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.

Counterfeit 3M masks seized by CBP.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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 non-FDA compliant thermometers.

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Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection media release, CBP officers in El Paso’s Bridge of the America’s facility seized a shipment of “pyrometers” (infrared forehead thermometers) with a value of over $7,000.

Upon examination, the CBP officers found the pyrometers to be non-compliant with FDA regulations. It is important for FDA compliance on these types of thermometers because they can give false readings if they do not meet strict FDA requirements.

If you have had your goods seized for non-FDA compliance, or if you have any questions about ensuring FDA compliance BEFORE you import, contact experienced import and export attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Unlabeled hand sanitizer seized by Customs.

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Actual image of the seized hand sanitizer, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers at the Bridge of the Americas international crossing seized a shipment of unlabeled gel product April 15 that was claimed to be hand sanitizer.

The U.S. citizen was driving a car from Mexico and declared they had personal use quantity of hand sanitizer. During a secondary evaluation, CBP offers found 2,205 unlabeled bottles in the vehicle along with 1,000 unmarked masks. CBP officers declared the shipment a “commercial quantity”.

If you have had a shipment of personal protective equipment or hand sanitizing products seized by CBP during the coronavirus pandemic, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.