1,300 pounds of “mooncakes” seized by CBP Agriculture.

Seized mooncakes, source: CBP.gov

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 attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

New Orleans CBP seizes over $83k in counterfeit goods.

Image of seized goods, source: CBP.gov

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 attorney.dave@yahoo.com to discuss your options.

Fake luxury belts seized by Customs.

Seized “Gucci” belts, source: CBP.gov

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 attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Fake designer jewelry seized by CBP in San Juan.

“Piguet” watch, Source: CBP.gov

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 attorney.dave@yahoo.com, would be glad to evaluate your case for free.

450 fake iPhone cases valued at over $17,000 seized by Chicago Customs.

Seized cases. Source: CBP.gov

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 attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Kratom contaminated with salmonella seized by CBP.

Image of kratom powder, source: CBP.gov

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 attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Houston CBP seizes $600K+ in counterfeit solar panels.

Solar Panel with trademark infringment
Image of seized counterfeit solar panels, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Houston seaport seized over 2,000 solar panels from Turkey violating intellectual property rights. If authentic, the value of the solar panels would total over $658,125.

This is the fourth importation of counterfeit solar panels – with counterfeit panels entering Houston as early as February. CBP later verified with the trademark owner that confirmed the panels were counterfeit.

If you have had your solar panels seized, contact seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email attorney.dave@yahoo.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.

CBP Seizes Fake Cat and Dog Flea Collars.

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Counterfeit “seresto” brand food, source: cbp.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Pittsburgh seized 58 fake “Seresto” brand dog and cat flea collars so far this month. CBP officers seized the 13 parcels and submitted samples the the trademark holder, Bayer. The shipments were from China and Hong Kong and if genuine have an approximate retail value of $3,500.

CBP has warned pet owners to not purchsae counterfeit collars as they may contain harmful ingredients that could cause chemical burns or fur loss.

If your goods have been seized by Customs, contact David Hsu by phone/text for a no cost or obligation consultation at 832-896-6288, or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

CBP seizes counterfeit protective equipment and medications.

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Image of seized medication, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seize shipments of counterfeit personal protective equipment (PPE) and medications to treat the corona virus.

Since late March and the height of the corona virus panemdic, CBP has seized, including but not limited to:

-1,200 “Linhua Qingwen” capsules that are not approved by the FDA for medicine in treatment of COVID-19.
-1,350 counterfeit test kits
-400 counterfeit N95 masks
-2,500 possibly counterfeit medicine such as Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate, Chloroquine, Azithromycin, Lianhua Qingwen and Liushen Jiaonang; and
-67,000 counterfeit ACCU-CHEK test strips.

If you have questions about your shipment seized by Customs and you want a free, no cost or obligation consultation, contact by phone/text David Hsu at anytime: 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

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Image of seized masks, source: cbp.gov