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Category: Customs

  • 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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  • 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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  • Global Entry – Expedited Clearance for Travelers Through U.S. Customs

    International travelers, do you hate waiting on line in order to clear Customs at airports around the country? Global entry is a program established by  U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that expedites clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States.  Instead of waiting on those long lines, one is able process their clearance through Customs at Global Entry kiosks where one can scan their passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place their fingertips on the scanner for fingerprint verification, and make a customs declaration. In order to[...]

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  • Currency Seizure: Transporting Cash Through FedEx, UPS, or DHL

    Have you ever thought of placing cash inside of an envelope and sending it across the globe?  There are places around the world where one will find strict economic controls on their people or have problems with crime.  As such, sending money to friends and family becomes a dangerous and/or difficult process.  For example, if your friend was in dire need of money and the only way of getting it to him was to place cash in a box and ship it to a specific location, would you? If you[...]

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  • Land Rover Defender Destroyed By U.S. Customs – How Can This Be Prevented?

    I have represented many importers looking to import vehicles from around the world into the United States.  For those doing so, one must ensure that the vehicle is in compliance with the laws and regulations of the Department of Transportation. Otherwise, entry into the United States will be prevented by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. If a violation is found, the importer will face the possibility of a seizure and severe penalties for failing to comply.  If you find yourself in such a situation best to contact an attorney experienced[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: Confidential Treatment of Shipping Manifests

    How can I prevent information about my imports from being available to the public? As some of you may or may not be aware pursuant to the privacy statute, 19 C.F.R. § 103.31 (d), the public is allowed to collect manifest data (e.g., bills of lading) at every port of entry. The information is limited to vessel manifests (air, rail, and truck manifests will not be available to the general public in any form). Websites such as panjiva.com and importgenius.com collect and publish names of importers/suppliers/manufacturers from vessel manifest data.[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: Commercial Invoice and Footwear

    In general, a commercial invoice should provide enough information for a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer to determine if the goods being imported are admissible, and if so, what the correct rate of duty should be applicable based on its Harmonized Tariff Number. Customs does not provide a specific format for a commercial invoice, however they do provide the elements that should be on an invoice in 19 C.F.R. 141.85. At a minimum, an invoice should: 1. Describe the item clearly 2. Give the quantity 3. State the value[...]

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  • Liquidated Damages by Customs and Border Protection

    Liquidated Damages are predetermined civil penalties assessed against importers who have breached the terms of Customs bond.  These liquidated damages claims arise when an importer  fails to adhere to the Customs regulations and/or requests made by Customs on behalf of other government agencies (e.g. FDA). Specifically, a majority of the claims for liquidated damages stem from issues related to failure to redeliver goods, or improper  classification, valuation, or marking. Petitions for relief from liquidated damages must be filed within sixty (60) days from the date of mailing to the bond principal,[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: Customs and Border Protection: Notice of Detention

    Customs is given broad authority to inspect shipments entering into the country.  When Customs questions the admissibility of goods into the United States, Customs has the authority to detain the shipment until satisfactory information is provided to enable release.  Customs has five (5) business days from the date on which the merchandise is presented for examination to decide whether or not to detain the merchandise or to allow its release.  If Customs decides to detain a shipment, they must provide the importer with a formal Notice of Detention within five[...]

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