NY-titled vehicles cannot be exported.

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Photo by Ibrahim Boran on Pexels.com

As of February 7, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will no longer allow vehicles titled in New York state for export because CBP and NY’s Department of Motor Vehicles can no longer share information.

New York no longer allows CBP (or any federal agency) to access their DMW records in order to prevent federal agencies from accessing the identity of illegal aliens who have a New York driver’s license.

If you are a vehicle exporter, do not purchase any New York titled vehicles.

Huawei’s Google maps alternative.

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Photo by Ingo Joseph on Pexels.com

As you are aware, Huawei’s inclusion on the US entity list means no access Android and the Google Play Store. As a result Huawei has been looking at alternative companies to replace the Google Maps application – and last week, found their replacement.

According to Reuters, Huawei reached a deal with Dutch mapping company, TomTom which will see TomTom providing Huawei access to their navigation, mapping and traffic information.

With the TomTom information, Huawei will create their own proprietary apps for their own Harmony Operating System.

If you have any questions how Huawei’s inclusion on the BIS entity list will impact your business or if you are in need of export compliance, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Trump administration eases regulations on exportation of small arms and ammunition.

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Photo by Alex Andrews on Pexels.com

The Trump administration issued new rules related to the export licensing of firearms and ammunition products. Firearms and ammunition exports will now be managed by the Commerce Department and not the State Department.

In other words, small arms and ammunition shifts from the Department of State’s International Traffic in Arm’s Regulations US Munitions List to the US Department of Commerce’s Export Administration regulations.

ITAR concerns defense-related exports whereas EAR is “dual use” for commercial or military use, and therefore less strict export rules versus the State Department.

The new Trump administration rules also eliminates the $2,250 registration fee for gunsmiths and small companies who do not manufacture, or export firearms or ammunition.

The final rule will be published on January 23 rd and implemented 45 days later after formal publication.

If you have any questions how these new rules will impact your small arms or ammunition export business, contact experienced export compliance attorney David Hsu by phone/text at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP seizes undervalued Range Rovers prior to export to Nigeria.

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Seized Range Rover, source: cbp.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers in Delaware seized a 2016 Land Rover Range Rover prior to export to Lagos, Nigeria.

The vehicle worth approximately $55,000 was undervalued in export documents with a value of $13,000. Customs seized the vehicle for violation of 13 USC 305 which is submission of filing a false export declaration and undervaluing an export. 13 USC 305 is fairly broad and used often as a basis for export seizures.

This seizure in Delaware is just one of the many reasons Customs will seize vehicles prior to export – if you have had your vehicle detained or seized by Customs prior to export overseas to places such as Nigeria, the UAE, China, etc, contact experienced vehicle seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Huawei admits they are impacted by US blacklist.

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According to a recent Forbes article, Huawei has confirmed the U.S. blacklist in place since May is impacting their ability to offer Google software onto their mobile phones. The Forbes article also says Huawei has not finished their in house operating system.
The black list that took effect in May restricts Huawei from access to the US supply chain for software and hardware. While Huawei has been able to source non US goods for the hardware, they have not been able to replace Google’s Android software.
While our blog earlier indicated Huawei would be launching their own in-house operating system, it is not yet ready for smart phones. Huawei has launched their Harmony OS, but that software is limited to smart TVs.
While not mentioned in the article, without Google’s Play Store, Huawei users will likely have to download APK files from online if they want to install their aps onto a new Huawei phone.
Things for Huawei will also get worse next month – this November marks the expiration of a temporary exemption on certain suppliers.
If you  have any questions how your company may be impacted by the trade restrictions with Huawei, contact experienced export compliance attorney David Hsu by text/phone at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP intercepts stolen SUV destined for West Africa.

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Image of seized stolen SUV, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized a stolen 2018 Cadillac Escalade, valued at more than $57,000 at the Port of Wilmington, Del, September 25th.

This most recent seizure was one of 16 stolen vehicles seized this year at the Port of Wilmington, a combined value of over $454,007 in stolen vehicles.

The vehicle was seized during a routine CBP inspection of outbound shipments destined for West Africa when the VIN number was associated with a 2018 Mercedes Benz.

Further investigation found the true VIN and the SUV was traced to a stolen vehicle in North Carolina along with fraudulent titles and export documents.

In instances such as the above, CBP will not release these vehicles – however, if you export vehicles and have complied with all the requirements, CBP may still seize your vehicle – if so, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Intel has begun selling to Huawei as US loosens restrictions.

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Photo by Jordan Harrison on Pexels.com

Since the US eased restrictions on supplying components to Huawei, the largest US chimpaker, Intel, said they have begun selling products to Huawei “within the rules of the law”. Additionally, Intel says they are also requesting an export license to sell “general purpose computing” chips to Huawei that do not pose a national security risk.

As you are aware, the Trump administration raised concerns regarding the use of Huawei technology may contain backdoors that would allow the Chinese government to spy on users, posing a national security risk. As a result, the US Department of Commerce added Huawei to their entity list this past May. Inclusion on the entity list precluded Huawei from buying parts and components from American companies without US government approval (an export license).

However, after the Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit last month, President Trump said that US firms can resume selling equipment to Huawei.

Additionally, earlier in July, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced an easing of restrictions against the Chinese company in line with Trump’s statements after the G20 summit, stating that the US would issue licenses to US companies looking to sell to Huawei as long as the sales do not pose a threat to national security. An export license would still be required as Huawei has not been removed from the entity list.

If you have any questions whether your company can continue to do business with Huawei, contact experienced export compliance attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

US Mexico tomato dispute – US demands 100% review of all tomatoes within 72 hours of shipment.

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According to publimetro.com.mx, the Secretary of Economy of Mexico, Graciela Marquez claims the US is inflexible in their demand to review 100% of tomato shipments at the border within 72 hours. The Mexican Government claims the US does not have enough man power to process the tomatoes.

The current tomato dispute stems began in 1996, when tomato growers in Florida initiated antidumping investigations against Mexican tomato exports. A deal was reached in November 1996 between Mexican growers and the Department of Commerce that led to the suspending of the investigation. The suspension was renewed in 2002, 2008 and 2013. However, earlier this year, Florida tomato growers complained the Mexican growers were violating their end of the deal. Since May of 2019, Mexican tomato exporters have had to pay a countervailing duty rate of 17.5% before the tomatoes can be exported into the United States.

The final determination will be issued on September 19, 2019 followed by a final determination regarding the damages to the industry due on November 1, 2019.

Mexico is the world’s largest tomato exporter in 2018, with external sales of $2.3 billion dollars of which 99.7% of its exports are to the US.

“Ignorantia juris non excusat” and the need for export compliance in the wake of the Huawei ban.

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Photo by Frans Van Heerden on Pexels.com

Huawei’s surprise placement on the BIS Entity List highlights the crucial need for your company to have a compliance program in place.

Many people believe export compliance programs only apply to the big guys – however, even the smallest business that sends their products to customers outside of the country are subject to the various export regulations and the steep penalties for export violations. as the saying goes, Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat (Latin for “ignorance of the law excuses not” and “ignorance of law excuses no one” respectively).

Small and medium sized company personnel may not know of these requirements until it is too late – fines for export violations can reach up to $1 million per violation in criminal cases and administrative cases can result in penalties amount to the greater of $250,000 or twice the value of the transaction. Criminal violators may even face up to 20 years in jail time and punishment for administrative cases can include denial of export privileges – it’s a risk you can’t afford to take.

Here are a few quick tips to protect your company –

  1. Be sure your exported items do not require an export license.
  2. Determine if the destination country requires an export license.
  3. Know your customers – screen who is buying your goods and be sure a restricted party does not receive your goods.
  4. Red flags – does the destination country of your product meet a need for your product?
  5. Be sure you have a copy of all the required documentation – it is not enough to hire a freight forwarder to handle the export.

For more information and a no obligation consultation on creating an export compliance program – contact experienced compliance attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com or attorney.dave@yahoo.com.