CBP finds invasive Egyptian Locusts from Italy.

ETL

Screenshot of the Egyptian tree locust. Source: cbp.gov

In mid-November, agriculture specialists from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) discovered the Egyptian tree locust in the port of Baltimore. The locusts were found in a shipment of Italian wine. As a result of the finding, CBP had the shipment re-exported back to Italy.

The Anacridium aegyptium, or commonly known as the Egyptian tree locust is a leaf feeder and pest to grapevines, citrus, fruit and other vegetable. While the Egyptian tree locust is common in Europe, it is considered an invasive species in the US.

In addition to invasive pests, CBP’s agriculture specialists also work hard to stop noxious weeds and prevent foreign plant and animal diseases from entering the US.

If CBP finds the presence of invasive species in your shipment – you will receive an EAN (Emergency Action Notification) typically requiring you to re-export the shipment and contents. If you have received an EAN, contact experienced trade and customs attorney, David Hsu at 832.896.6822 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com for immediate assistance.

CBP seizes counterfeit dolls and toys with excessive lead levels.

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According to a Customs media release on September 14, 2018, CBP officers at the International Falls Port of Entry detained several rail containers transporting toys with counterfeit items and toys with prohibited lead levels.

Customs seized the first container of 2,459 die cast “transporter carry case” filled with toy cars for excessive lead levels.

The second container was seized for containing 5,460 fashion dolls that violated copyright protected markings. The media release claimed the suggested retail price was $139,145.

As Christmas and the holidays approaches, I believe this is only the beginning of more seizures. If you have had your shipments seized for intellectual property right violations, contact trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

CBP reports first encounter with Rosy Gypsy Moth from transport ship in Baltimore.

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CBP issued a press release yesterday reporting the first encounter of the Rosy Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) (species: Lymantri mathura). CBP with the U.S. Department of Agriculture discovered the moth aboard a ship in Baltimore and suspect the destructive pest may have been due to a June part call in Japan (a high risk AGM area).

The USDA says the AGM is a threat to forests and urban landscapes as the moth can travel up to 25 miles per day and lay egg masses which yield hundreds of hungry caterpillars. The hungry hungry caterpillars are said to be voracious eaters that attack more than 500 species of trees and plants.

If CBP Agriculture Specialists have detained your vessel at a port and there are issues of whether to turn the ship around or fumigate – call experienced attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

Dulles CBP seizes $170k in unreported currency from 7 groups of travelers.

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Busy day at Dulles airport where U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized approximately $170,000 in unreported currency from 7 different travelers.

As you are aware, it is legal to carry large amounts of currency, however, all amounts over $10,000 must be reported. The $10,000 limit is not for the individual, but rather the limit for everyone in the traveling party.

The seizures in early August included:

  1. CBP seizes $21,735 from a woman boarding a flight to Belgium. The family reported $9,700.00. Typically, CBP first asks the traveler(s) to complete FinCen Form 105 to report the amount of currency they have. After the Form 105 is completed, CBP then searches the travelers’ belongings. In this instance, after the travelers signed the form, CBP did a thorough search and found $21,735 total.
  2. On July 30, a man was boarding a flight to Ghana when he CBP seized $30,721 in unreported currency.
  3. A family on the way to Turkey was detained and CBP seized $21,000 in unreported currency. In this seizure, CBP found cash concealed in clothing and cell phone cases.
  4. Another group of travelers traveling to Ghana were stopped and CBP seized $34,585 from them. The couple mistakenly reported $10,000 was carried by each person.
  5. CBP seized $18,390 from another couple going to Turkey.
  6. $20,645 was seized from another group of travelers heading to Qatar.
  7. Last, a passenger on the way to Serbia had $17,178 seized after she reported $8,000.00.

If you have had your cash seized, contact experienced currency seizure attorney David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

CBP and Otter Products form partnership to prevent importation of counterfeit phone cases.

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On June 27th, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced a partnership with Otter Products, makers of the OtterBox and Lifeproof brand phone cases. OtterBox will provide phone cases to CBP under the “Donations Acceptance Program” (DAP) previously discussed on my blog here.

The donated cell phone cases will be for CBP’s use in verifying and comparing the authenticity of suspected counterfeit items.

The Donations Acceptance Program allows CBP to accept donations of real and personal property, money and non-personal services from the public and private sector entities in support of CBP operations. Authorized uses for donations include entry construction, alterations, operations and maintenance activities. More information can be found at: www.CBP.gov/DAP.

Not sure why someone would want to purchase OtterBox or OtterBox counterfeits – other cell phone case brands such as “Spigen”, “Caseology” and “Sup Case” make highly rated cases that are sold on Amazon and offer the same protection as an Otterbox.

CBP encounters first-in-US wood-boring wasp species.

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This past Thursday, agriculture specialists at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Baltimore found a first-in-the-US species of wood-boring wasps – the Urocerus augur Klug (Siricidae).

These wood-boring wasps are known to bore holes in trees and lay their eggs. From your author’s experience on wood-boring wasps, the wasps usually bore holes in dead or dying trees. However, when these wood-boring wasps are in the US, they tend to bore holes in living trees and then laying eggs, which eventually causes the tree to die.

In Baltimore, CBP/agriculture specialists were inspecting a shipment of aluminum coils from Greece and discovered the wasps and boring holes in the wood packaging material (WPM). A sample was sent to USDA entomologists for identification.

In general, WPM with invasive pests are required to be re-exported. If you or someone you know has had an issue with WPM certification or re-exportation of goods due to pests, contact David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com. Before you re-export, contact David Hsu, there may be some alternatives to re-exporting that will save you time and money!

CBP seizes $10 million in counterfeit luxury watches.

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This past Thursday (June 28th), Philadelphia U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized 699 luxury watches with a MSRP of nearly $10 million (if authentic).

The shipment was from Hong Kong, China and labeled as “lithium batteries”. Upon inspection, CBP officers found watches bearing luxury watch names such as: Tous, Hublot, Piguet, Panerai, and Fossil among others.

CBP probably questioned the shipment as luxury watches that are authentic are usually not sent from Hong Kong. In the media release, CBP officers also claimed the watch quality and packaging was poor – a typical dead give away for counterfeit goods.

If you have had any good seized by CBP on suspicion of being counterfeit, there are things we can do – call David Hsu, experienced trade and customs attorney for a free consultation and the next steps: 832.896.6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

CBP seizes counterfeit mermaid and fashion dolls.

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As reported by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media relations office – CBP agents at the International Falls Port of Entry in Minnesota inspected a rail container and found merchandise that violated intellectual property rights (IPR) regulations.

As you are aware, CBP enforces the intellectual property rights and trademark rights of companies that register their mark with CBP. When goods are suspected of violating IPR – CBP will send photos or a sample to the property rights holder for verification. More often than not, the rights holder will notify CBP that the goods are counterfeit.

Specifically, CBP seized 60,180 mermaid and fashion dolls that contained copyright protected markings. If protected markings are found, even on a small doll accessory or only one doll, CBP will seize items as they had in this case. CBP calculates the seizure value based on the total MSRP if the items were authentic. Here, CBP in Minnesota claims the seized goods total approximately $601,198.

While the CBP media release doesn’t specifically mention the brand name, based on 60,180 dolls having a combined value of $601,198 and based on my experience as a parent to a daughter who loves Barbie – the seized dolls are counterfeit of the standard grocery store Barbie doll for about $10.

So what happens after a seizure? CBP will seize the goods and give the importer of record several options. CBP may also access civil penalties to the IOR.

If you or anyone you know has had items seized by CBP for IPR violations, or if you have any trade and customs law questions – contact experienced customs attorney, David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

 

 

German metal producer claims CBP violated due process.

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This past Sunday, German metal manufacturer (Andritz Sundwig GMHB) claims the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of violating its due process rights when U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ordered the export of the company’s bug-infested cargo instead of allowing the shipment to be fumigated.

In an emergency complaint filed with the U.S. Court of International Trade, Andritz’s legal counsel (Scott Johnston and James Hurst of Givens & Johnston PLLC and Stacey L.Barnes of Kearney, McWilliams & Davis PLLC) claims CBP’s decision to require the cargo to be exported does not allow Andritz any administrative remedies or opportunities to appeal.

The filing with the CIT claims CBP denied Andritz’s request to fumigate its cargo after horntailed wasps were found in the wood packaging materials (WPM).

Upon notice of a pest infestation, Andrtiz hired fumigators and requested last Friday for CBP authorization to fumigate and separate the infested WPM. Unfortunately, CBP denied those requests and requested exportation of the cargo on Sunday.  In response, Andritz filed a temporary restraining order in addition to a request for declaratory relief along with a temporary protective order on Monday.

More updates will be posted as available.

If you have received an “Emergency Action Notification” from Customs regarding wood packaging materials and or pest infestation, contact attorney David Hsu for immediate assistance at 832-896-6288. Time is of the essence when an EAN is received, call or email dhsu@givensjohnston.com as soon as possible.

White House imposes tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods.

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As expected, the administration announced Section 301 tariffs on about $50 billion worth of Chinese goods with two purposes: (1) balance the trade relationship between the US and China and (2) prevent the transfer of American technology and intellectual property to China when US businesses operate in China.

After the announcement this morning, China responded by issuing their own tariffs on 659 types of goods from the US starting on July 6th. When announcing the initial $50 billion in tariffs, Trump also indicated any Chinese retalation will also be met with additional US tariffs.

Cliff Notes version of today’s developments:

  1. 2/3rds of the US duties on 1,102 types of goods begins July 6th.
  2. The goods announced on Friday will apply later after a review period ends.
  3. The US imposed these tariffs to limit the transfer of technology to China.
  4. Some lawmakers say these tariffs will only impact the average American due to higher prices.
  5. The first list of goods subject to tariffs can be found here.
  6. The second list of goods subject to tariffs can be found here:

Whether or not these announcements are posturing on both sides, check back for more details.

If you have any questions on how these new tariffs will impact your import or export business, contact experienced trade attorney, David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at: dhsu@givensjohnston.com.