Counterfeit footwear valued over $270k seized in Kentucky.

Counterfeit Louis Vuitton, source: CBP.gov

In early June, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Kentucky seized a shipment of counterfeit luxury footwear from Turkey headed for a home in Georgia.

The seizure consisted of two shipments of counterfeit Louis Vuitton sandals carrying an MSRP of $276,540 if authentic.

CBP claims the purchase of counterfeit goods supports criminal activity while robbing businesses of revenue. The early June seizure of sandals is only a small portion of the reported $4.3 million worth of counterfeit products seized daily last year, as reported by CBP.

If you have had your goods seized by Customs, you do have to act fact – certain time lines are in effect from the day Customs issues the seizure notice.

Contact trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com anytime for immediate help.

CBP seizes $351k of 道具专用 money from China.

Seized 道具专用 money from China., source: CBP.gov

I previously posted on this blog back on May 23rd about seizure of $252k in cash that was marked in red Chinese letters with the words道具专用. Which is loosely translated as “for prop use only”. Earlier this week, CBP seized an additional $351,000 in prop currency from a shipment from Shanghai, China and headed to a residence in Milwaukee.

Upon further examination, Customs seized the counterfeit currency, noting the bills all were marked with the same serial number, lack of red and blue fibers and missing the embeded watermark. Customs also noted on the back were Chinese letters on back of bills in red.

CBP only posted the image above so I do not know for sure what Chinese characters were on the back, but the words were probably the standard 道具专用, meaning “for prop use only”. While labeled for prop use only (such as in movies), CBP considers these “foreign currency notes” as counterfeit and will destroy them. One such reason is because the prop money has been successful used in all major cities at multiple retailers.

If you have had your goods seized by Customs, contact customs seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Imported drones seized by Customs for not meeting FAA labeling requirements.

Image of seized drones, source: CBP.gov

Yesterday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offiecers in Detroit seized over 4,600 remote controlled helicopter drones from China (see image of seized drones). The value of the drones is approximately $69,000 even though they were declared at $7,000.

The Customs media release did not specify the deficiencies in the labeling – however, since February 2019, the FCC has required all drones to display a registration number among other requirements.

If you are a toy or hobby importer and import drones and want to ensure your imports are compliant with FAA or Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines, contact import compliance attorney David Hsu by phone/text anytime 24/7 at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

COVID-19 treatment drugs seized by Customs.

Lianhua Qingwen Capsules from China, source: CBP.gov

While coverage of the George Floyd dominates the airwaves, many people are still concerned about COVID-19 as evidenced by the continued importation of COVID-19 treatment drugs from China.

Specifically, earlier this month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Mississippi seized two shipments containing more than 2,000 “Lianhua Qingwen” capsules and “balangen” granules. These two drugs have been touted as treating COVID-19 symptoms.

Customs has seized multiple shipments of these two named drugs and CBP tests reveal the drugs contain sugar and iron. As these drugs do not have FDA approval, they were seized by CBP and will likely be destroyed. The FDA prohibits importation of food, drug, device, tobacco or cosmetic products that are undeclared, misbranded or misnamed. As a rresult, CBP seized the unapproved drugs as they have not been tested and may cause harm or death to US citizens.

Lainhua Qingwen capsules and granules are sold in China and elsewhere in Asia as treating COVID-19 symptoms.

If you have had a Customs seizure, contact David Hsu 24/7 by phone/text to 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Counterfeit markers seized in Minnesota.

Marking pen sets (002)

Seized fake “Sharpies”, source: CBP.gov

So I blog a lot about seized goods, mostly luxury goods, phones, shoes, medicine, and recently COVID test kits – however this is the first time I’ve seen Customs publish a media release on seizure of school supplies.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Minnesota inspected a rail container and discovered market sets violating intellectual property rights. The seizure contained 5,000 marker sets and if genuine would carry an MRSP of about $115,000. Based off the above picture supplied by Customs, it appears they seized these goods for not using the “Sharpie” brand word mark, but likely for copying the design of the barrel and cap commonly seen on “Sharpie” brand permanent marker.

If your goods have been seized, there may be something you can do – contact customs seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Importer and company executives pay $5.2 million penalty under the FCA.

pexels-photo-3958960

Photo by Curtis Adams on Pexels.com

The DOJ recently announced a $5.2 million settlement from importer, Blue Furniture Solutions, LLC, based on alleged importation of merchandise into the United States using false descriptions and invoices that claimed the merchandise was not within the scope of the antidumping duties on wooden bedroom furniture from China.

A whistleblower under the FCA’s qui tam provisions exposed Blue Furniture Solution’s intentional misrepresentations totaling $1.7 million in antidumping payments. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) intervened under the FCA.

One year later, on April 20, 2020, the DOJ announced the $.52 million settlement – in which the company pays $4.7 million and executives pay $550,000 for personal liability. Information on this case can be found in the following: United States ex rel. University Loft Company v. Blue Furniture Solutions, LLTC et al., No. 15-CV-588-LY (W.D. Tex.). The related criminal matter appeared under the case name United States v. Zeng, No. 19-CR-64-DCN (D.S.C.).

If you believe an importer is misrepresenting their customs entry to save on AD duties, or if you are a subject of an FCA investigation, contact experienced customs and trade law attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 by phone or text; or email attorney.dave@yahoo.com; dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Corona virus’ January and February impact on trade.

birds eye view photo of freight containers

Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels.com

According to the Financial Times, global trade dropped 2.6 percent in February compared to the same time in 2019. This February drop also follows a 1.5 percent drop from January 2020. Specifically, China had a 7.3 percent fall in imports in January 2020 due to parts of the country shutting down in response to the Corona virus. For February, China had another 3.2 percent drop for the month.

The US did not show any impact in trade volume while the EU trade volume dropped 1.5 percent for February 2020. Will be interesting to see March and April numbers when reported.

General importing/exporting questions? Contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/email at: attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP seizes counterfeit 3M masks.

3MMasks

Image of seized “3M” masks, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers in Cincinnati examined a package from China with its contents manifested as “mask” on April 3rd. Upon examination, CBP officers discovered 2,000 counterfeit masks branded as 3M. If authentic, the value of the masks would have been approximately $7,000. The package was destined to an individual residence in Austin, Texas.
*****
If CBP seizes your goods for violating intellectual property rights, such as importing facemasks using the “3M” mark, you will receive a Notice of Seizure or Seizure Notice in the mail. The notice will be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested (CMRRR) and will be sent to the address on the package or the listed importer of record.
From 30 days of the date of notice (and not the day you receive it), you will need to file a response. The options are: forfeit the items, offer in compromise, refer to court or file a seiure petition.
What if you do nothing? Then after 30 days, CBP will begin forfeiture of the seized goods – ie, CBP will take and destroy the items.
And then? Then you (importer of record) may receive a civil penalty notice (ie, a fine) for importing goods that violate a trademark registered with Customs.
If you have had your shipment seized by Customs, contact David Hsu by phone/text anytime at 832.896.6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

72,000 counterfeit vaping pods seized.

pexels-photo-3544140

Photo by Wildan Zainul Faki on Pexels.com

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protections (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized over 72,000 counterfeit disposable flavored pods from Hong Kong mimicking the “Pop” brand Blue Razz Disposable Vaping Devices. If authentic, the value of the pod packets would be valued over $1.1 million.

No surprise on this seizure of vaping pods given the prior deaths of young individuals from vaping. The FDA is working to lower the number of illnesses and deaths related to vaping and no surprise Customs would seize these goods. CBP and FDA believe counterfeit pod vaping ingredients may not meet the stringent regulations set by the US FDA, resulting in a further increase in illnesses and death.

If you have had your good seized by Customs and you have received a seizure notice, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu to discuss your options. Contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP revoke withhold release order (WRO) on disposable rubber gloves.

pexels-photo-1267349

Photo by ELEVATE on Pexels.com

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection media release, yesterday, CBP revoked a Withhold Release Order (WRO) for rubber gloves imported by WRP Asia Pacific Sdn. Bhd.

Briefly, a WRO is issued by CBP and intended to prevent goods suspected to have been made with forced labor or in violation of labor standards from entering the US.

The WRO, which was initially put in place last September and revoked recently because CBP obtained information demonstrating the company no longer produces rubber gloves under forced labor conditions. The process to revoke a WRO required CBP becoming involved with the manufacturing and labor practices to ensure WRP complied with international and US labor standards.

While the media release made no mention of the corona virus, it is unusual to see a media release singling out a revocation of a withhold release order, especially a WRO on PPE goods  such as disposable rubber gloves.

If you are subject to a WRO and want to explore your options, contact experienced customs attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.