CBP in Arizona changes Mariposa hours of operation.

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According to a – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, the Mariposa Commercial Facility operating hours will be 8 am to 8 pm starting Monday, April 16th. The reduction in operating hours at the Mariposa Crossing due to the COVID-19 virus, with shorter hours that will limit CBP officer exposure to the virus and and potentially slowing the spread. It is important to note commercial traffic hours remain the same.

“The Port of Nogales continually works closely with local partners and industry stakeholders,” stated Area Port Director Michael Humphries. “The reduction in hours will further CBP measures to protect our employees from exposure while stopping the potential spread of COVID-19.”

If you have any general trade, customs, import/export or compliance questions – contact David Hsu by phone/text: 832.896.6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

New Update – Port of Anchorage, Alaska closed.

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I earlier posted about CSMS #42243866, in which the Port of Anchorage was closed Thursday and Friday due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19. However, CBP subsequently released CSMS #42247648 in which they announced the Federal Building at 605 West 4th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska that houses the CBP Area Port office (3126) is now closed for at least 14 days.

The CSMS further announces any documents (entry packages, FP&F payments, petitions, etc.) that would be sent to the 605 West 4th Avenue address should be submitted to: CBP Cargo Office at Ted Stevens International Airport (4600 Postmark Drive, Room NA207, Anchorage, Alaska, 99502).

The Anchorage Seaport and Cargo operations are still running and business as usual.

Hope the employee has a quick and speedy recovery!

CBP revokes WRO on tuna harvested by the Tunago 61 vessel.

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Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography on Pexels.com

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection media release – CBP announced that tuna and tuna products harvested from the Tunago No.61 vessel will be admissible at all U.S. ports of entry beginning April 1, 2020.

The revocation of withhold release order (WRO) on tuna and tuna products harvested from the Tunago No. 61 vessel was based on information provided to CBP that tuna and tuna products from this vessel are no longer produced under forced labor conditions.

A WRO is put in place prohibiting the importation of certain goods if CBP believes the goods being imported were made wholly or in part by forced labor, including convict labor, forced child labor, and indentured labor.

If you are subject to a pending WRO and want to discuss your options, or if you are aware of an importer using any type of forced labor; contact experienced customs attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP in Houston finds pests inside wood packaging materials.

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Photo of pests, source: cbp.gov

Earlier this week in Houston, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists working at the Houston Seaport found several wood packaging material shipments arriving to the Houston port from March 5 – March 12 containing timber pests that may cause damage to the forest and trees.

All 5 of shipments with the wood packaging material pests were immediately exported and unable to offload in Houston.  CBP along with the Department of Agriculture took samples of the pests and the pests were identified as a bark beetle from the wood wasp family.

All importers should be aware of any shipments in WPM used to brace, secure and support cargo.

If you have a wood packaging materials issue – you may not have to export, contact experienced wood packaging materials attorney – David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Children’s clothing seized by CBP for excessive lead levels and flammability risks.

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Seized clothing, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized commercial shipments of girls clothing and pajamas. The shipment from China was tested by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and found to contain excessive amounts of lead, violating the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. The other shipment contained pajamas also manufactured in China. Upon testing by the CPSC, Customs found the pajamas failed the flammability requirements under the Flammable Fabrics Act.

As a result of the violations, Customs seized the merchandise and will likely destroy the goods. I do not see any possibility the FPF paralegal would allow these goods to be entered into the US.

As I previously mentioned, CBP will first detain a shipment, have the shipment tested and then seize the shipment. After a seizure, Customs will send a Notice of Seizure to the importer of record for both shipments. Given the value of the shipment, $700 for the clothing and $1,500 for the pajamas, I don’t believe an importer of record will contest the seizures, much less hire an attorney to handle the seizure.

If you have had your goods seized for violating the CPSC regulations, Flammable Fabrics Act, the Federal Hazardous Substances Act or any other regulations from the alphabet soup of federal agencies, call experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

72,000 counterfeit vaping pods seized.

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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.

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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.

New CSMS message about importing personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

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Due to the COVID-19 health crisis and to help facilitate the importation of personal protective equipment (PPE), the FDA issued new instructions for PPE and medical devices through the Cargo Systems Messaging Service. A copy and paste of the entire message is copied below:

 


CSMS #42124872 -Information for Filing Personal Protective Equipment and Medical Devices During COVID-19

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is providing instruction to the import community regarding the submission of entry information for personal protective equipment and certain other devices. Following the instructions below will help facilitate the import process for all; especially for products related to the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency. It is in the best interest of the U.S. to facilitate and expedite the importation of products into the U.S. market that address immediate, urgent public health needs.

For further information regarding entry submission requirements, see the FDA Supplemental Guidance for ACE at https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/2020-Mar/FDA%20Supplemental%20Guide%20Release%202.5.1%202018%200410.pdf.

1. Non-FDA-regulated general purpose personal protective equipment (masks, respirators, gloves, etc.):

Personal protective equipment for general purpose or industrial use (that is, products that are not intended for use to prevent disease or illness) is not regulated by FDA.

For these types of products, entry information should not be transmitted to FDA. At the time of entry for these products, Importers should transmit entry information to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) using an appropriate HTS code with no FD Flag; or using an appropriate HTS code with an FD1 flag and do a ‘disclaim’ for FDA.

2. Products authorized for emergency use pursuant to an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)

When importing such products, entry information should be submitted to FDA; however reduced FDA information is required for review.

At the time of entry, Importers should transmit an Intended Use Code of 940.000: Compassionate Use/Emergency Use, and an appropriate FDA product code.

Below is a list of products and the appropriate product codes that are currently authorized by an EUA:

• Diagnostic tests: QPK, OTG, QKO, QJR
• Masks/Respirators: NZJ

Questions regarding appropriate product coding can be submitted to FDA at: COVID19FDAIMPORTINQUIRIES@fda.hhs.gov.

Requests for Emergency Use Authorization can be submitted to FDA at: CDRH-EUA-Templates@fda.hhs.gov (for diagnostic devices) and CDRH-NonDiagnosticEUA-Templates@fda.hhs.gov (for non-diagnostic devices)

3. Products regulated by FDA as a device, not authorized by an EUA, but where an enforcement discretion policy has been published in guidance.

When importing such devices, entry information should be submitted to FDA.

At the time of entry, Importers should transmit an Intended Use Code of 081.006: Enforcement discretion per final guidance, and an appropriate FDA product code.

Below is a listing of guidance documents that have been issued for specific products related to COVID-19, which contain product codes within the scope of each guidance:

• Non-Invasive Remote Monitoring Devices
• Ventilators and Accessories and Other Respiratory Devices

A full list of all guidance documents related to COVID-19 is also available on FDA’s website.

All questions regarding these instructions, or to resolve entry issues for shipments can be submitted to FDA at: COVID19FDAIMPORTINQUIRIES@fda.hhs.gov or 301-796-0356.


 

If you import PPE and have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP may approve additional days to pay duties, taxes and fees due to COVID-19.

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According to “CSMS #42097586 – Additional Days for Payments due to COVID-19”, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will now approve (although on a case-by-case basis) additional days for payment of duties, taxes and fees. As this was just announced, CBP will issue another message with more information.

Mexico and US agree to close border except for trade and workers.

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According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. and Mexico have reached an agreement on closing border traffic between the two nations except to allow for trade and workers and essential traffic. The

Essential traffic includes for medical purposes, attend educational institutions and emergency response workers.

President Trump cited the CDC’s order on need to slow the spread of the Corona virus and to ensure there are enough health-care resources for US citizens. This closure comes a day after Canada and the US agreed to also close their border.

Besides traveling to Mexico or Canada, the State Department on Thursday issued a new travel alert asking Americans to go travel abroad and to return home unless planning to live abroad.