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  • Proposition 65 – Be careful what you import and sell in the State of California

    California's Proposition 65, also called the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, was enacted in 1986.  This act is limited to the State of California and requires businesses to provide warnings to California residents about significant exposures to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. How is Proposition 65 implemented?  Proposition 65 requires California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.  The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) administers the Proposition 65 program. This list, which must be updated[...]

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  • Remanufactured or Refurbished Cell Phone Importing – What Should You Know? – Part II

    In the past we wrote an article about importing remanufactured or refurbished cellular phones here.  Based on frequent phone calls pertaining to this issue there is some additional information for importers of such products to know.  Best to explain with the following fact pattern: A U.S. company exports broken Apple and Samsung phones to a China factory for repairs.  The phones may have various issues including failed battery, cracked screens, scratched or damaged housing i.e. backplate and front plate of the phone, or defective camera.  These phones are then repaired[...]

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  • Exporting New and Used Vehicles from the United States to an Overseas Buyer

    The question of whether one is permitted to export a vehicle from the United States to a foreign buyer (in China, Dubai, etc) is a tricky one.  Over the last few years there have been cases of federal officials seizing vehicles and cash associated with the business of exporting vehicles. News articles and government press releases of such scenarios have been reported on: Two California Men Plead Guilty In "Far-Reaching And Elaborate" Automobile Export Scam (April 29, 2013) U.S. Targets Buyers of China-Bound Luxury Cars (February 11, 2014) Man accused of identity[...]

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  • Hoverboards On Fire This Holiday Season – Literally

        This past holiday season hoverboards have been one of the most popular items this past holiday season.  As a result, we have received numerous phone calls regarding U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP" or "Customs") intense examinations of these products.  The reason being is that there have been cases where these hoverboards burst into flames due to counterfeit batteries being used to power them. See here http://nypost.com/2015/12/30/hoverboard-bursts-into-flames-inside-a-brooklyn-apartment/. This led to intervention by the Consumer Product Safety Commission ("CPSC"), the federal agency regulating the safety of consumer products nationwide.[...]

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  • USC Currency Law Overview: Structuring Violations

    Structuring, according to United States Code (USC) laws and regulations, is the attempt by one or more persons to avoid importation/exportation reporting requirements by partitioning a sum of $10,000 or more in currency or other monetary instruments, so that the divided amounts each fall under the reporting threshold. The law is designed primarily to combat criminal enterprises that traffic cash unreported to the IRS. The official structuring law, as it pertains to entering or leaving the U.S with currency, 31 USC 5324 (c) (3), states the following: “(c) International Monetary Instrument[...]

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  • Exporting to Dubai – UAE and CBP’s Fear of Iran

    Companies looking to export goods to Dubai need to be aware that it takes proper precaution before they submit the export documents to U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP" or "Customs").  We have dealt with many cases where Customs is suspicious as to the end user of said goods.  Conversations with CBP personnel have indicated that Dubai is a major reexporter of goods to Iran.  As of today's blog post, the U.S. maintains sanctions against Iran.  See our previous posts on Iran and sanctions here.  As a result, goods may[...]

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  • Hunters Traveling With Firearms and New Requirements by CBP

    We have received inquiries regarding changes to the enforcement procedures for individuals traveling abroad with their firearms. Previously, if an individual was traveling with not more than three non-automatic firearms and not more than 1,000 cartridges of ammunition (provided this is for the person's exclusive use and not for re-export or other transfer of ownership), the individual would complete U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP" or "Customs") Form 4457 and present it to Customs.  Now there have been changes in CBP enforcement procedures for such articles which have targeted those who use firearms for hunting trips or[...]

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  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection Export Issues and Enforcement

    We are seeing many Automated Export System ("AES") violations as of late, especially with FedEx, DHL, and UPS shipments. As a result, please find information below regarding the export regulations and enforcement by U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP").  What is the Automated Export System? CBP published the Trade Act regulations in the Federal Register on December 5, 2003. The rule requires advance transmission of electronic cargo information to CBP for both arriving and departing cargo. In the Federal Register notice, CBP identified the AES  as the system for transmission of[...]

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  • Kratom Imports and FDA Import Alert 54-15

    Lately it has come to our attention that kratom (MITRAGYNA SPECIOSA) is being targeted more frequently in the past couple of months.  Specifically, U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("Customs" or "CBP") and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") have been examining and detaining kratom shipments from overseas.  Additionally, express consignment operators such as FedEx, UPS, and DHL, are cautious to ship the product because of the potential problems associated with this botanical. These delays can be attributed to FDA's import alert 54-15.  The alert provides for: DETENTION WITHOUT PHYSICAL EXAMINATION OF DIETARY[...]

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  • Remanufactured or Refurbished Cell Phone Importing – What Should You Know?

    There is a big market for used cell phones around the world.  Accordingly, we come into contact with many entrepreneurs who are involved in the secondary cell phone market.  As a result, we have handled many cases involving refurbished or remanufactured cell phones. Your typical fact pattern involves a U.S. company that would export broken cell phones to a refurbishing center in a foreign country. Depending on the nature of repair, the cell phones would undergo a thorough repairing process before they are considered to be back in good working order.[...]

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