Another day, another seizure of fake COVID-19 vaccination cards.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Pittsburgh seized 70 counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards on September 7 that shipped from China and were destined to an address in Beaver County, Pa.
Source: CBP.gov. CBP seized 70 counterfeit COVID-19
vaccination cards shipped from China.

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 attorney.dave@yahoo.com for assistance.

$25,000 in Canadian dollars seized by Customs.

Image of seized Canadian currency; source: CBP.gov

In mid-August, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers in Tennessee searched a package labeled as containing books or brochures, belt buckles and jeans headed to Boston. Upon x-ray of the package, the x-ray image did not resemble brochures or clothing. When CBP officers opened the package, they found $25,000 in Canadian dollars, or about $19,657 in US dollars. The currency was seized because it was not reported.

All currency being taken into or out of the US, including by mail, containing more than $10,000 must be reported to Customs through use of the Fincen 105 currency reporting site or use of a paper copy.

If you have had your currency seized by Customs, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 for immediate assistance. You can also email David at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

$450,000 worth of vaping pens from HK seized by US Customs.

Image of seized dragster pens, source: CBP.gov

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 attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

San Ysidro CBP officers seize $1 million in currency bound for Mexico.

pexels-photo-3531895.jpeg
Photo by John Guccione http://www.advergroup.com on Pexels.com

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection media release – on December 9th, CBP officers stopped a vehicle traveling to Mexico for further inspection. During the inspection by the CBP canine team, the dog alerted CBP to the driver’s side quarter panel of the car.

Further inspection by CBP officers found many wrapped packages containing unreported US currency in the quarter panels, under the rear seat of the third row and the cargo area.

The media release doesn’t go into further details other than writing the cash was seized.

Typically, US media releases would mention the case was referred to Homeland Security Investigations – the criminal investigation arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

If you have had your currency seized by Customs, call David Hsu now at 832-896-6288 or email attorney.dave@yahoo.com for immediate help. You typically only have 30 days to respond to a currency seizure.

Operation Mega Flex – $8 million in counterfeit watches seized.

Counterfeit watches, sources: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release. CBP officers in Ohio seized 11 counterfeit Richard Mille watches from Hong Kong with the ultimate end user in New Orleans. See image above of the seized watches.

The seizures in Ohio and the other intellectual property rights violations seizures are part of CBP’s efforts to stop unfair Chinese trade practices and protect US businesses. This operation is known as “Operation Mega Flex and has resulted in 4,200 seizures of goods in the past 15 months”.

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

$1.1 million in counterfeit goods seized in Kentucky.

Counterfeit goods seized, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers in Louisville seized five shipments containing counterfeit goods, if authentic would be worth more than $1.1 million.

On that day, CBP seized multiple shipments, with 5 separate shipments containing: 30 “Louis Vuitton” toes, 4 “Dior” handbags, 2 “Gucci” handbags, 200 “YSL” purses and another 366 “LV” bags. The last shipment contained a box with Louis Vuitton wallets.

When Customs detains goods for suspicion of counterfeit goods, CBP will submit photos or send samples to the trademark or other intellectual property rights holder. Almost 100% of the time the trademark holder will notify Customs the importer of record does not have a right to import the covered goods. If so, then Customs will seize the goods and send a “Notice of Sezizure” to the importer of record.

If you have had your goods seized by Customs, call David Hsu or text anytime at 832-896-6288 or email 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.

CBP seizes $1.41 million in eyewear.

Counterfeit glasses, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Chicago seized seven shipments containing eyewear worth more than $1.41 million. The glasses were entered duty free claiming country of origin as Israel. However, upon further inspection, CBP officials found the origin markings on the eyeglasses did not match the country of origin on the paperwork.

CBP reports the country of origin on the goods included China, France, Italy and the United States. CBP seized the goods for fraudulently misrepresenting the country of origin and attempting to avoid the payment of duties. CBP seized the goods for violation of 19 USC 1304 and 19 USC 1595a(c).

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

$5.5 million in fake Gucci, Instagram and Facebook clothing seized.

Seized goods, source: CBP.gov

Earlier this past July, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at one of our great nation’s biggest seaport of Los Angeles / Long Beach seized a large shipment of women’s sleepwear containing counterfeit brands such as Gucci, Facebook and Instagram.

2020 is a weird year indeed when we consider Facebook and Instagram to be a luxury brand. If authentic the 16,340 items of seized counterfeit pajamas (called “sleeping dresses”) would be worth an approximate retail value of $5.5 million.

CBP reported the counterfeit goods were concealed inside generic non-branded pajamas which CBP believes was intentionally packaged to avoid detection.

Author’s note – yes, in general if you pack counterfeit goods underneath unbranded goods, or try to conceal a counterfeit logo (such as using black tape to cover a logo), CBP will assume you are aware of the nature of the goods and are attempting to smuggle them into the US in violation of 19 USC 1595a (c)(1)(A), in other words merchandise that “is stolen, smuggled, or clandestinely imported or introduced“.

In addition to violating intellectual property rights of the trademark holder, CBP also claims counterfeit goods may not be in compliance with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) requirements for flammability standards of sleepwear.

If you have had your shipment seized for alleged counterfeit violations or seized for alleged violations of CPSC consumer guidelines – contact seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Counterfeit Super Bowl rings seized by CBP.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers in Kentucky seized over 150 counterfeit Super Bowl championship rings arriving from China. It wasn’t mentioned in the article, but the seizure in Kentucky means it was likely shipped by DHL.

The shipment contained rings from various professional sports organizations such as the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. If authentic, the rings would have an MSRP of $43,450. As the rings likely were not licnsed by the team or organization, they were seized for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) violations.

For suspected counterfeit goods, CBP will send an image to the property right holder – if the rights holder says the goods are not authentic, then Customs will seize the goods.

If you have had your good seized by Customs or have received a Notice of Seizure, contact customs seizure attorney David Hsu anytime by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.