will contact the property rights holder and ask if the importer has a license to import the goods. Very rarely will the trademark holder side with the importer.
If you have had your goods seized by Customs, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 to discuss your options. You can also email David at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you are aware, in May 2019 the US Government added Huawei and its affiliated entities to the entity list – preventing US firms from selling technology to Huawei without a license. Huawei was to remain on the list until 2021. However, in May 2020, the US Department of Commerce changed the export rule to stop any shipment of semiconductors chips to Huawei from any company that produced chips using US software and technology, unless they applied for a license.
The May 2020 revised rule had an immediate impact on Huawei. For example, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer) stopped accepting any orders for Huawei in May following the new rule.
Huawei’s consumer business unit CEO Richard Yu, said the chips purchased from foreign semiconductor manufacturers that use US software and technology will stop production on September 15th. Without chips from foreign manufacturers, Huawei will no longer be able to manufacture their Kirin chips.
If you have any questions about Huawei or want to ensure you are not violating any export controls, contact David Hsu by phone/text anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at email@example.com.
Earlier this week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspected a rail container at the Portal Port of Entry and found coolers in violation of intellectual property rights. The seized coolers, if genuine would total approximately $151,149.
Author note – not sure which brand these coolers appear to be trying to counterfeit – I see RTIC and YETI both have these types of coolers – but could not find one that was similar.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Chicago seized seven shipments containing eyewear worth more than $1.41 million. The glasses were entered duty free claiming country of origin as Israel. However, upon further inspection, CBP officials found the origin markings on the eyeglasses did not match the country of origin on the paperwork.
CBP reports the country of origin on the goods included China, France, Italy and the United States. CBP seized the goods for fraudulently misrepresenting the country of origin and attempting to avoid the payment of duties. CBP seized the goods for violation of 19 USC 1304 and 19 USC 1595a(c).
In late June, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers Kentucky detained and seized a shipment containing over 300 counterfeit items shipped from Hong Kong.
While the outside packing list indicated the contents were belts, CBP officers instead found watches from “Rolex”, “Cartier” and “Panerai Luminor”. The shipment also contained sandals from Tory Burch, earrings from Chanel, Gucci sandals bracelets, LV scarves, Gucci scarves, Chanel Scares and many more luxury branded goods. CBP indicated the shipment contained over $371,365 worth of goods – if authentic.
Author’s note: in general, CBP will detain goods suspected of being counterfeit and then send images or samples of the goods to the trademark holder. If the trademark holder tells Customs the goods are not authentic – CBP will seize them and issue the importer of record a seizure notice.
Also – in addition to seizing the goods for being counterfeit, CBP can also seize any goods that are included in the shipment, but not properly declared or mis-declared on the packing list and entry paperwork.
In general – it is easy to run into Customs problems – before you import, or before you export, contact David Hsu by phone/text anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.
Earlier this past July, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at one of our great nation’s biggest seaport of Los Angeles / Long Beach seized a large shipment of women’s sleepwear containing counterfeit brands such as Gucci, Facebook and Instagram.
2020 is a weird year indeed when we consider Facebook and Instagram to be a luxury brand. If authentic the 16,340 items of seized counterfeit pajamas (called “sleeping dresses”) would be worth an approximate retail value of $5.5 million.
CBP reported the counterfeit goods were concealed inside generic non-branded pajamas which CBP believes was intentionally packaged to avoid detection.
Author’s note – yes, in general if you pack counterfeit goods underneath unbranded goods, or try to conceal a counterfeit logo (such as using black tape to cover a logo), CBP will assume you are aware of the nature of the goods and are attempting to smuggle them into the US in violation of 19 USC 1595a (c)(1)(A), in other words merchandise that “is stolen, smuggled, or clandestinely imported or introduced“.
In addition to violating intellectual property rights of the trademark holder, CBP also claims counterfeit goods may not be in compliance with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) requirements for flammability standards of sleepwear.
If you have had your shipment seized for alleged counterfeit violations or seized for alleged violations of CPSC consumer guidelines – contact seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at email@example.com.