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.
Category Archives: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
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 email@example.com.
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 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers at the Pharr International Bridge detained a shipment of tomatoes from the company: Horticola Tom, S.A. de C.V., a company subject to a recent Withhold Release Order. The goods from Horticola Tom are suspected to have been produced using forced labor, and as such are barred from import to the US.
CBP Agriculture Specialists examined a shipment of tomatoes purported to be from a company not affected by recent WRO’s. However, when CBP reviewed the paperwork and compared the packaging of the tomatoes, CBP determined the tomatoes were from the grower, Horticola Tom.
As with all goods subject to a WRO, the tomatoes were re-exported back to Mexico.
If your company is subject to a WRO or your goods have been wrongfully detained, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at email@example.com to discuss your options moving forward.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Chicago seized a shipment from China containing counterfeit championship rings in mid-September. The shipment contained 86 rings celebrating championships from sports teams such as the Chicago Bulls, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals among others.
CBP Officers and the trade experts at the Centers of Excellence and Expertise determined the rings were counterfeit because the rings were of poor quality. The MSRP of the rings, if authentic would equal approximately $2.38 million.
This shipment was just one of the over 27,599 shipments containing counterfeit goods in 2019 – in which the total value of seized goods totaled over $1.5 billion.
If you have had your shipments seized for suspicion of counterfeit goods, contact David Hsu by phone/text anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In mid-June, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Louisville seized 8 shipments manifested as “bluetooth audio devices” and found 817 pairs of earbuds that bear a strong resemblance to Apple Incorporated’s AirPods three-dimensional configuration trademark. As you are aware, CBP is required by law to enforce trademarks and patents if the trademark/patent/copyright holder submits a request to Customs.
In all cases involving intellectual property rights seizures – CBP import specialists will submit photos or samples of goods suspected of violating intellectual property rights to the rights holder. In 100% of the cases, Apple will always reject any sample or photo as counterfeit. Even if the imported phone is a phone previously sold through T-Mobile, traded-in by the first user, sold to a liquidator, exported to China for repair, then shipped back to the US – Apple will notify Customs the phone is counterfeit.
While the AirPods in this shipment did not contain the Apple logo, CBP is enforcing the 3-d configuration trademark. While the photo provided by Customs is hard to see, I believe the AirPods seized are the TWS-iXX headphones. The earlier models of the TWS I believe started with the TWS-i7, and in 2021 I see TWS-i12 headphones being sold. I cannot see the model number clearly, but can determine the photos are boxed TWS series headphones.
Customs seized the headphones and determined the value of the 817 headphones was approximately $331,360 if genuine, or about $405 per pair. I do not know how CBP valued these headphones as authentic Apple AirPods start at $199 and go as high as $249 for the AirPod Pro models.
If you have had your TWS shipment seized by Customs, or have any other IPR violations, contact Customs attorney David Hsu for immediate assistance at 832-896-6288 or by email at email@example.com. We are based in Houston but represent clients nationwide and abroad. Call for your free consultation.
According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, officers in Missouri seized over 4.68 million latex gloves from a subsidiary of Malaysia based Top Glove Corporation Bhd. The seizure valued at $690,000 was due to information provided to CBP the gloves were manufactured using forced labor – a form of modern slavery.
Specifically, CBP issued a forced labor finding – in which they suspect Top Glove’s production process to include debt bondage, excessive overtime, abusive working conditions, abusive living conditions and the retention of identity documents.
Unfortunately for Top Glove, CBP will continue seizing their goods until Top Glove can prove future glove shipments were not produced using forced labor. In general, forced labor also includes indentured labor, use of convict labor, and child labor.
CBP issued a forced labor finding on March 29 based on evidence of multiple forced labor indicators in Top Glove’s production process, including debt bondage, excessive overtime, abusive working and living conditions, and retention of identity documents.
If your company is suspected of using forced labor. contact David Hsu anytime by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Forced labor compliance is the new, hot enforcement area for Customs and Border Protection.
If you are an importer, and are concerned about forced labor accusations, contact us also to create your forced labor compliance program.
The firm and I are located in Houston, and I only have a Texas law license (SBOT #: 24062636). About once or twice a week I am frequently asked the above question – whether or not I can represent someone a client in another state?
The answer is yes! While we are based in Houston, Texas, we can represent clients in any state, jurisdiction or country because trade and customs law issues are matters of federal law.
It is very common for attorneys to represent clients in other states because there are many other areas of federal law besides trade and customs law – such as bankruptcy, IRS and tax issues and immigration law.
No matter where you are, we can represent you – call or text 24/7: 832.896.6288 or send me an email to my catch-all email address: email@example.com.
According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers at Chicago O’Hare seized 50,000 vaping pens from Hong Kong.
The “dragster Mountain Vape Pens” were seized because they violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) regarding the importation of tobacco products – specifically for being misbranded and for being imported by an unauthorized agent. Typically this means an importer is not authorized to import goods (that may be counterfeit).
According to the Customs media release, Customs believes the shipment was intentionally and improperly mislabeled as “lithium ion batteries” to avoid seizure.
While not reported in the Customs media release – shipments that are mislabeled are typically seized under statute 19USC1499(a)(3)(A), copied below:
(3)Unspecified articles If any package contains any article not specified in the invoice or entry and, in the opinion of the Customs Service, the article was omitted from the invoice or entry—(A) with fraudulent intent on the part of the seller, shipper, owner, agent, importer of record, or entry filer, the contents of the entire package in which such article is found shall be subject to seizure; or
19USC1499(a)(3)(A) is a catch all statute Customs frequently uses to seize any goods that are not included in paperwork. Omissions or mis-representations on the paperwork (regardless of goods being imported) is the easiest way for Customs to seize shipments. If you are in the import business – be sure the exporter is correctly declaring the shipment and are following your import compliance manual and procedures.
If you import and don’t have a compliance manual or procedures – contact me, you need one, 832-896-6288.
Going back to the vape pens – Customs will likely not release these goods as the FDA has increasingly cracked down on the importation of these vape pens and other nicotine delivery systems. The alleged counterfeit nature of the pens and the mislabeling of the shipment will likely mean these vape pens will not be released.
If you have had your goods seized by Customs, contact seizure attorney David Hsu immediately by phone or text at 832-896-6288 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.