Kratom contaminated with salmonella seized by CBP.

Image of kratom powder, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) media release, CBP officers in Detroit seized more than a half ton of “salmonella-laced Kratom” at the Fort Street Cargo Facility.

Author’s comment: the original headline was “CBP Seizes Half Ton of Salmonella-Laced Kratom“. Not sure why they used the word “laced” in the headline as lacing something is typically used to mean adding an ingredient to bulk up a drug. I am unsure how a kratom exporter can “lace” kratom with salmonella on purpose or if there would be a benefit to doing so. Additionally, the use of the word “lace” to describe kratom may also be an effort to associate kratom as dangerous as other illegal drugs that are frequently laced such as crack, heroin, PCP, etc.

The media release reports 1,200 pounds of contaminated powder (valued according to CBP at $405,000) was selected for further inspection due to an unusual description and classification discrepancies.

CBP said the kratom “which originated from China, were manifested as botanical soils from Canada, though Officers and specialists believed it to be consistent in appearance to bulk green tea”.

Author’s comment: this is the first time I have heard of kratom from China, maybe it was transhipped from Indonesia? CBP did not indicate the “classification discrepancy” or point out what HTSUS code was used to enter the kratom.

CBP took a sample of the power and sent it to the Food and Drug Administration for lab tests – which confirmed the shipment was kratom but also saw it was contaminated with salmonella. As a result, CBP seized the shipment “due to significant risk to public health and safety”.

Author’s comment: CBP does not specify the import alert on kratom as the basis for seizure. I have not seen the seizure notice (it will only be sent to the importer of record), but it was likely seized for not being described as kratom on the shipping documents.

In the last paragraph of the CBP media release, they write:

Kratom is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia, and its leaves are often ingested in the form of tea. Depending on dosage, Kratom can produce both stimulant and sedative effects. Kratom is not a scheduled substance under the Controlled Substances Act, though the Drug Enforcement Administration currently lists it as a Drug or Chemical of Concern.

It is interesting they do not mention the 2016 import alert regarding kratom. If you have had your shipment of kratom (mitragyna speciosa) seized by CBP, contact David Hsu, 24/7 by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Houston CBP seizes $600K+ in counterfeit solar panels.

Solar Panel with trademark infringment
Image of seized counterfeit solar panels, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Houston seaport seized over 2,000 solar panels from Turkey violating intellectual property rights. If authentic, the value of the solar panels would total over $658,125.

This is the fourth importation of counterfeit solar panels – with counterfeit panels entering Houston as early as February. CBP later verified with the trademark owner that confirmed the panels were counterfeit.

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

Counterfeit 3M masks seized by CBP.

Fake Masks
Image of seized masks, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers at Chicago O’Hare International Mail Branch detained (and subsequently seized) a package from China manifested as containing contents as industrial masks on May 30.

The shipment contained in 24 boxes with each box containing 10 3M brand, 8822 Plus Masks. CBP suspected the masks as counterfeit due to low value, poor quality and poor packaging.

After CBP detained the masks, samples were sent to 3M where the shipment was selected for exam due to x-ray inconsistencies. Inside the parcel were 24 boxes each containing 10 counterfeit 3M 8822 Plus masks. Import Specialists noted the poor packaging, low value, and poor quality. A subsequent 3M authenticator (didn’t know they had those) confirmed the masks were counterfeit – if real, the masks would have an MSRP of $813.

Given the increase in COVID-19 cases, we will likely see more importations of counterfeit PPE, medicine and thermometers.

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

To combat these criminal activities, CBP is targeting imports and exports that may contain counterfeit or illicit goods. The products in targeted shipments often include false or misleading claims, lack required warnings or lack proper approvals.

Ancient artifact from Iran seized by US Customs.

Seized Iranian vase, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers in Kentucky seized a shipment containing an antique amber glass bottle believed to be an antique from the 9th to 10th century. CBP officers forwarded the antique to a subject matter export who examined the bottle and determined the bottle was from Iran between the 11th and early 13th centuries.

The shipment from the UK bound for an address in Colorado was unfortunately seized for Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) violations. As you are aware, current OFAC rules prohibit the importation of goods or services from Iran. OFAC is a department under the U.S. Treasury and enforces economic and trade sanctions against certain countries and individuals who are believed to be involved with terrorism, narcotics, human trafficking or other illegal and disreputable activities.

Besides OFAC issues, CBP also helps protect cultural property and keeps antiques with their rightful owners. The seized Iranian vase will be returned to Iran.

In addition to merchandise from Iran, OFAC regulations prohibit importation of goods and services from Cuba, Burma (Myanmar), and most of Sudan. Certain exceptions can be made but do require an OFAC license for those importations.

If you have any questions about OFAC enforcement or compliance, contact David Hsu by phone/text anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at: attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Counterfeit purses, headphones, sunglasses and even coolers seized by Customs.

Seized “Gucci” sunglasses, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Dallas Fort Worth International Airport seized counterfeit purses, headphones, sunglasses and Yeti collers valued at over $108,000 if authentic. This seized shipment originated from Hong Kong – where 9 out of 10 seizure cases reported by Customs indicate as the source of the counterfeit goods. I believe the tech goods are likely made across the border in Shenzhen and the fashion items are also made cheaply across the border in Guangzhou.

The exact counterfeit items included Tiffany & Company rings, six Louis Vuitton handbags, seven pairs of Chanel and Guicci sunglasses, Beats headphones, seven Apple AirPod Pros and two Yeti coolers.

My guess is the Yeti coolers are made by one of the vendors on Aliexpress that sells same or similar type coolers, not sure why they would risk a seizure by using the Yeti name.

CBP officers intercepted a shipment and after reviewing the information in the shipping documents, selected it for examination. During the examination, officers discovered three Tiffany & Co rings, six Louis Vuitton handbags, seven pairs of Chanel and Gucci sunglasses, Powerbeats Beats by Dre headphones, seven Apple AirPod Pros and two Yeti coolers.

In general, seized goods suspected of being counterfeit will have samples sent to the CBP’s Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Center of Excellence and Expertise’s import specialists to determine their authenticity. At this CEE, the staff will examine the goods and discuss the items with the trademark owners. After examining the goods, import specialists determined the goods were counterfeit and seized the shipment.

If you receive a Notice of Seizure from Customs, you have 30 days to respond. Contact David Hsu for all your customs seizure needs at 832-896-6288, or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Counterfeit Super Bowl rings seized by CBP.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers in Kentucky seized over 150 counterfeit Super Bowl championship rings arriving from China. It wasn’t mentioned in the article, but the seizure in Kentucky means it was likely shipped by DHL.

The shipment contained rings from various professional sports organizations such as the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. If authentic, the rings would have an MSRP of $43,450. As the rings likely were not licnsed by the team or organization, they were seized for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) violations.

For suspected counterfeit goods, CBP will send an image to the property right holder – if the rights holder says the goods are not authentic, then Customs will seize the goods.

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

Invasive and destructive beetle larvae seized by Customs.

Image of the intercepted khapra beetle larvae, source: CBP.gov

According to a US Customs media release, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists intercepted beetle larvae found on a shipment of welding wire from China. The larvae were sent to the US Department of Agriculture for testing and identification and identified as Trogoderma granarium Everts or the commonly known Khapra beetle. As a result of identification, the shipment was sealed to prevent potential contamination with other shipments.

According to CBP, Khapra beetles are dangerous pests that pose a risk to grain and other stored seeds. The Khapra beetle is usually located in burlap bags, corrugated carboard boxes and animal hides. Originally from India, Khapra beetles are found in shipments from Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Asia and some parts of Europe.

If you have received a notice of action or if Customs has found a pest in your import – time is of the essence – contact attorney David Hsu for immediate assistance – phone/text anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Unauthorized COVID-19 medicine seized.

Seized COVID-19 medicine, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized 360 pills of medicine marketed to treating COVID-19. The medicine was a violation of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules preventing unauthorized medical treatments that may mislead consumers by making false claims to prevent or treat diseases or may in fact harm the consumer.

The FDA is especially concerned with unauthorized COVID-19 treatments that are marketed towards curing, treating or preventing serious illnesses.

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, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP in Puerto Rico seize counterfeit alloy wheels.

Photo by Reynaldo #brigworkz Brigantty on Pexels.com

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, San Juan Field Operations seized a shipment of 844 counterfeit alloy car wheels with an estimated manufacturer suggested retail price of approximately $238,000, if genuine.

The media release quotes CBP officials who claim counterfeit auto parts are safety risks for drivers as the fake rims do not meet industry wide safety standards. The seizure of counterfeit alloy wheels is just one of multiple seizures of car related parts – from fake air bags, fog lights and tires.

If CBP has seized your goods 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 or dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Customs seizes Chinese medication for treatment of COVID-19.

pills

Image of seized pills, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the O’Hare International Airport international mail facility seized medication from China. The medication made claims it could treat COVID-19, violating FDA laws and therefore seized by CBP. CBP seized a total of 9,600 capsules of “Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang”. According to various sources online, Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang is a combination of dozens of herbs in capsule form. According to CBP, the shipment contained an estimated value of $28,797.

If you have had your good 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.