CBP seize human brain in shipment from Canada Post.

Brain

Photo of the actual brain seized by Customs, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized a human brain at the Area Port of Port Huron during a routine examination of a Canadian mail truck.

The outer packaging labeled the shipment as an “Antique Teaching Specimen” and was opened by CBP. Inside CBP found the human brain in a jar (actual seized item image above), without any appropriate paperwork as required by the Centers for Disease Control.

Shipments containing body parts do need the required approval from the CDC – if you have any questions or need  help applying for this permit, contact experienced import seizure attorney David Hsu by phone at 832-896-6288 or email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP Returns artifacts to Cyprus Government

BFO Cyprus Repat48L2 021420

Image of seized coins being returned to the Cyprus Government; source: CBP.govQ

Back in 2009, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) seized a shipment of ancient coins in a 2009 air cargo shipment from London to a coin collector in Missouri. CBP officers seized the coins and sent a request to the coin collector for documentation to show they could import the goods.

In general, CBP is tasked with returning cultural property (arts, artifacts, antiques, etc) to the country that owns the cultural property. CBP does require importers to have the correct documents to show they have the ability to import the goods in to the US. In the instnat seizure, the collector in Missouri told CBP they did not have authority from Cyprus and the coins were seized. Recently, the coin collector lost their legal battle and the coins were returned to the government of Cyprus in a ceremony at the Cyprus Embassy in Washington D.C.

According to the Customs media release:

An appraisal determined that the collection dated from the Roman Empire, from several periods during 81 BC through 217 AD. The collection includes:

Two bronze coins from an unspecified Roman period
One coin from the Ptolemaeus period, 81 BC -58 BC
One coin from the Augustus period, 27 BC – 14 AD
Two coins from the Tiberius period, 14-37 AD
One coin from the Severan period, 193 AD – 217 AD

If you have had your import seized because they were a “cultural artifact”, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu to evaluate your options. Phone/text 832-896-6288 at anytime or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP intercepts dead birds sold as pet food from traveler from China.

IAD Birds7L 012720

Image of seized small birds, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized a package of tiny dead birds in the luggage belonging to a traveler from China. The package was labeled as pet food and contained small birds of an unknown species about 2.5 to 3.5 inches in length.

All birds from China cannot be imported due to the threat of pathogens from avian influenza. According to the media release, the birds were seized and destroyed by incineration.

Questions about whether you can import something to the US? Give David Hsu a call/text at 832-896-6288, or email attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Puerto Rico seizes counterfeit goods and currency.

patrick

Counterfeit Nike shoe, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP Officers and Import Specialist seized over 130 shipments of counterfeit goods in January – including stacks of counterfeit currency.

As usual, the counterfeit goods included watches, jewelry, bags, clothing and sunglasses featuring brands such as Nike, Pandora, LV, Gucci, D&G, Rolex, Adidas and Cartier. If authentic, the total value of the entire seized shipments is $4.2 million. An image of the seized counterfeit Nike shoes is pictured above.

The currency seizure involved a  mail package from China labeled as “cards”, but upon inspection, CBP officers found the package contained counterfeit $100 bills.

If you are an importer and have had your shipments seized, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Trump administration focusing on stopping online sale of counterfeit goods.

pexels-photo-919436

Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

According to a report released by the Department of Homeland Security last week, the Trump administration is taking “immediate action” against the sale of counterfeit goods by fining and issuing other penalties to online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon.

Click here for the full report of the “Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods – Report to the President of the United States“.

Other parts of the plan include suspending repeat offenders, issuing civil fines and penalties and investigating and prosecuting intellectual property violations throughout the supply chain. While the goal of the new plan was in the report, details of actual new measures to be taken were not.

The recently issued report is a result of President Trump’s call to action for the Department of Homeland Security to look at slowing the sale of counterfeit goods on third-party websites like eBay and Amazon.

Last year, the US government seized over 28,000 shipments containing counterfeit goods valued at about $1.5 billion dollars.

If you were the importer of record and received a seizure notice for importing goods that were determined to be counterfeit by Customs – contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Counterfeit Goods Seizure Act of 2019.

pexels-photo-3379903

Photo by Florian Köppen on Pexels.com

In early December 2019, the Counterfeit Goods Seizure Act of 2019 was introduced in the U.S. Senate to allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to enforce design patents at the border.

Currently, Customs has the power to enforce only copyrights and trademarks that have been previously recorded with Customs under Section 1595a(c)(2)(C) of Title 19 of the U.S. Code.

The new bill amends amending 19 U.S.C. § 1595a(c)(2)(C) to allow Customs discretionary power to seize and detain imported goods that infringe upon a recorded U.S. design patent.

The reason for this bill is because counterfeiters are capable of producing nearly 1 to 1 replicas of goods that avoid seizure by Customs because the counterfeit goods do not include the infringing trademark.

For example, in 2018, counterfeiters imported over $70 million in fake Nike shoes similar to the Air Jordan line and avoided customs by not including the trademarked logos – not surprisingly, Nike is one prominent supporter of the new bill.

If the bill passes, future counterfeit Air Jordan shoes omitting any trademarked labels would be subject to seizure as Customs would now be able to enforce design patents.

If you have had a seizure for suspected violations of intellectual property or trademarks, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

15,000 invasive mitten crabs seized since September 2019.

Mitten-Crab-Seizure-CBP

Image of seized mitten crabs, source: CBP.gov

According to a US Customs and Border Protection media release, Customs agents in Cincinnati have seized 3,700 mitten crabs from China and Hong Kong in the past 4 months.

Over the past 4 months, 3,700 mitten crabs have been found in 51 shipments and were set to be delivered to New York. The shipments were labeled as “tools and various clothing articles”. Nationwide, Customs has seized over 15,000 mitten crabs since September 2019. The mitten crabs are considered a delicacy in Asia.

Here in the US, mitten crabs are an invasive species because they are omnivores and eat anything, impacting the food supply to aquatic plants, fish, algae, other crabs and all living organisms in the water. Mitten crabs are also especially invasive as they are found in fresh water when young and salty water in adult life. Mitten crabs also tend to burrow furthering land erosion and weakening levees and flood control measures.

If you have received a letter from Customs regarding the wrongful importation of invasive species or if you have questions about the exportation of foods that may be subject to Fish and Wildlife regulations, contact experienced Customs and seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP seizes $900,000 in counterfeit money.

envelope

Image of seized envelope containing $1 bills, source: CBP.gov

pallets

Image of cartons containing counterfeit US currency, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, officers at the International Falls Port of Entry in Minnesota detained a rail container from China and referred to a Customs Exam inspection. Upon inspection, CBP officers found 45 cartons of currency in $1 denominations. CBP referred the seized currency to the US Secret Service who determined the currency was counterfeit.

If you have had your shipment detained, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP seizes $90,000 in counterfeit goods from Hong Kong.

PIT IPR2L 011820

Image of seized goods. Source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, officers seized two shipments of counterfeit products arriving at Pittsburgh International Airport.

The first shipment’s manifest indicated the package contained men’s casual shoes. Upon inspection, CBP found a Rolex watch, LV bracelet, Christian Loubouton shoes, par of Amiri jeans, Gucci jacket and a LV sweatshirt. If authentic, the merchandise would have a manufacturer suggested retail price of $90,798.

In the second shipment, the packing list indicated phones cases – but instead contained designer brand charms and jewelry.

As is the case in most counterfeit seizures, poor quality of items and lack of authentic packaging were common indications of counterfeit merchandise.

CEE?
In all counterfeit seizure cases, CBP typically sends the counterfeited items to the Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Centers for Excellence and Expertise (CEE for short). The CEE center is sort of a misnomer, as the CEE offices are located throughout the US and not in a centralized location. The CEE center then verifies the authenticity of the goods with the trademark holders. In all cases, the trademark holder will claim the seized goods are counterfeit.

So what happens after a seizure?
The importer of record (person who will receive the package) will receive a seizure notice by certified mail, return receipt requested. The importer of recorder can then either abandon the items, file a petition, offer in compromise or refer to court action.

If you have had a shipment seized by Customs for alleged counterfeit violations or if you have received a notice of seizure, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Invasive Gypsy Moth Eggs stopped by CBP.

BAL Xmas AGM2 122519.jpg

Image of the seized gypsy moth eggs, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP agriculture specialists found Japanese gypsy moth eggs on ocean freighters.

The eggs were found aboard the “Royal Hope” freighter and were removed by the ship’s crew and CBP agriculture specialists. The affected areas with the eggs were also sprayed by CBP with a pest spray oil.

These Japanese gypsy moth eggs are part of the overall Asian Gypsy Moth that damages trees and plants due to their big appetites. Additionally, the gypsy moth females are very mobile and travel up to 25 miles per day and can also lay egg masses that produce hundreds of hungry caterpillars.

Fortunately, there are no known infestations of the asian gypsy moth.

In the media release, CBP said the “Royal Hope” freighter from Ghent, Belgium was to pick up coal for export and prior to leaving Belgium, the royal Hope made a port call in Japan where they removed adult moths and egg masses prior to issuing a certificate clearing the vessel to depart.

If you or someone you know has received a notice from customs for suspected pests such as the asian gympsy moth (or any other invasive pest), contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.