Over $300,000 in unreported currency seized in P.R

Image of seized funds in PR, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers in Puerto Rico seized $348,940 in undeclared currency hidden inside wooden tables and a sink found inside a 1989 Ford cargo truck. The shipment was destined to an address in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

In general, there is no limit to how much currency (cash, checks, traveler’s checks, foreign currency) can be importer or exported by travelers. However, any amount over $10,000, however federal law requires travelers to report to CBP any amount exceeding $10,000 in US dollars or the equivalent in foreign currency. When the funds over $10,000 are not reported or are under-reported, CBP may seize the currency and may lead to an arrest.

If you have any questions about what to do BEFORE you travel and are carrying over $10,000, give David Hsu a call, or text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

$47,000 in currency seized by Customs.

Image of seized currency, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers in Dulles International Airport asked a female traveler heading to the Netherlands how much currency she was carrying. The Netherlands-bound traveler reported she was carrying $10,000 and also produced a completed FINCEN-105 form.

CBP officers asked her if she had additional and she responded she did not. However, upon a subsequent inspection, officers found a total of more than $47,000. Officers returned her $1,740 for humanitarian purposes and she continued on her trip.

Pro Tips for travelers:

  1. If Customs ask if you are carrying over $10,000 in currency, it is because they already know you are carrying more than $10,000 in currency.
  2. Be honest with Customs, you can carry more than $10,000, you just have to report it.
  3. Don’t sign the FINCEN 105 form before you count the amount of currency you have. Count first, then sign.
  4. If you get your currency seized, you have about 30 days, if you will be overseas – be sure someone will be able to access your physical mail to receive the “Notice of Seizure”

If you have had your hard-earned currency seized, contact customs seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text for immediate help: 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Follow the Director of CBP’s Baltimore Field Office on Twitter at @DFOBaltimore and on Instagram at @dfobaltimore for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos.

Who’s at fault – the importer or the manufacturer who used “Samsung” batteries in the toys?

batteries lot
Photo by mohamed Abdelgaffar on Pexels.com

I receive at least one call a week from importers who have had their goods seized by Customs for trademark violations, and one very common seizure is for “Samsung” batteries (or any other brand name) contained within toys such as hoverboards or RC vehicles.

As you are aware, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the hall monitor of the multiple government agencies and CBP is tasked with the enforcement of all rules and regulations established by the various agencies – for example, CBP enforces trademarks, enforces FDA import alerts, enforces US Fish and Wildlife restrictions on shark fins and all of the tens of thousands of rules from every agency.

In regards to trademarks, CBP must enforce trademarks if the intellectual property holder registered the trademark with Customs. Unfortunately for importers, Samsung has registered many trademarks and anything found to contain the “Samsung” trademark is easy picking for Customs to detain.

Typically, CBP has the ability to detain goods for 5 days – and longer if the detention is because the goods are suspected of violating intellectual property rights.

Once CBP detains a shipment – they notify the importer of record (IOR) or customs broker the shipment has been detained and will be released pending proof the IOR has authorization from the trademark holder to import the trademarked goods.

Unfortunately, 10 out of 10 times the trademark holder will respond to Customs the IOR does not have authority to import the trademarked good. Once that happens, CBP will officially seize the goods and issue a Notice of Seizure to the IOR by certified mail, return receipt requested.

The importer of record then has 30 days to respond to the seizure. According to the Election of Proceedings form on the last page of the seizure notice, there are 4 options – (1) file a petition, (2) forfeit the goods, (3) refer to court action or offer in compromise.

Going back to the original question – who is at fault for the seizure, the manufacturer that used “Samsung” batteries or the importer of record? And as you can guess from the above – CBP will ultimately find the Importer of Record responsible for trademark violations. While this answer seems unfair, it makes sense as CBP has no authority outside of the United States and no mechanism to go after the manufacturer. The only party CBP can find liable is the importer of record.

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

Withhold Release Order issued for Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

white flowers in tilt shift lenswhite flowers in tilt shift lens

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced today that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the over 400 ports of entry into the US will detain all shipments from Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC).

The Withhold Release Order (WRO) was issued for XPCC based on information that reasonably indicates XPCC uses forced and convict labor in their cotton and cotton products.

The recent WRO is the sixth issued by CBP against goods manufactured by forced labor in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Under a WRO, importers have two options,

Federal statute 19 U.S.C. 1307 prohibits the importation of merchandise mined, manufactured, or produced, wholly or in part, by forced labor, including convict labor, forced child labor, and indentured labor. This WRO will require detention at all U.S. ports of entry of all cotton products produced by the XPCC and any similar products that the XPCC produces. Importers of detained shipments have two options – export the shipment or demonstrate the merchandise was not producd with forced labor.

If you have had your shipment detained for a violation of an active WRO – contact trade attorney David Hsu by phone or email at 832-896-6288 or attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Syringes with unapproved drugs seized by FDA.

Seized syringes: source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection media release – officers seized a shipment of pre-filled syringes containing 200 Sodium Hyaluronate from Seoul, South Korea. Sodium Hyaluronate is used to treat osteoarthritis and seized for violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) prohibiting the importation of any food, drug, device, tobacco product, or cosmetic that is adulterated or misbranded.

The FDA Office of Criminal Investigation seized the shipment that would be worth $10,666 if authentic. Typical FDA seizures are due to unapproved prescriptions containing manufactured using incorrect or harmful ingredients.

If you have had your shipment seized by Customs for FDA violations, contact seizure attorney David Hsu by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or anytime by phone/text at 832-896-6288.

3,200+ importers file cases with the CIT!

white concrete pillar in grayscale photography
Photo by Anna Romanova on Pexels.com

As you are aware, the HMTX Industries LLC, et al., v. U.S., action initiated Sept. 10, 2020, in the U.S. Court of International Trade (“CIT”) alleges the U.S. failed to comply with applicable law when it imposed the additional “List 3” and “List 4a” duties on certain imports from China. Since the filing, over 3,200+ importers have filed their own “piggyback” actions in the CIT.

As the 2-year limitations period likely expires this upcoming Thursday, September 24th, I expect many more importers to file additional cases.

If you paid 25% duties under the Section 301 List 3 and List 4A duties and want to also preserve your opportunity to receive a future refund – contact David Hsu immediately by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

 

您有机会取回因301条款所支付的中国关税退款

上周四,一位进口商在CIT提起诉讼,指责301条款因行政管理不当、理当视为无效之罚。

如果原告胜诉,则所有进口商都可以在CIT中提起诉讼。并就其已支付的任何关税,要求退款(无论是否提出抗议)。

要求退款的申请截止日期为2020年9月21日(星期一)。如果您希望获得协助,借以保留您的退款权利,请致电给我们。

Contact: David Hsu
Mobile: 832-896-6288
Email: attorney.dave@yahoo.com,
Email: DH@GJATradeLaw.com
Line/Telegram/WeChat/WhatsApp: 8328966288

Counterfeit and harmful pacifiers seized by CBP.

Counterfeit pacifier, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Pittsburgh seized a shipment of 25 pacifiers with counterfeit marks of luxury brands such as Chanel and Mercedez Benz. In addition to bearing a registered mark, counterfeit products may also be manufactured using inferior quality of materials – such as lead paint with excessive lead paint levels. The pacifiers were bejeweled – causing CBP to note the poor quality workmanship may result in loose pieces breaking off and potentially choking a child that may ingest the pieces. If authentic, the pacifiers have a MSRP of $1,300.00.

If you have had your goods seized by Customs and you want to discuss your seizure options, contact David Hsu by phone/text at anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Counterfeit shoes seized in LAX.

Counterfeit Nike, source: CBP.gov

Another day, another seizure by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in LAX. The counterfeit shoes were from Hong Kong and labeled as “plastic ornaments”. Upon further examination, CBP officers found and seized 1,755 pairs of shoes with the Nike and Adidas branding.

Image of seized “Nike Air” shoes, source: cbp.gov

Customs then worked with import specialists at the Apparel, Footwear & Textiles Center of Excellence and Expertise (Apparel Center) to verify authenticity. As 100% of the time that occurs – the shoes were determined to be counterfeit and seized by Customs. CBP valued the seizure, if authentic, at $207,000.

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.

Image of counterfeit Adidas – source: CBP.gov

Advance rulings: limiting your USMCA import liability.

business commerce container export
Photo by Kaique Rocha on Pexels.com

Every importer of record needs to make declarations to Customs regarding tariff classification, valuation, origin of imported goods and more. Incorrect declarations can potentially lead to long term and expensive problems for the importer.

The NAFTA rules provided a method in which importers could seek guidance from Customs through an advance ruling to predetermine tariff classification, valuation, regional value issues, questions on qualifications of originating good, country of origin marking requirements, and more. NAFTA limited requests for guidance to only importers in the US and exporters and producers in Canada and Mexico who exported their goods to the US.

Fortunately, the new USMCA implemented several key changes. First, the USMCA not only allows an importer, but also allows an exporter, producer or anyone related to the trade transaction to request an advance ruling. Advance ruling requests are no longer limited to domestic residents.

Secondly, the USMCA agreement requires Customs to make a decision within 120 days – increasing transparency and predictability to the advance ruling process. Additionally, the USMCA also identifies the subjects that can be decided through ruling requests – tariff classification, customs valuation, origin of goods, quotas or “other issues agreed upon”.

Lastly, the USMCA offers increased protection in the event of customs modifying or revoking an advance ruling. Under the USMCA, an advance ruling cannot be revoked or modified if doing so will hurt the original ruling requester – unless the requester did not follow the advance ruling or the ruling was based on false information provided by the requester.

The best way to limit your USMCA import liability is to request an advance ruling – taking out the guesswork before the goods are shipped or entered into the US. Please do not hesitate to contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.