$2 million in counterfeit goods seized by CBP.

Counterfeit goods, source: CBP.gov

CBP officers in Louisville, Kentucky seized shipments from Dubai and Hong Kong containing over $2.0 million in counterfeit goods. The shipment from Dubai was labeled “men’s clocks” and upon inspection contained luxury watches from “Piguet”, “Hublot”, “Richard Mille” and “Cartier. The CBP import specialist determined the goods were counterfeit.

The second shipment from Hong Kong was labeled as “pedometers” – but in reality contained 180 “LV” watches and 65 “Oakley” sunglasses. Customs estimate the total seizure of the goods, if authentic, was worth $2,360,540.

The customs media release didn’t mention this – but if you have a shipment of goods destined for the US and detained by Customs, the typical 5-day rule of Customs to hold your goods does not apply. In general, seizures based on suspected counterfeit or IP violations do not have to abide by the 5-day rule and you may be looking at 2-4 weeks before your goods are seized or released.

If you have had your good seized by Customs for suspicion of being counterfeit – contact customs seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

$838,481 in unreported currency seized by Customs.

Image of $838k in seized currency, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release. CBP officers at the Roma, Texas Port of Entry seized more than $838,000 in unreported currency hidden in a vehicle heading out of the US.

As you are aware, all currency and monetary instruments $10,000 or more need to be reported. In this case, CBP officers seized stacks of cash totaling $838,481 in unreported currency concealed within a 2016 Chevrolet Colorado.

After seizing the currency – CBP referred the case to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI). In general, if your case is referred to HSI – then there is likely a criminal case.

If you have had your currency seized by Customs, contact our office immediately – there are time limits regarding the seizures – call or text David Hsu directly at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

$46,000 in unreported currency seized.

Image of seized currency, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, officers at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge Port of Entry seized over $46,000 in unreported currency.

The inspection occurred when travelers were leaving the US to Mexico. During a routine inspection, CBP officers discovered $46,000 in currency and also seized the vehicle. According to the media release – the traveler with the unreported currency was referred to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Author’s note – typically customs seizure of unreported currency are not referred out to HSI. If your currency seizure was referred to HSI, then Customs believes there is a criminal element to your seizure.

What’s the rule about traveling in and out of the country with currency?
It is legal to carry more than $10,000, but it is a federal offense not to declare currency or other monetary instruments when entering or exiting the US (and even if you have a layover in a US airport with no intention of entering the US).

What happens if Customs suspects I am carrying more than $10,000 in currency?
They will stop you and the party you are traveling with prior to boarding the plane. You will be given an opportunity to declare all currency and monetary instruments. You will be given a Fincen 105 form to sign. You must accurately state all the money you have. Once you sign the Fincen 105 form, CBP will search your belongings.

I received a “Notice of Seizure” and my currency was seized by CBP at the airport. What do I do?
If you receive a “Notice of Seizure” sent Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested, then you must respond or risk forfeiting all the seized funds. Typically you have 30 days from the date of the letter to respond to the seizure.

If you get a notice of seizure or if your currency was seized by Customs, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

CBP seizes counterfeit Air Pods and Apple watches.

Seized counterfeit Apple watches, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers in Chicago inspected and seized seven boxes from Hong Kong containing 423 smart watches and 200 earphones. With suspected intellectual property seizures, CBP will send photos or samples of the items to the Electronics Center of Excellence and Expertise (Electronics CEE). The CEE will then verify with the property rights holder if the importer was authorized to use the word mark. 100% of the time the property rights holder will reply the importer of record is not authorized to import the goods and the entire shipment will be seized.

In addition to registering the “Apple”, “iPhone” with Customs, companies can also protect the shape, design, form and function of the items. For example, the photo above shows the same shape and design of an Apple Watch. CBP estimates the value of the shipment, if authentic would be approximately $204,168.

What happens after a seizure?
If you are an importer, after a seizure, CBP will send you a “Notice of Seizure”. You will then have 30 days to respond to the Notice of Seizure, if you do not – then Customs will begin forfeiture of your goods.

Contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com if you have received a seizure notice to discuss your options.

Counterfeit championship sports rings seized.

Seized counterfeit rings.

In early August, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer seized a package containing 62 counterfeit championship rings in Chicago. The shipment from Shanghai China was destined for a store in Aurora.

CBP officers detained and examined the rings before sending them to an import specialist to verify authenticity. Customs noted the poor quality, poor packaging, low declared value and typical security features found on licensed merchandise.

Customs seized the goods, that if authentic, would have been valued at more than $93,600.

Author’s note – while this shipment was destined to go to a store address, my guess is the purchaser of these items was likely a collector searching for a novelty item to collect – instead of buying the rings to re sell to unsuspecting buyers. Championship rings are well documented and easy to verify authenticity. Also, a buyer of these rings would want to know the history of the prior owner and authenticity can be verified by any jeweler. Highly doubt a real collector would be fooled by these cheap knockoffs.

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

Counterfeit shoes seized in LAX.

Counterfeit Nike, source: CBP.gov

Another day, another seizure by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in LAX. The counterfeit shoes were from Hong Kong and labeled as “plastic ornaments”. Upon further examination, CBP officers found and seized 1,755 pairs of shoes with the Nike and Adidas branding.

Image of seized “Nike Air” shoes, source: cbp.gov

Customs then worked with import specialists at the Apparel, Footwear & Textiles Center of Excellence and Expertise (Apparel Center) to verify authenticity. As 100% of the time that occurs – the shoes were determined to be counterfeit and seized by Customs. CBP valued the seizure, if authentic, at $207,000.

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.

Image of counterfeit Adidas – source: CBP.gov

$500k of e-cigarettes seized by CBP.

Seized counterfeit pods, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Philadelphia seized 48 shipments of either counterfeit or unapproved e-cigarette pods since June with the 58,538 individual pods worth a combined $500,000 if authentic or if approved for sale.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the importation of tobacco products imported into the US and all products must comply with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) along with the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

This past April, in response to the increase rise in teenage tobacco usage, the FDA issued new measures to regulate the unauthorized importation of flavored cartridge e-cigarettes. Besides unauthorized goods, the seized products also included counterfeit of brand names such as Pop, Puff, Eonsmoke, etc.

If you have had your good seized by Customs on behalf of the FDA, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288, or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Counterfeit fireplaces seized by Customs.

Counterfeit fireplace; source: CBP.gov

In late July, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Minnesota inspected a rail container for Seattle and seized 15,015 fireplaces for violating intellectual property rights (IPR). CBP estimates the value of the seizure of $523,784 if the fireplaces were genuine.

CBP did not specify which brand of fireplaces were copied and the image supplied by CBP (above) does not specify the name brand.

If you have had your goods seized by CBP, there may be some options available – contact David Hsu by phone/text anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

More counterfeit seizures – “Dior X Air Jordan 1”.

Image of seized shoes, source: CBP.gov

Another busy day for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working in Dallas where they seized a shipment of counterfeit footwear (Nike basketball shoes) that are reported by CBP to retail for $2,000 per pair. Customs described the shoes as the “Dior X Air Jordan 1” shoes ultimately destined for Mexico. Besides Nike, the shipment also contained shoes featuring registered trademarks by Adidas.

The entire shipment contained over 1,800 pairs of shoes in 60 boxes from Hong Kong and labeled as “Ball Golf”. CBP estimates the seizure is valued at over $4.3 million dollars.

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

Counterfeit batons seized by Customs.

Seized batons, source: CBP.gov

Instead of the usual counterfeit bags, belts and wallets – last week U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers Cincinnati seized over 800 counterfeit batons. The batons were counterfeits of batons and packaged as batons from companies “511 Tactical” and “Armament Systems and Procedures (ASP)” goods.

The batons were manufactured in Shenzhen, China and described as “selfie sticks” and “window breakers”. Customs claims the batons also contained accessories as spear tips.

Author’s note – while not mentioned in the media release, the next step is for Customs to issue a seizure notice to the importer of record, giving the importer an opportunity to petition Customs to release the goods.

Also, in addition to seizing the batons for being counterfeit, CBP likely seized the goods for being mislabeled on the entry paperwork as “selfie sticks” and “window breakers”.

If you have received a seizure notice, or have had your goods seized, contact attorney David Hsu by phone/text at anytime 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com to discuss your options.