Children’s clothing seized by CBP for excessive lead levels and flammability risks.

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Seized clothing, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized commercial shipments of girls clothing and pajamas. The shipment from China was tested by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and found to contain excessive amounts of lead, violating the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. The other shipment contained pajamas also manufactured in China. Upon testing by the CPSC, Customs found the pajamas failed the flammability requirements under the Flammable Fabrics Act.

As a result of the violations, Customs seized the merchandise and will likely destroy the goods. I do not see any possibility the FPF paralegal would allow these goods to be entered into the US.

As I previously mentioned, CBP will first detain a shipment, have the shipment tested and then seize the shipment. After a seizure, Customs will send a Notice of Seizure to the importer of record for both shipments. Given the value of the shipment, $700 for the clothing and $1,500 for the pajamas, I don’t believe an importer of record will contest the seizures, much less hire an attorney to handle the seizure.

If you have had your goods seized for violating the CPSC regulations, Flammable Fabrics Act, the Federal Hazardous Substances Act or any other regulations from the alphabet soup of federal agencies, call experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

72,000 counterfeit vaping pods seized.

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Photo by Wildan Zainul Faki on Pexels.com

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protections (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized over 72,000 counterfeit disposable flavored pods from Hong Kong mimicking the “Pop” brand Blue Razz Disposable Vaping Devices. If authentic, the value of the pod packets would be valued over $1.1 million.

No surprise on this seizure of vaping pods given the prior deaths of young individuals from vaping. The FDA is working to lower the number of illnesses and deaths related to vaping and no surprise Customs would seize these goods. CBP and FDA believe counterfeit pod vaping ingredients may not meet the stringent regulations set by the US FDA, resulting in a further increase in illnesses and death.

If you have had your good seized by Customs and you have received a seizure notice, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu to discuss your options. Contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.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, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Second shipment of prohibited coronavirus test kits seized.

Medical Test Kits

Images of seized test kits, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release on Thursday, CBP officers at O’Hare International Airport, International Mail Facility (IMF) seized packages containing medical drug kits from the United Kingdom. These test kits were to test for viruses and diseases such as meningitis, IVF, MRSA, apple, salmonella and COVID-19.

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) prohibits the importation or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce, or the causing thereof, of any food, drug, device, tobacco product, or cosmetic that is adulterated or misbranded.

CBP says coronavirus testing should occur in laboratories and the public should be aware of counterfeit home testing kits sold online.

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

Counterfeit designer bags seized from Turkey.

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Image of seized purses, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers in Philadelphia seized a shipment of 32 counterfeit designer brand purses from Turkey. If authentic, the handbags would have a retail price of $113,683.

This is the second significant shipment of designer brand handbags that CBP officers recently seized in Philadelphia, following the $317,080 in counterfeit designer brand products officers seized February 24.

According to the media release, CBP suspected the goods were counterfeit because of the poor quality and packaging.

What happens next?
The importer of record in Atlanta will receive a seizure notice (Notice of Seizure). The IOR can then petition for release, refer to court, abandon the goods or offer in compromise.

If you have been suspected of importing counterfeit goods, don’t risk the civil penalty by Customs, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Suspected counterfeit corona virus test kits seized.

That didn’t take long – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at LAX seized a package containing what they suspect are counterfeit COVID-19 (corona virus) test kids from the UK.

Earlier this week, the CBP officers inspected a package labeled as “Purified Water Vials” with a declared value of $196.81, upon further inspection, CBP officers found six bags of vials filled with a white liquid and labeled “Corona Virus 2019nconv (COVID-19)” and “Virus1 Test Kit”.

CBP turned over the suspected fake test kids to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for analysis.

In general, there is something you can do if your shipment has been detained or seized for being suspected as counterfeit – however, in this situation, and given the current concerns over corona virus, the importer of record will likely not get this shipment returned and may receive a civil penalty notice from CBP in the upcoming weeks.

CBP seizes $850k in counterfeit goods.

Gucci Wallet

Counterfeit “Gucci” wallet, source: cbp.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, overnight CBP officers in Kentucky seized six packages containing goods that violated Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) violations. In other words, the DHL hub for air shipments from China contained a lot of fake goods.

According to the media release, CBP officers found fake Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Pokemon toys and Rolex watches. If authentic, the value of the goods totaled approximately $859,010.

If you have had your shipment seized for suspicion of counterfeit goods, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Counterfeit Oral-B toothbrush heads seized.

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Image of seized brushheads, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized a shipment of 1,440 counterfeit Oral-B toothbrush heads from a shipment from Turkey. If authentic, the brush heads have a MSRP of $12,274.

Besdies this current shipment, CBP officers in Philadelphia also seized a shipment of over 20,400 counterfeit Oral-B heads from China.

For trademarked goods, CBP sends a sample of a suspected counterfeit goods shipment to the CBP Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Centers for Excellence and Expertise. The CEE function is to verify the authenticity of trademarks.

Counterfeit seizures usually then result in CBP issuing a seizure notice to the importer of record. The importer of record has the option to file a petition, refer to court action, offer in compromise or abandon the goods.

If you have had your good seized, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP seizes unreported currency from South Korea.

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Image of seized currency, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized $11,097 in reported currency from a passenger who arrived from South Korea to Washington Dulles International airport.

According to the media release, the passenger reported she was carrying $500. As usual, CBP officers will explain the reporting requirements. After explaining the requirements to her, she changed her declaration to $6,000. The media release doesn’t mention it – but she likely filled out the FinCen 105 form.

And as usual, after you sign the FinCen 105 form, CBP will search everything – in this instance, CBP discovered $11,097 in her baggage. CBP seized all her currency and did not give her any back for humanitarian reasons.

The reason she did not get anything back was likely because she was arriving home – CBP usually gives some money back for humanitarian reasons if the traveler is going out of the country.

If CBP has seized your currency, contact experienced currency seizure attorney David Hsu at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com or phone/text to: 832-896-6288.

CBP Returns artifacts to Cyprus Government

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Image of seized coins being returned to the Cyprus Government; source: CBP.govQ

Back in 2009, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) seized a shipment of ancient coins in a 2009 air cargo shipment from London to a coin collector in Missouri. CBP officers seized the coins and sent a request to the coin collector for documentation to show they could import the goods.

In general, CBP is tasked with returning cultural property (arts, artifacts, antiques, etc) to the country that owns the cultural property. CBP does require importers to have the correct documents to show they have the ability to import the goods in to the US. In the instnat seizure, the collector in Missouri told CBP they did not have authority from Cyprus and the coins were seized. Recently, the coin collector lost their legal battle and the coins were returned to the government of Cyprus in a ceremony at the Cyprus Embassy in Washington D.C.

According to the Customs media release:

An appraisal determined that the collection dated from the Roman Empire, from several periods during 81 BC through 217 AD. The collection includes:

Two bronze coins from an unspecified Roman period
One coin from the Ptolemaeus period, 81 BC -58 BC
One coin from the Augustus period, 27 BC – 14 AD
Two coins from the Tiberius period, 14-37 AD
One coin from the Severan period, 193 AD – 217 AD

If you have had your import seized because they were a “cultural artifact”, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu to evaluate your options. Phone/text 832-896-6288 at anytime or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.