CBP seizes undervalued Range Rovers prior to export to Nigeria.

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Seized Range Rover, source: cbp.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers in Delaware seized a 2016 Land Rover Range Rover prior to export to Lagos, Nigeria.

The vehicle worth approximately $55,000 was undervalued in export documents with a value of $13,000. Customs seized the vehicle for violation of 13 USC 305 which is submission of filing a false export declaration and undervaluing an export. 13 USC 305 is fairly broad and used often as a basis for export seizures.

This seizure in Delaware is just one of the many reasons Customs will seize vehicles prior to export – if you have had your vehicle detained or seized by Customs prior to export overseas to places such as Nigeria, the UAE, China, etc, contact experienced vehicle seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Tobacco from Malawi subject to detention by US Customs.

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Yesterday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a withhold release order on tobacco from the southeast African country of Malawi and other products that contain tobacco from Malawi.
A withhold release order (WRO) means any products from Malawi containing tobacco will be detained by CBP at all of the ports of entry. A WRO was issued after information was collected by CBP that indicates tobacco from Malawi is produced using forced labor and forced child labor.
Many believe a WRO means you cannot import tobacco from Malawi – however, an WRO still allows for importation of tobacco, but importers need to provide documentation that their tobacco and tobacco containing products do not include tobacco from Malwai that was produced using child labor or other prohibitions under US law. 
This most recent WRO is just one of 7 previously issued by CBP this year to prevent the importation of products made using forced labor (which includes convict labor, forced child labor or indentured labor).
If you believe your goods have been wrongly seized by a WRO, contact experienced trade and customs attorney David Hsu for immediate assistance – we have helped many importers and can be reached by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP intercepts stolen SUV destined for West Africa.

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Image of seized stolen SUV, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized a stolen 2018 Cadillac Escalade, valued at more than $57,000 at the Port of Wilmington, Del, September 25th.

This most recent seizure was one of 16 stolen vehicles seized this year at the Port of Wilmington, a combined value of over $454,007 in stolen vehicles.

The vehicle was seized during a routine CBP inspection of outbound shipments destined for West Africa when the VIN number was associated with a 2018 Mercedes Benz.

Further investigation found the true VIN and the SUV was traced to a stolen vehicle in North Carolina along with fraudulent titles and export documents.

In instances such as the above, CBP will not release these vehicles – however, if you export vehicles and have complied with all the requirements, CBP may still seize your vehicle – if so, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) next big free-trade zone since the WTO?

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Big news out of Africa from over the weekend from News Wires – African leaders met this past weekend to begin a continental free-trade zone that if passed by all 55-nations, would unite 1.3 billion people and create a $3.4 trillion economic block, the largest free-trade zone since the WTO was established in 1994.

The agreement to create the AfCFTA has been in the works for the past four years and is Africa’s effort to catch up on regional trade versus Asia and Europe. In 2017, African exports were 17% of exports versus 59% in Asia and 69% in Europe. The creation of the AfCFTA is an effort to boost growth in Africa as it has in Europe and North America.

However, Africa is a large continent and each individual country has concerns whether a new trade area will really benefit their country. The article cites Nigerian officials concerned the free trade area will result in a flood of cheaper goods that hinder efforts to increase local manufacturing. On the other hand, South African manufacturers see the free trade area as a benefit as they would be able to expand into the West and North Africa countries.

Will post news regarding the passage of the AfCFTA as it becomes available.a