CBP seize human brain in shipment from Canada Post.

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Photo of the actual brain seized by Customs, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized a human brain at the Area Port of Port Huron during a routine examination of a Canadian mail truck.

The outer packaging labeled the shipment as an “Antique Teaching Specimen” and was opened by CBP. Inside CBP found the human brain in a jar (actual seized item image above), without any appropriate paperwork as required by the Centers for Disease Control.

Shipments containing body parts do need the required approval from the CDC – if you have any questions or need  help applying for this permit, contact experienced import seizure attorney David Hsu by phone at 832-896-6288 or email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Whistleblower against clothing importer awarded $170,000.

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Photo by JJ Jordan on Pexels.com

Earlier this year, a whistleblower was awarded $170,00 for helping the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York recover $1 million from Notations, Inc., a garment wholesaler from Warminster, Pennsylvania. Starting in 2017, Notations admitted to ignoring signs of import duty evasion by Yingshun Garments. Yingsun Garments imported clothing from China and submitted false invoices to CBP. The submission of false imports was at a 75% discount and designed to lower the amount of customs duties to be paid.

Unlike the usual customs false claims cases, the government did not go after the importer, but instead went after the reseller and purchaser instead of the usual foreign manufacturer and importer. Additionally, the whistleblower also received an award eevn though the whistleblower did not specifically mention Notations – instead the whistleblower’s report opened the door leading to an investigation of Novations.

The whistleblower learned through a family member of Yingshun and filed a qui tam law suit under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729, qualifying the whistleblower as a relator to a lawsuit with a potential of an award ranging between 15% to 25% of any funds recovered.

If you or someone you know is aware of any false claims activity that may allow a company to under report the duties paid, contact experienced qui tam attorney David Hsu by phone/text directly at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Trump will decide tariffs on auto imports “soon”.

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Today’s November 14th deadline on whether to impose tariffs (duties) on cars and auto parts imported into the US will likely result in President Trump extending the time to make a decision.

These additional tariffs on vehicles and parts are part of the “Section 232” national security tariffs enacted during the Cold-War that could see tariffs as high as 25% on vehicles and parts from the European Union, South Korea, and Japan.

A delay would likely result in a 6-month extension and allow for negotiators from all sides attempt to reach an agreement.

If you are an importer of car parts or vehicles and want to know what you can do, contact experienced trade 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.

China reduces penalties for importation of unapproved drugs – improving access for its citizens.

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In late August, the Chinese government said they would reduce the penalties for the sale and import of unapproved drugs, thereby improving access to cheaper generic pharmaceuticals from other countries. This action was taken to allow greater affordable drugs for chronic diseases increasingly impacting the Chinese population.

The reduction in penalties is set to take effect on December 1st. Current penalties for people selling drugs that are not approved by the National Medical Products Administration could result in a fine and criminal prosecution with jail sentences up to 3 years.

For example, under the new law, cheaper generic drugs made outside of China could be imported and sold in China. One drug cited in the article was the Indian version of the lung-cancer drug Iressa cost $10 a day in 2016, compared with $100 a day for the patented drug in China. He said generic drugs cost, on average, 97 percent less than patented drugs sold in China.

If you want to be sure you are compliance with US FDA regulations, contact experienced compliance attorney David Hsu by phone or text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP seizes goods for lead in paint.

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Image of seized brushes, source: cbp.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Baltimore seized 790 children’s hair brushes from China. The children’s folding hair brushes contained a mirror and were included in a shipment which included “hats, gloves, hookah”. A sample of the shipment was sent to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to conduct a chemical analysis.

The CPSC advised CBP that the brushes contained excessive lead levels – more than 2,500 parts per million. In general, all children’s products made or imported into the US must not contain more than 100 parts per million of total lead content in “accessible parts”.

The appraised value of the seized goods carry a suggested retail price (MSRP) of $5,522. As the lead content is hazardous to children, the brushes will be destroyed by CBP.

While America took had the lead paint abatement initiative starting in the 70’s, the rest of the world is yet to fully rid the use of lead in many paints. Excessive amounts of lead are harmful to children if the accessible parts are placed in their mouths. Lead in paint causes illness and excessive levels further damage the a child’s development.

If you have any import/export questions, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Canadian sofa bed manufacturer no longer shipping to US due to 1,732% duties on Chinese mattresses.

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According to a news article from the vancouverisawesome.com webasite, a Vancouver-based company has cancelled shipping their sofa beds into the US due to the 1,732% antidumping duty on Chinese mattresses that are used in their sofa beds. The U.S. Department of Commerce in May dumping rates of 34% to 75% for some Chinese manufacturers with an “all others” rate of 1,732%.

The company claims their sofa beds costing $600 will cost $113,000 due to the tariffs because the sofa beds include the mattress.

Fortunately the company does not only sell beds, and can rely on their Canadian made products. In fact, being made in Canada will probably make this company more competitive than their competitors who rely on Chinese imports for other goods that are likely covered under Lists 1-3 and a potential List 4.

The Commerce Department has set October 11, 2019 as the announcement date for their final decision on antidumping duties for mattresses imported from China.

If you have questions on how this or any other antidumping duty or countervailing duty will impact you and your business, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP seizes hatching eggs shipped from the Netherlands.

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Image of hatching eggs, source: cbp media release.

Earlier this month U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the international mail facility in Miami seized 30 suspected hatching eggs. The shipment from the Netherlands is the third shipment intercepted with hatching eggs.

The shipment label identified the shipment as “Children’s Toys”, however an x-ray performed found 30 hatching eggs. Shipment of eggs is allowed, but do require an import permit. The eggs were seized due to the risk they may carry the Exotic Newcastle Disease.

If you have questions about your imports or want to be sure you have the right permits to import, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Vietnamese Furniture makers win in Trump’s trade war.

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A Bloomberg article highlights one of the winners in Trump’s trade war with China – that being Vietnamese furniture manufacturers.

With imports of Chinese furniture subject to a 25% duty in addition to any applicable anti-dumping or countervailing duties, furniture companies in Vietnam are cashing in as the tariff-free alternative to Chinese manufacturing.

The Bloomberg article quotes, the CEO of Xuan Hoa Vietnam Joint Stock Co., a furniture company that has seen a boom in international visitors – including Ikea. Xuan Hoa is a long time Ikea manufacturer (past 17 years) and their ability to produce cheaper than China is only increasing under the trade war.

In addition to not being subject to 301 duties or AD/CVD duties, the Bloomberg article cites labor costs half of what they are in China and lower electricity costs as it is subsidized by the government. Vietnam’s shared border with China also allows for the ease of materials and components.

If you are a furniture importer from China and want to learn how to save on import duties, contact trade and customs attorney by mobile/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or dh@gjatradelaw.com.

US Trade Commission reverses decision, finds the US tire market IS being harmed by truck and bus imports from China.

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Summary of what happened:
On January 30th, the US International Trade Commission (USITC) reversed their earlier decision, finding the US tire market is being harmed by truck and bus imports from China. In short – bus and truck imports from China will now be subject to tariffs. A tariff rate and timeline for imposition of duties was not reported by the USITC.

The USITC released a 62-page determination in response to an order of the U.S. Court of International Trade. Back in November 2018, the USITC remanded the ITC’s decision therefore requiring the ITC to re-evaluate their case.

What caused the reversal?
The five-members of the ITC had changed membership in 2017 when commissioner Scott Kieff left 3 years before the end of his term. President Trump later nominated and the Senate confirmed former President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill the commission – Jason Kearnes.

Jason Kearnes turned out to be the swing vote in the most recent reversal of the ITC decision on bus and truck tires.

Very brief history:
In January 2016, the US Steelworkers filed a complaint that tire imports from China was hurting US industry. After investigating, the ITC voted in February 2017 to NOT impose tariffs. This was a surprise because every other tire investigation led to imposition of duties.The US Steelworkers then appealed the decision to the Court of International Trade and in November 2018, the USITC was forced to re-evaluate their decision. Ultimately in their re-evaluation, the ITC found: “In sum, we find that the significant volume of subject imports, at prices that undersold the domestic like product and depressed domestic prices, adversely impacted the domestic industry. We consequently determine that the domestic industry is materially injured by reason of subject imports.”

Please contact our offices if you have questions on how the most recent ITC decision will effect your company’s imports of bus and truck tries from China. You can call David Hsu at 832-896-6288 at anytime or email attorney.dave@yahoo.com.