460 counterfeit “Rolex” watches seized.

Partial image of the over 460 seized “Rolex” watches. Source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), media release, CBP officers seized over 460 counterfeit watches in late April from multiple shipments.

The two shipments seized originated from Hong Kong and were to be delivered to an individual home in Brooklyn. The CBP media release mentioned the address has a history of receiving counterfeit goods. Most likely CBP singled out these shipments and upon further inspection found a total of 460 counterfeit Rolex watches with a combined MSRP over $10 million if authentic.

If you have had your goods seized by Customs, or if you receive a notice from Customs detaining or seizing your goods, contact David Hsu anytime by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Did you purchase ANY merchandise on your overseas trip? Be sure to declare it.

Sample of seized goods from traveler arriving from Thailand, source: CBP.gov

According to a CBP media release, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Dulles Airport seized consumer goods from an individual flying back into the US after a trip to Thailand.

The passenger was flying to Dulles on a flight from South Korea. When clearing Customs at Dulles, CBP officers asked her if she purchased any merchandise on her trip.

In response, she declared in writing and verbally that she did not purchase any items and was returning from Thailand with six pieces of luggage. However, when CBP performed a secondary inspection, they found and seized over 298 counterfeit items among 12 pieces of luggage belonging to the passenger. The total value of the goods, if authentic totaled over $500,000.

She stated that she returned from Thailand with six pieces of luggage, but declared, both verbally and in writing, that she did not purchase any merchandise on her trip.

She stated that she returned from Thailand with six pieces of luggage, but declared, both verbally and in writing, that she did not purchase any merchandise on her trip. However, when airline employees brought the woman’s baggage to the CBP inspection area, they examined 12 bags that were tagged to the traveler. After examining the bags, CBP found 298 pieces of clothing, hats, shoes and jewelry with marks from brand names such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry, Prada, Gianni Versace and others.

After the seizure, experts from the Center for Excellence and Expertise determined the goods were counterfeit. Counterfeit goods were then seized by Customs.

This media release is a good reminder for travelers to:

  1. Don’t lie to CBP and never sign anything that is not truthful.
  2. If you are asked about quantity of any items or value of currency – be sure to over estimate. There is no duty and no cost to bring in currency or monetary instruments – but you must declare it.
  3. CBP likely already knows the answers to their questions before they search you and before they ask you any questions. CBP has access to passenger information and has developed profiles on passengers and certain metrics they use to determine which passenger gets secondary screening.

If you or anyone you know has 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.

Counterfeit Designer Clothes Worth Over $2 Million Seized

Norfolk IPR_1
Counterfeit goods seized by Customs; source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Virginia seized a shipment of designer dresses and shawls estimated to be worth more than $2 million dollars due to trademark violations. The shipment destined for Ohio contained counterfeit dresses, women’s slippers and shawls (see above photo of the actual seized items). The seizure included 1,120 garments for violating intellectual property rights from brands such as Gucci, Apple and Louis Vuitton. If authentic, the MSRP value of the shipment was worth $2.3 million dollars.

If you have had your shipment seized for IPR violations, contact David Hsu by phone/text/email at 832-896-6288 or attorney.dave@yahoo.com to discuss your options.

CBP seizes $46,000 in currency from outbound travelers.

Image of seized currency, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, officers at Dulles airport seived more than $45,000 during two separate currency seizures from individuals leaving the country. The first traveler was a U.S. citizen traveling to Ghana. This traveler initially reported $14,000, but closer inspection revealed over $20,404. In this instance, CBP returned $404 in “humanitarian relief” and released the traveler. The other seizure occurred when a dog alerted officials to a couple traveling to Egypt. The couple reported $15,000, but a subsequent search discovered over $26,403 – $1,043 of that which was returned to the couple as “humanitarian relief”.

Humanitarian relief is an amount CBP can return to the travelers, but is not required to do. The amount can vary and depends on the circumstances – such as the amount seized and the number of travelers.

If you or anyone you know has had their currency seized by Customs, contact David Hsu anytime by phone/text/email at: 832-896-6288, attorney.dave@yahoo.com. Don’t wait as time may run out on your ability to file a claim.

$4+ Million in Counterfeit Jewelry Seized by Customs

Seized Richard Mille watch, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers in Louisville seized three packages from various shippers containing watches, bracelets, earrings, rings and necklaces that appear to be counterfeit.

They didn’t specify which air mail service, but Louisville is a major hub for DHL, UPS and FedEx flights from overseas.

The first shipment from Hong Kong were headed to Canada and contained watches bearing luxury marks such as Rolex, Breitling, Omega, Hublot among others. If authentic, the goods were valued at approximately $1.1 million.

The second seizure were composed of two packages and contained counterfeit jewelry – Tommy Hilfiger necklaces, Rolex bracelets, Gucci bracelets and rings and more. This shipment, also from Hong Kong, was headed to Miami. If real, the value of the seized goods totaled $1.19 million.

Lastly, the final parcel from the UAE contained a single Richard Mille watch with an MSRP of $2.25 million if authentic.

Typically, import specialists will detain shipments to verify with the trademark holder if the goods are authentic. From the media release, it appears Customs, in this instance, already pre-determined the goods were counterfeit. In general, Customs will seize any luxury branded good from Hong Kong that is poorly packaged and manufactured with poor quality. Most likely, the importer of record for all these shipments will receive a “Notice of Seizure” in a few weeks with a 30-day deadline (from the time of the seizure) to resolve the seizure. After 30-days, the goods are forfeited and a potential civil penalty will be issued to the importer of record.

If you have received a notice of seizure or have your goods detained, contact David Hsu by phone direct/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com; DH@GJATradeLaw.com.

EMP Slot Machine Jamming Device Seized.

Image of EMP device, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release. Officers at
the Port of Milwaukee seized a slot machine jamming device from Hong Kong. Slot machine jamming devices are prohibited by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC).

The FCC prohibits EMP devices because they emit a pulse that disrupts the machine’s electronics when within a meter range. The main reason the EMP devices are banned because the interfere with radio communications, mobile phones, and other communication devices.”

If you have had your shipment seized by Customs, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com for immediate assistance about your options.

Busiest container transhipment port – Singapore.

marina bay sands singapore
Photo by Kin Pastor on Pexels.com

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.

“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.