$25 million in fake watches seized by Customs.

Image of seized Rolex watches, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Louisville, Kentucky seized 1,280 “Rolex” watches, if authentic, would be worth an estimated $25.2 million dollars. The shipment from Hong Kong arrived in four shipments to Louisville, Kentucky ultimately destined for Salt Lake City, Utah. If you are wondering why the seizures usually occur in Louisville, it is because that is where DHL/FedEx/UPS have their hub for shipments from China.

The Customs media release claims the watches were mis-manifested (wrongly described on the entry paperwork, packing list, or invoice). As an aside – Customs at their discretion seize goods that are mis-identfied.

Customs seized the watches and sent either sample photos or a sample seized watch to Rolex to confirm authenticity. As Rolex (and any property rights holder) denied the authenticity, the watches were seized and will be forfeited (destroyed by Customs).

If you have had your goods seized by Customs, contact seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 at anytime or email attorney.dave@yahoo.com or dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Withhold Release Order issued for Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

white flowers in tilt shift lenswhite flowers in tilt shift lens

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced today that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the over 400 ports of entry into the US will detain all shipments from Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC).

The Withhold Release Order (WRO) was issued for XPCC based on information that reasonably indicates XPCC uses forced and convict labor in their cotton and cotton products.

The recent WRO is the sixth issued by CBP against goods manufactured by forced labor in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Under a WRO, importers have two options,

Federal statute 19 U.S.C. 1307 prohibits the importation of merchandise mined, manufactured, or produced, wholly or in part, by forced labor, including convict labor, forced child labor, and indentured labor. This WRO will require detention at all U.S. ports of entry of all cotton products produced by the XPCC and any similar products that the XPCC produces. Importers of detained shipments have two options – export the shipment or demonstrate the merchandise was not producd with forced labor.

If you have had your shipment detained for a violation of an active WRO – contact trade attorney David Hsu by phone or email at 832-896-6288 or attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

$1.3 million of counterfeit currency seized in Chicago.

Image of seized currency, source: CBP.gov

Last week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in the Chicago International Mail Facility seized a shipment from the Ukraine containing more than $1.3 million in funny money. The exporters from the Ukraine labeled the shipment of 13,957 $100 bills as “prop money”.

While many importers believe the words or marking of currency as “prop money” means they can be imported – CBP considers any counterfeit of US currency a violation of the federal law prohibiting the reproduction of currency. CBP then turned over the money to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) for investigation.

In general, if CBP turns a case over to HSI and/or the USSS, then the importer is likely subject to criminal penalties instead of the usual civil penalties.

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

Louisville CBP seized over $109M in counterfeits in 2020.

Image of seized goods, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, in the fiscal year ending September 30th, CBP officers in Louisville seized over $109 million worth of counterfeit goods.

The $109 million in seized goods was accumulated during the 741 counterfeit seizures made among 343 shipments with 46% of the counterfeit goods being imported in Hong Kong. The media release also said seized goods included jewelry, footwear, bags, wallets and electronics.

If you or anyone you know has had their goods detained by Customs, contact seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Unregulated tire rims from Thailand seized.

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers in Minnesota seized 2,500 tire rims from Thailand. The shipment from Thailand was labeled as “steel wheels” but CBP officers instead found wheel rims. Photos of the wheels were sent to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) where it was determined the company was not a registered manufacturer and therefore not admissible.

Image of non NHTSA-approved rims, source: CBP.gov

If you have had your goods seized for this or any other NHTSA violation, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com to discuss your options.

Counterfeit COVID test kits, medication and facemasks seized by CBP.

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers in Baltimore and Pittsburgh seized shipments of unapproved or counterfeit COVID-19 medications, facemasks and testing kits.

The seizure included more than 58,000 face masks with designs violating trademarks of several designer consumer brands, professional sports teams, car manufacturers and cartoon characters. See below for a sampling of the various designs violating protected marks.

In addition to the facemasks, CBP officers also seized products claiming to be medication for COVID infected persons and more than 130 test kits not on the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) list. Due to the non-compliance with FDA rules, the goods were seized and deemed inadmissible.

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

Images of seized test kits, source: CBP.gov

$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.

Syringes with unapproved drugs seized by FDA.

Seized syringes: source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection media release – officers seized a shipment of pre-filled syringes containing 200 Sodium Hyaluronate from Seoul, South Korea. Sodium Hyaluronate is used to treat osteoarthritis and seized for violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) prohibiting the importation of any food, drug, device, tobacco product, or cosmetic that is adulterated or misbranded.

The FDA Office of Criminal Investigation seized the shipment that would be worth $10,666 if authentic. Typical FDA seizures are due to unapproved prescriptions containing manufactured using incorrect or harmful ingredients.

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

1,300 pounds of “mooncakes” seized by CBP Agriculture.

Seized mooncakes, source: CBP.gov

According to a Customs media release, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists in Cincinnati seized 1,300 pounds of mooncakes during “Special Operation Over the Moon”.

This operation was named “Over the Moon” as the operation occurs prior to the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival on October 1st.

Mid-Autumn festival celebrates the time where the moon is at its largest and brightest – known as the harvest moon to symbolize harvest time in the fall. The festival dates back more than 3,000 years and continues to this day.

“Mooncakes” are given to family members and people you do business with – the moon cakes are pastries filled with lotus seeds, bean paste or duck yolk eggs. And the duck yolk eggs are the cause for the special operation. The egg products are believed to pose a risk to American agriculture because China and other Southwest Asian countries may be at greater risk for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and Virulent Newcastle Disease (vND).

Author’s unpopular opinion – moon cakes aren’t that great – they aren’t sweet and there is something unappealing about an egg baked inside a thick pastry that is not sweet. If you have to eat one, get one filled with red bean. The red bean paste makes the pastry sweet.

The images provided by CBP shows CBP officers intercepting and destroying mooncakes with the egg yolk center.

Have you had your goods seized by Customs, contact David Hsu by phone/text 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.