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Category: International Trade Attorney

  • 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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  • 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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  • Smoke Shop Importing Into the U.S. – What Should You Know?

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP or Customs) is the federal agency in charge of determining the admissibility of items sold in smoke shops across the country.  Presently, we have been asked by importers across the United States for information regarding how to determine whether ones product will meet scrutiny by CBP.  Moreover, whether Customs would permit entry of these products into the United States. For such products like water pipes, grinders, blunt wraps/wrappers, and vaporizers CBP will consider whether the specific product you are attempting to import constitutes "drug paraphernalia."[...]

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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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  • U.S. Export Sanctions to Iran Lifted on Electronic Devices

    On May 30, 2013, the U.S. government issued a General License on the export of electronic devices such as, cellphones, laptops, computers, and wireless routers to Iran.  This effectively ended a ban that has been in place since 1992.  According to the Department of Treasury's press release "this General License aims to empower the Iranian people as their government intensifies its efforts to stifle their access to information."  Pursuant to 31 C.F.R. Part 560 the General License does not authorize the export of any listed equipment to the Iranian government[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: Customs and Border Protection: Intellectual Property Enforcement

    As a Customs attorney I find it surprising that intellectual property holders do not take advantage of Customs and Border Protection's ("CBP") ability to protect their intellectual property ("IP"). CBP is authorized to search all imports/exports and exclude, detain, and/or seize products that are counterfeit or otherwise infringing on the intellectual property of the IP holder. The way to gain the assistance of CBP is to utilize their Intellectual Property Rights Recordation System CBP's record system is separate and apart from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and Copyright office[...]

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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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