Busiest container transhipment port – Singapore.

marina bay sands singapore
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According to the numbers released by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore in mid-January, Singapore’s port handled a total of 37.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units – an increase of 1.6% from 2020.

In 2021, Singapore handled 599 million tons of freight, more than 2020 but less than pre-COVID times.

The four next-busiest ports are all located in China: Shanghai, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Shenzhen and Guangzhou Harbor.

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.

China’s WTO victory: China can levy duties on $645 million in US imports.

cargo ship near port
Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels.com

This week, an arbitrator with the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Appellate Body in Geneva ruled in favor of China – permitting China to levy duties on approximately $645 million worth of US imports each year.

While this action may appear in response to the Trump-era 301 duties, this past week’s decision has its beginnings during the Obama administration – when in 2012 the WTO established a panel to address Chinese complaints about unfair duties imposed by the United States on products such as paper, tires and solar panels. At that time, the U.S. argued the duties were necessary to counteract the alleged “dumping” of Chinese-made goods in the US market. 2 years later, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body sided with China when they permitted China to place tariffs on $2.4 billion in US goods.

WTO siding with China is nothing new, in 2019, another WTO arbitrator allowed China to levy duties on $3.6 billion worth of US imports.

Since China’s entry into the WTO, the US government has complained about the US’ unfair treatment in the WTO dispute settlement system. It was former President Donald Trump who stopped the WTO Appellate Body from hearing cases when the Trump administration blocked appointment of new Judges. Ironically, after the Biden administration took office, new Judges were appointed and cases were heard – leading to this current win for China.

“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.

Banned! Cotton from Xinjiang, China.

stylish collection of multicolored clothes on hangers in boutique
Photo by Sorapong Chaipanya on Pexels.com

In early December, the House and Senate unanimously passed a law banning the importation of products made from China’s Xinjiang region. The bill that passed both houses was signed on December 23rd by President Biden. The new bill requires suppliers to prove their products were not produced using forced labor. As previously posted on this blog – many products such as cotton and solar panels are imported from the Xinjiang region of China. In response, China has denied allegations of forced labor.

If you import any clothing from China, contact our office for a free consultation on how you can avoid any upcoming import compliance issues. Contact David Hsu anytime by phone or 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.

Department of Commerce to raise duty rates on importations of Canadian softwood lumber.

building architecture historical tower
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Last week, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued the final results of their second administrative reviews on anti-dumping and countervailing duty (ADD/CVD) orders regarding certain softwood lumber products from Canada.

Instead of maintaining or reducing the current duty rate of 9%, the Commerce Department decided to double the duty rate on Canadian softwood lumber to 17.9%. The new duty rates will also apply retroactively to softwood lumber imports from companies subject to the second administrative review.

If you have any questions about how the results of the administrative review will impact your business, contact David Hsu by phone/text anytime to: 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.