The opinions expressed are those of David Hsu and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its partners, or its clients. The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice on any subject. No recipient of content from this site, clients or otherwise, should act on the basis of any content in this site without seeking the appropriate legal or professional advice based on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient's state.
In late September, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials in Baltimore seized 1,000 solar panels from China destined to Denver. The 365-watt crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules from China were seized because the ELT markings were applied with the ETL trademark owner’s authorization. The Intertek ETL mark is only allowed on authorized goods that meet Intertek’s standards for compliance with North American performance and safety standards.
The seized panels were appraised at $275,000, if authentic. If you have had your shipment detained or seized due to not having the appropriate mark or alleged unauthorized use of a mark even though you have authorization – contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at email@example.com for immediate assistance to explore your options.
CBP officers at Dulles International Airport seized a shipment of 3,738 glass bongs from China in early October. The documentation listed the goods as “gravity pipes”. CBP officers detained the shipment and sent a sample and photo to the CBP Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE) that handles Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising. More than a month later, CBP import specialists seized the goods (appraised at $56,033) on the basis of drug paraphernalia.
If you or someone you know has had a seizure for goods suspected of being drug paraphernalia, contact David Hsu by phone/text anytime to 832-896-6288 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Must be a shortage of card stock in the US, as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release reports a seizure of 2 shipments of counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards in Pittsburgh in early September. CBP were able to determine the vaccination cards as counterfeit due to the low-quality appearance and the importer of record or consignee was not the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Customs media release reminds readers of the illegality of buying, selling or using counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards.
If you have had your shipment seized by customs, contact David Hsu by phone/text anytime for assistance at 832-896-6288 or by email at email@example.com for assistance.
According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers in Louisville, Kentucky seized a shipment last Saturday of 32 separate shipments containing counterfeit designer watches valued at $57.84 million dollars, if authentic. Some of the counterfeits were branded Rolex and Richard Mille.
The 32 separate shipments contained 2,168 watches that were determined to be counterfeit by CBP’s experts at the various CEE departments. The watches were from Hong Kong where approximately 25% of the counterfeit goods seized originate.
If you have had your goods seized by Customs, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288; or email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Back in March of 2021, CBP published a finding of forced labor in the Federal Register for disposable gloves produced in Malaysia by Top Glove Corporation Bhd. The finding against Top Glove was due to reports of forced labor indicators such as: debt bondage, excessive overtime, abusive working and living conditions and retention of identity documents.
A finding of forced labor results in a “Withhold Release Order” (WRO) that instructs CBP to seize shipments of the gloves produced using the forced labor. It is then up to the importer to prove the merchandise was not produced with forced labor.
The process a company needs to take involves a request to modify or revoke a finding. Each situation is different, but in general, CBP will modify a WRO or findings if there is enough evidence the subject merchandise is no longer produced or manufactured using forced labor.
In Top Glove’s situation – Top Glove paid $30 million in payments to workers and improved the living and working conditions at the company’s facilities.
If you are subject to a WRO or CBP finding of forced labor, or if you have any compliance concerns to ensure your company is not subject to a WRO or finding of forced labor, contact David Hsu by phone/text anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at email@example.com.
Our clients have recently experienced an increase in seizures of glass pipes and water pipes (among other items) used for the sole purpose of smoking Cannabidiol-laden hemp (CBD). As you are aware, CBD was legalized by the Federal Government under the Farm Bill of 2018. Additionally, multiple states have also taken measures to legalize smoking of CBD and Congress has been silent on prohibiting smokable hemp.
If you have had a shipment of CBD goods seized for drug paraphernalia, we may be able to help – contact David Hsu by phone/text anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; DH@GJATradeLaw.com.
Yes and Yes. While import and export compliance are the typical programs in place for importers and exporters – one often neglected compliance program importers must have is the social compliance program.
The social compliance program is necessary to ensure compliance with Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930, prohibiting the importation of merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured, wholly or in part, in any foreign country by forced or indentured child labor – including forced child labor. Importers who import goods produced with forced labor may have their goods subject to exclusion, detention, seizure and may lead to a criminal investigation.
While many importers are confident their manufacturing supplier is not using forced labor, CBP also goes after importers who are downstream from the actual instance of forced labor. For example, even though you do not purchase goods from a company using forced labor – if the raw materials used in the production of the goods you import are made using forced labor – your goods are subject to detention. Even if the raw materials go through several manufacturers or companies before being incorporated into the final product you import – you as the importer of record are liable for any instances of forced labor at any stage of the supply chain.
A social compliance program is therefore a must to minimize the risk of a Customs detention on the basis of use of forced labor. Not only do importers need a social compliance program in place, they also need to adequately educate and train all key personnel on minimizing the importation of goods produced using forced labor.
If you want to minimize your detention risk of goods subject to a pending Withhold Release Order or have any questions about whether your goods may be subject to detention based on the multitude of outstanding WRO’s in place – call us for your free consultation. Our firm prepares and trains companies on forced labor compliance and are ready to help you. Call David Hsu on his cellphone or text at 832-896-6288 or by email at email@example.com.
According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, officers in Missouri seized over 4.68 million latex gloves from a subsidiary of Malaysia based Top Glove Corporation Bhd. The seizure valued at $690,000 was due to information provided to CBP the gloves were manufactured using forced labor – a form of modern slavery.
Specifically, CBP issued a forced labor finding – in which they suspect Top Glove’s production process to include debt bondage, excessive overtime, abusive working conditions, abusive living conditions and the retention of identity documents.
Unfortunately for Top Glove, CBP will continue seizing their goods until Top Glove can prove future glove shipments were not produced using forced labor. In general, forced labor also includes indentured labor, use of convict labor, and child labor.
CBP issued a forced labor finding on March 29 based on evidence of multiple forced labor indicators in Top Glove’s production process, including debt bondage, excessive overtime, abusive working and living conditions, and retention of identity documents.
If your company is suspected of using forced labor. contact David Hsu anytime by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Forced labor compliance is the new, hot enforcement area for Customs and Border Protection.
If you are an importer, and are concerned about forced labor accusations, contact us also to create your forced labor compliance program.
According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers at Chicago O’Hare seized 50,000 vaping pens from Hong Kong.
The “dragster Mountain Vape Pens” were seized because they violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) regarding the importation of tobacco products – specifically for being misbranded and for being imported by an unauthorized agent. Typically this means an importer is not authorized to import goods (that may be counterfeit).
According to the Customs media release, Customs believes the shipment was intentionally and improperly mislabeled as “lithium ion batteries” to avoid seizure.
While not reported in the Customs media release – shipments that are mislabeled are typically seized under statute 19USC1499(a)(3)(A), copied below:
(3)Unspecified articles If any package contains any article not specified in the invoice or entry and, in the opinion of the Customs Service, the article was omitted from the invoice or entry—(A) with fraudulent intent on the part of the seller, shipper, owner, agent, importer of record, or entry filer, the contents of the entire package in which such article is found shall be subject to seizure; or
19USC1499(a)(3)(A) is a catch all statute Customs frequently uses to seize any goods that are not included in paperwork. Omissions or mis-representations on the paperwork (regardless of goods being imported) is the easiest way for Customs to seize shipments. If you are in the import business – be sure the exporter is correctly declaring the shipment and are following your import compliance manual and procedures.
If you import and don’t have a compliance manual or procedures – contact me, you need one, 832-896-6288.
Going back to the vape pens – Customs will likely not release these goods as the FDA has increasingly cracked down on the importation of these vape pens and other nicotine delivery systems. The alleged counterfeit nature of the pens and the mislabeling of the shipment will likely mean these vape pens will not be released.
If you have had your goods seized by Customs, contact seizure attorney David Hsu immediately by phone or text at 832-896-6288 or by email at email@example.com.
According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers in Dulles International Airport asked a female traveler heading to the Netherlands how much currency she was carrying. The Netherlands-bound traveler reported she was carrying $10,000 and also produced a completed FINCEN-105 form.
CBP officers asked her if she had additional and she responded she did not. However, upon a subsequent inspection, officers found a total of more than $47,000. Officers returned her $1,740 for humanitarian purposes and she continued on her trip.
Pro Tips for travelers:
If Customs ask if you are carrying over $10,000 in currency, it is because they already know you are carrying more than $10,000 in currency.
Be honest with Customs, you can carry more than $10,000, you just have to report it.
Don’t sign the FINCEN 105 form before you count the amount of currency you have. Count first, then sign.
If you get your currency seized, you have about 30 days, if you will be overseas – be sure someone will be able to access your physical mail to receive the “Notice of Seizure”
If you have had your hard-earned currency seized, contact customs seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text for immediate help: 832-896-6288 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow the Director of CBP’s Baltimore Field Office on Twitter at @DFOBaltimore and on Instagram at @dfobaltimore for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos.