CBP seizes counterfeit 3M masks.

3MMasks

Image of seized “3M” masks, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers in Cincinnati examined a package from China with its contents manifested as “mask” on April 3rd. Upon examination, CBP officers discovered 2,000 counterfeit masks branded as 3M. If authentic, the value of the masks would have been approximately $7,000. The package was destined to an individual residence in Austin, Texas.
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If CBP seizes your goods for violating intellectual property rights, such as importing facemasks using the “3M” mark, you will receive a Notice of Seizure or Seizure Notice in the mail. The notice will be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested (CMRRR) and will be sent to the address on the package or the listed importer of record.
From 30 days of theĀ date of notice (and not the day you receive it), you will need to file a response. The options are: forfeit the items, offer in compromise, refer to court or file a seiure petition.
What if you do nothing? Then after 30 days, CBP will begin forfeiture of the seized goods – ie, CBP will take and destroy the items.
And then? Then you (importer of record) may receive a civil penalty notice (ie, a fine) for importing goods that violate a trademark registered with Customs.
If you have had your shipment seized by Customs, contact David Hsu by phone/text anytime at 832.896.6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Taiwan customs officers seize exports of face masks.

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Photo by Timo Volz on Pexels.com

According to the Focus Taiwan website, airport officials seized 3,020 surgical face masks from a Taiwanese citizen heading to Singapore in late February – the largest seizure since export restrictions on face masks were put in plate in late January due to the corona virus.

Each Taiwanese citizen is permitted to export 250 masks per trip. After seizing the face masks, Customs returned 250 to the passenger. The seized masks will be sent for use by the government in their efforts to prevent the spread of the corona virus.

I usually don’t post about non-US customs seizures, but found this article interesting for several reasons:

  1. No mention of secondary inspections, no seizures followed by a letter from CBP with threats of a civil penalty, etc.
  2. Sounds like the seizure process in Taiwan is slightly more painful than in the US and it appears the traveler didn’t miss her flight. If this happened in the US and there was a restriction on the export of face masks, I’m sure she would have been detained, all her belongings searched and then held in detention until they missed their flight.
  3. While it seems like this would never happen in the US since it appears to lack due process for a taking by the government, and while I am usually very supportive of individuals who have their goods (especially currency) seized, this time I am siding with the Taiwanese government on this one.

Interesting to note, the Taiwan customs reported confiscating over 171,450 face masks over 851 seizures since the rule was passed on January 24th. Besides export control efforts at the airport, Taiwan Post (equivalent to our USPS), has also seized outbound shipments of surgical masks destined for overseas. The ban on exports ends on April 30th unless extended. I also read another article from Focus Taiwan that Taiwan is expected to ramp up production of face masks to about 13 million per day.

Anyways, interesting read and the first time I’ve heard of a customs seizure at an airport in a foreign country.

Questions about customs seizures? Give me a call or text, David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.