The opinions expressed are those of David Hsu and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its partners, or its clients. The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice on any subject. No recipient of content from this site, clients or otherwise, should act on the basis of any content in this site without seeking the appropriate legal or professional advice based on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient's state.
According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), media release, CBP officers seized over 460 counterfeit watches in late April from multiple shipments.
The two shipments seized originated from Hong Kong and were to be delivered to an individual home in Brooklyn. The CBP media release mentioned the address has a history of receiving counterfeit goods. Most likely CBP singled out these shipments and upon further inspection found a total of 460 counterfeit Rolex watches with a combined MSRP over $10 million if authentic.
If you have had your goods seized by Customs, or if you receive a notice from Customs detaining or seizing your goods, contact David Hsu anytime by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In early February, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers In Chicago seized a shipment from Israel containing over $713,000 worth of counterfeit bracelets, rings, and necklaces from famous designer brands such as Cartier, LV and Versace.
Besides the shipment from Israel, Chicago’s CBP officers seized at lease one shipment a day containing counterfeit goods – bringing the January 2022 counterfeit seizure total of 29 shipments valued over $2.88 million, if authentic.
Besides bracelets, rings and necklaces, CBP officers seized counterfeit shoes, wallets, designer goods, and handbags. Shipments of counterfeit goods also arrived from other places such as China, Hong Kong, Russia, Thailand and Mexico.
If you have had your shipment seized for suspicion of being counterfeit – contact seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at anytime: 832-896-6288 or by email at email@example.com.
According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers in Chicago seized drug paraphernalia goods on multiple days earlier in December. In one shipment, CBP seized wax vaping kits and glass pipes in another shipment.
In general – if you import any sort of glass pipe, or glass pipes with plastic roses in them, or other vaping kits – they will likely be seized by CBP because it is illegal to import and export paraphernalia (21 U.S.C. 863(a)).
CBP broadly defines drug paraphernalia as:
“any equipment, product, or material of any kind which is primarily intended or designed for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, concealing, producing, processing, preparing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance, possession of which is unlawful under this subchapter.” (21 U.S.C. 863(d))
CBP seized both the wax vaping kits and glass pipes because they can be used to smoke marijuana.
If you have had your good seized because they are considered drug paraphernalia, contact seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the year ends, the 2020 COVID lockdowns has resulted in increased seizure by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of face masks, un approved testing kits, unlabeled medicine, non-FDA approved treatments, etc.
In the past month, CBP has seized:
6,080 counterfeit 3M masks in Cincinnati labeled as “3M Disposable Respirators Model 8210”. The shipment from Hong Kong was scrutinized by CBP because the country of origin marking on the outside of the box was labeled as “Made in the USA”. CBP officers determined the 3M masks were counterfeit and seized the goods before they were to be sent to Kingston, Jamaica.
CBP officers in San Diego seized a shipment containing 251 non-FDA approved COVID-19 test kits from Mexico. The shipment caught the attention of CBP because the kits were manifested as plastic cards. Over 251 test kits divided among two packages were seized and likely to be destroyed.
In another shipment, CBP officers in El Paso seized more than 100,000 counterfeit 3M N95 surgical masks for use by hospital workers. If authentic, the N95 surgical masks carried an MSRP of $600,480.
If you have had your COVID-related goods seized by Customs, contact customs seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at email@example.com.
“The seizure of these counterfeit surgical masks not only ensures the health and safety of our frontline health care workers by preventing them from receiving inferior personal protective equipment, it also protects the integrity of the American economy. We will continue to aggressively investigate, arrest and prosecute criminal counterfeiters who show a total disregard for human life and take advantage of a relentless world pandemic for economic gain.” said Erik P. Breitzke, acting special agent in charge of ICE HSI El Paso.
“HSI and CBP will continue to collaborate to prevent unauthorized and counterfeit products from getting to U.S. consumers to protect the health and safety of the American public and the American economy,” said Ysleta Port Director Arnoldo Gomez. “This large seizure of counterfeit surgical masks, destined for frontline medical workers, demonstrates the great collaborative effort between CBP and HSI. Counterfeit surgical masks pose a great risk to our medical community, and any individual who may use them.”
This shipment is in violation of Importation, Removal and Contrary to Law (19 U.S.C. 1595a(c)(2)(A)) and the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. ICE HSI El Paso is investigating the seizure with assistance from CBP.
ICE HSI launched Operation Stolen Promise in April 2020 to protect U.S. consumers from the increasing and evolving threat posed by the pandemic. The operation involves various federal agencies, including CBP, the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, and multiple private sector partners, including Pfizer, 3M, Amazon and others.
Operation Stolen Promise combines ICE HSI’s expertise in global trade, financial fraud, international operations and cybercrime to investigate financial fraud schemes, the importation of prohibited pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, offending e-commerce schemes, and any other illicit criminal activities associated with the COVID-19 virus that may compromise legitimate trade, financial systems and/or endangers the public.
According to a Customs media release, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists in Cincinnati seized 1,300 pounds of mooncakes during “Special Operation Over the Moon”.
This operation was named “Over the Moon” as the operation occurs prior to the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival on October 1st.
Mid-Autumn festival celebrates the time where the moon is at its largest and brightest – known as the harvest moon to symbolize harvest time in the fall. The festival dates back more than 3,000 years and continues to this day.
“Mooncakes” are given to family members and people you do business with – the moon cakes are pastries filled with lotus seeds, bean paste or duck yolk eggs. And the duck yolk eggs are the cause for the special operation. The egg products are believed to pose a risk to American agriculture because China and other Southwest Asian countries may be at greater risk for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and Virulent Newcastle Disease (vND).
Author’s unpopular opinion – moon cakes aren’t that great – they aren’t sweet and there is something unappealing about an egg baked inside a thick pastry that is not sweet. If you have to eat one, get one filled with red bean. The red bean paste makes the pastry sweet.
The images provided by CBP shows CBP officers intercepting and destroying mooncakes with the egg yolk center.
Have you had your goods seized by Customs, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another day, another U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) counterfeit seizure. This time, officers in New Orleans seized more than $83K worth of counterfeit goods in early August.
The counterfeit goods include belts, wallets, backpacks, purses from brands such as Gucci, Hermes and Louis Vuitton. In addition, the shipment also contained 10 brush kits from the MAC brand.
CBP seized the goods under 19 USC 1526e for containing the counterfeit trademarks. If you or someone you know has had their shipment seized – contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288, or email at email@example.com to discuss your options.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Kentucky seized two shipments containing over 648 counterfeit belts. The above photo provided by CBP shows the belts had the Gucci logo – the shipment also included “Salvatore Ferragamo” belt buckles. If real, CBP says the belts have a retail value of $350,496.
Author’s note – CBP media releases usually go into detail about the description of the goods and the packaging or item quality that resulted in Customs questioning the authenticity of the goods. I believe Customs probably scrutinizes any shipment from Hong Kong that contains clothing or accessories.
If you have had your goods seized by Customs, give me a call, there might be something we can do to limit your legal liability. Call or text me anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another day, another U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) counterfeit seizure – this time in San Juan, Puerto Rico. According to the CBP media release, San Juan Field Operations seized counterfeit jewelry from a shipment originating out of Hong Kong. If genuine, Customs estimated the shipment to be worth approximately $1.2 million.
CBP did not mention the copied brands, but the photo attached to the media release was labeled “Piguet”, perhaps the name found on the watch to copy the “Piaget” brand.
Author’s comments – if the image of the watch attached to the media release is indicative of the products seized, it seems like this shipment probably was not trying to copy any actual luxury brands.
I don’t wear a watch – but looking at the Piaget watches sold online – I don’t see anything closely resembling what is shown in the attached photo. Most Piaget watches I see online look like a typical watchface with dials and easy to read numbers – much different than the “diamond” covered face of the seized watch. My guess is that a manufacturer in Shenzhen created their own brand of watches and needed a name, and therefore took the “Piaget” name and changed a few letters to “Piguet” (which appears more similar to the “Peugeot” car brand.
I understand that Customs is tasked with enforcing registered marks, word marks, trademarks etc., however, is this “Piguet” watch an attempt to counterfeit a real “Piaget” watch? Or is this an instance of a manufacturer taking a brand name, and changing it. I always think back to the old Simpsons episode where Homer buys a “SORNY” TV instead of a real “SONY”.
A quick search on Alibaba shows “Reebow” branded athletic equipment, and “Hommy Tilfiger” duffel bags next to “Carsonkangaroo” branded wallets under a logo silhouette of a kangaroo not closely resembling the Kangol logo.
I think it is arguable these shipments are not counterfeits – someone (not your author) aware of a high-end luxury brand such as Piaget would not confuse a watch branded “Piguet” with a real Piaget.
If you have had your goods seized by Customs, contact David Hsu anytime by phone/text at 832-896-6288. You can also find me on Line, WeChat, WhatsApp, Telegram by the same phone number – or email me at email@example.com, would be glad to evaluate your case for free.
According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers at the Chicago Express Consignment facility seized 450 Apple iPhone cases from Hong Kong. Officers opened the shipment labeled “mobile phone shell” and found the cases for the 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max and the 8 Plus phone models.
CBP officers determined the cases were counterfeit based off bad quality design, materials, packaging and printing. Based off the image attached to this media release, I believe the cases are counterfeits of the Apple OEM cases sold through the website.
If authentic, the value of the cases would retail for about $17,550. If you have had your DHL/UPS/FedEx shipment seized by CBP for alleged counterfeit violations – contact seizure attorney David Hsu 24/7 by phone at 832-896-6288 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) media release, CBP officers in Detroit seized more than a half ton of “salmonella-laced Kratom” at the Fort Street Cargo Facility.
Author’s comment: the original headline was “CBP Seizes Half Ton of Salmonella-Laced Kratom“. Not sure why they used the word “laced” in the headline as lacing something is typically used to mean adding an ingredient to bulk up a drug. I am unsure how a kratom exporter can “lace” kratom with salmonella on purpose or if there would be a benefit to doing so. Additionally, the use of the word “lace” to describe kratom may also be an effort to associate kratom as dangerous as other illegal drugs that are frequently laced such as crack, heroin, PCP, etc.
The media release reports 1,200 pounds of contaminated powder (valued according to CBP at $405,000) was selected for further inspection due to an unusual description and classification discrepancies.
CBP said the kratom “which originated from China, were manifested as botanical soils from Canada, though Officers and specialists believed it to be consistent in appearance to bulk green tea”.
Author’s comment: this is the first time I have heard of kratom from China, maybe it was transhipped from Indonesia? CBP did not indicate the “classification discrepancy” or point out what HTSUS code was used to enter the kratom.
CBP took a sample of the power and sent it to the Food and Drug Administration for lab tests – which confirmed the shipment was kratom but also saw it was contaminated with salmonella. As a result, CBP seized the shipment “due to significant risk to public health and safety”.
Author’s comment: CBP does not specify the import alert on kratom as the basis for seizure. I have not seen the seizure notice (it will only be sent to the importer of record), but it was likely seized for not being described as kratom on the shipping documents.
In the last paragraph of the CBP media release, they write:
Kratom is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia, and its leaves are often ingested in the form of tea. Depending on dosage, Kratom can produce both stimulant and sedative effects. Kratom is not a scheduled substance under the Controlled Substances Act, though the Drug Enforcement Administration currently lists it as a Drug or Chemical of Concern.
It is interesting they do not mention the 2016 import alert regarding kratom. If you have had your shipment of kratom (mitragyna speciosa) seized by CBP, contact David Hsu, 24/7 by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at email@example.com.