$4+ Million in Counterfeit Jewelry Seized by Customs

Seized Richard Mille watch, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers in Louisville seized three packages from various shippers containing watches, bracelets, earrings, rings and necklaces that appear to be counterfeit.

They didn’t specify which air mail service, but Louisville is a major hub for DHL, UPS and FedEx flights from overseas.

The first shipment from Hong Kong were headed to Canada and contained watches bearing luxury marks such as Rolex, Breitling, Omega, Hublot among others. If authentic, the goods were valued at approximately $1.1 million.

The second seizure were composed of two packages and contained counterfeit jewelry – Tommy Hilfiger necklaces, Rolex bracelets, Gucci bracelets and rings and more. This shipment, also from Hong Kong, was headed to Miami. If real, the value of the seized goods totaled $1.19 million.

Lastly, the final parcel from the UAE contained a single Richard Mille watch with an MSRP of $2.25 million if authentic.

Typically, import specialists will detain shipments to verify with the trademark holder if the goods are authentic. From the media release, it appears Customs, in this instance, already pre-determined the goods were counterfeit. In general, Customs will seize any luxury branded good from Hong Kong that is poorly packaged and manufactured with poor quality. Most likely, the importer of record for all these shipments will receive a “Notice of Seizure” in a few weeks with a 30-day deadline (from the time of the seizure) to resolve the seizure. After 30-days, the goods are forfeited and a potential civil penalty will be issued to the importer of record.

If you have received a notice of seizure or have your goods detained, contact David Hsu by phone direct/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com; DH@GJATradeLaw.com.

CBP seizes palm oil due to forced labor findings.

Image of seized palm oil. Source: cbp.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized shipments of palm oil in due to information that the palm oil was manufactured by forced labor. The shipments valued at $2.5 million consisted of super packs of palmitic acid. Super packs are large flexible durable bags used to ship grain, sand, coffee beans and powdery substances.

The seized palmitic acid is a type of palm oil that has been refined into a powder and used in manufacture of food, drinks, skin and health care goods.

The seizure of palm oil is due to a January 28, 2022 CBP Notice of Finding where CBP determined that certain palm oil and products produced in Malaysia were made using convict, or forced or indentured labor. When CBP determines a good is produced using convict, or forced or indentured labor – the goods are inadmissible under 19 USC 1307 and 19 CFR 12.42.

If you have had your good seized for suspicion of forced labor – contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

EMP Slot Machine Jamming Device Seized.

Image of EMP device, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release. Officers at
the Port of Milwaukee seized a slot machine jamming device from Hong Kong. Slot machine jamming devices are prohibited by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC).

The FCC prohibits EMP devices because they emit a pulse that disrupts the machine’s electronics when within a meter range. The main reason the EMP devices are banned because the interfere with radio communications, mobile phones, and other communication devices.”

If you have had your shipment seized by Customs, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com for immediate assistance about your options.

Counterfeit ED medication seized.

Counterfeit Viagra pills, source: CBP.gov

Since the start of 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have seized 21 shipments of improperly imported erectile dysfunction medicine such Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra through the Port of Cincinnati. For the month of January, Officers seized approximately 32,556 pills of the prescription drugs in shipments of vitamins, supplements, watches, and other medications. In addition to being in pill form, seized shipments also contained over 1,000 packets of various jellies and honey containing sildenafil – the active ingredient in Viagra.

CBP seized the goods even though they were sold as “dietary supplements”. Additionally, only 3 percent of pharmacies overseas reviewed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy are in compliance with U.S. pharmacy laws and practice standards – highlighting the risk of purchasing drugs online.

CBP recommends people think with their mind and not their wallet when purchasing prescription medications overseas because many are made in facilities that do not meet good manufacturing practices. Also, CBP says there are few measures in place to ensure the goods are manufactured correctly and may be potentially dangerous when consumed.

If you want to import medication from overseas, contact our office before you begin shipments. Contact David Hsu by phone/text at all times to: 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Over $2 MM in counterfeit goods seized

Image of seized goods, source: CBP.gov

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 attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

“Pop” Toys Seized by CBP

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers in New Orleans seized a shipment of popular fidget toys that “pop”. You may not know the name but you have probably seen school kids talk about “pop-its”. Pop-it’s are a new-ish fad replacing the fidget spinners from a few years back. Most pop-its are in various bright colors and shapes varying in “2×2” configuration with a keychain or up to “20×20” and larger.

The pop-it’s mimic the bubble wrap used to protect items in transit – but unlike bubble wrap – can be reused by turning over the pop-it.

While most pop-its are in basic geometric shapes, some manufacturers overseas (China), are importing pop-its in the shape and or image of counterfeit trademark items such as Star Wars characters, Marvel characters, clothing brands and even Simpsons characters (see sample images below from Customs of the counterfeit goods):

Counterfeit “Bart Simpson” pop-it; source: CBP.gov
“Yoda” pop-it; source: CBP.gov

The above images were seized by CBP in New Orleans and were discovered in a large shipment from Shenzhen, China. As expected, CBP seized the goods due to their counterfeit nature.

If you have had your goods seized by CBP for suspicion of being counterfeit – contact customs seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at anytime: 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

I import clothes from China, will the clothes be banned?

colorful cargo containers on ship near pier
Photo by Kelly L on Pexels.com

According to Reuters, China’s Ministry of Commerce claims the US’s recent legislation banning imports of goods from the Xinjiang region as “economic bullying”. The Xinjiang region in China is a large manufacturer of cotton and solar panels and last week’s signing of the import ban will heavily impact US imports of clothing from China.

If you are an importer of any type of clothing or goods made from cotton shipped from China, you may be wondering whether the ban will impact you.

The short answer is: YES.

While the ban specifically mentions the Xinjiang region, enforcement by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs) will apply to goods manufactured elsewhere in China and shipped to the US. From our experience – Customs will ask importer of records who import textiles to prove the cotton is not from the Xinjiang region.

Good shipped from any port in China will be subject to the same scrutiny and it is important to take action now to limit any Customs delay will have on your import (and your business).

If you are an importer of record, I strongly suggest the following:

  1. Email the manufacturer and ask about the supply chain and sourcing of materials.
  2. Ask your supplier where the cotton is from, is it from Xinjiang?
  3. Ask your supplier for proof and documentation of where they source the cotton.
  4. Ask for something in writing (affidavit/certification/etc.) that you can provide in the event CBP sends a CF-29 or detains/seizes your merchandise.

If you want to get an import compliance manual in place – or have any questions about maintaining import compliance with respect to the most recent ban, or any other import risks – contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, DH@GJATradeLaw.com.

Fake jewelry and scarves valued over $3 million seized.

Counterfeit “LV” bracelets, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati seized a shipment containing 1,830 counterfeit accessories such as scarves, bracelets, rings and earrings. The counterfeit goods contained marks from designer brands such as LV, Gucci, Chanel and Versace. As with most seizures by CBP, the items were easily identified as counterfeit due to poor product packaging and quality of the materials. According to the media release, the Center for Excellence and Expertise determined all of the goods to be counterfeit.

In total, the value of all the goods, if authentic would have a MSRP of approximately $3.09 million. If you have had your goods seized for suspicion of being counterfeit, contact seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832.896.6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

CBP seizes over $30 million in fake designer goods.

Image of seized goods, source: CBP.gov

According to a CBP media release, CBP officers at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport seized over 13,586 counterfeit designer products arriving from a shipment from China.

For goods suspected of being counterfeit, CBP officers will work with a Center of Excellence and Expertise (CEE) – in the instance of goods suspected to be counterfeit – CBP will work with the Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising (CPMM) CEE.

The CEE will typically send images or samples of detained merchandise to the trademark or intellectual property rights holder for verification whether the goods are authentic or not. In 99.99% of the time, the trademark holder will tell CBP/CEE the goods are not authentic.

In the instant seizure, the counterfeit goods included handbags, tote bags, shoulder bags, crossbody bags, backpacks, shirts, and pants displaying brand names such as Gucci, Chanel, Fendi, YSL and Louis Vuitton. If genuine, the seized goods would have a combined MSRP of approximately $30,473,775.

CBP officers examining a detained purse, source: CBP.gov

Typically after a seizure, CBP will issue a seizure notice to the Importer of Record. This seizure notice will be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested. If you have received a seizure notice, contact David Hsu for immediate assistance by phone or text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

$26 Million in Counterfeit Watches Seized

Image of counterfeit seized watches, source: CBP.gov

Back in mid-September, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Kentucky seized 2,168 counterfeit designer watches with a MSRP of $57.84 million.

The shipment from Hong Kong and Turkey were destined for addresses in Florida and Michigan before they were inspected, detained and seized (1/4 of all counterfeit goods seized in the US originate from Hong Kong) The seizure included 21 counterfeit “Richard Mille” watches that would have been worth $25.56 million MSRP if authentic. The $25.26 million seized is only a fraction of the average $650 million of counterfeit watches and jewelry seized per year by CBP.

If you have had your shipment seized for suspicion of being counterfeit, contact seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at anytime to: 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.