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Best PracticesCBPCounterfeitsImportIPR, Trademarks and LogosSeizuresU.S.CustomsUncategorized

The UGG Boots Story: How Recording Your Registered Trademark Can Lead to a Jail Sentence

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 19, 2017 0 comments

At the end of September 2017, Shi Wei Zheng, 42, plead guilty to one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods. During a five-month period, Zheng trafficked over 15,000 pairs of counterfeit UGG boots, with a total estimated retail value of over $2.5 million.
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Zheng created an elaborate scheme in order to receive and sell counterfeit UGG boots. From September 2016 through February 2017, Zheng received several shipping containers from an individual overseas, of which at least three containers were filled with counterfeit UGG boots. After the containers reached the Port of Entry, in this instance, Port of Newark, Zheng had individuals working at the port, remove the containers from the port before U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) could examine them. Once removed, the containers were delivered to other individuals, paid by Zheng to distribute the counterfeit boots in New Jersey and other places. Continue Reading

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HELP! CBP Seized My Tobacco Products as Drug Paraphernalia, What Now?

posted by Jennifer Diaz May 30, 2017 0 comments

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Our office has increasingly received requests for guidance on importation of marijuana paraphernalia products to the U.S. where twenty-six (26) states have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes and/or personal consumption such as California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada. The purpose of this article is to dispel the confusion as to why paraphernalia products (grinders, storage containers, rolling paper, pipes, vape pens, etc.) are continuously being seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), even when such products may be used by tobacco smokers. It is important to address the realities between federal and state laws regulating drug paraphernalia products so importers can avoid CBP’s enforcement of U.S. Laws.

Why Does CBP Stop Drug Paraphernalia?

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Here’s a Recap of Part II of our #WorldTradeMonth Seminar Series for Compliance Professionals on FDA FSMA and FSVP

posted by Jennifer Diaz May 19, 2017 0 comments

Yesterday, we at DTL, had the pleasure of hosting Part II of our #WorldTradeMonth Seminar Series for Compliance Professionals. The second seminar focused on FDA FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) Compliance for Importers with expert speakers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and industry. We had a packed house with an array of attendees such as importers of food, beverages, and medical devices, along with customs brokers, freight forwarders / NVOCCs, lawyers, consultants, and others. We received requests for a re-cap from those who attended and industry members who were not able to attend. You asked and we deliver. Here is our recap:

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Missed DTL’s seminar on AD/CVD with CBP? Here’s a re-cap.

posted by Jennifer Diaz May 11, 2017 0 comments

Yesterday we at DTL had the pleasure of hosting Part 1 of 2 of our Seminar Series for Compliance Professionals. In celebration of #WorldTradeMonth the first seminar concentrated on Antidumping Duties and Countervailing Duties (AD/CVD) with expert speakers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). While we had a packed room, we have received requests from industry members who were not able to attend asking for a re-cap. You asked so we delivered!

 Here is our re-cap:

The morning kicked off with a networking breakfast where experienced and novice custom brokers, legal counsel, trade consultants, and others were able to engage in meaningful dialogue about overlapping issues they experience in their respective workplaces in dealing with the topic of AD/CVD.

JenThe seminar promptly began at 9:00 am with introductory remarks by our own President, Jennifer Diaz. We had all attendees introduce themselves and include why this seminar was important to attend. We were glad to hear from majority of attendees that their reason for participating was to further their trade education, and CBP wanted to ensure they performed “informed compliance” with the trade community.  One attendee commented with “I’m here to continue to learn as that’s what we [customer brokers] are required to do.” Continue Reading

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31,560 Shipments Were Seized by CBP in 2016 for ONE Reason

posted by Jennifer Diaz March 23, 2017 0 comments

ipr

Last year, on a typical day the U.S. Customs and Border Protections (CBP) seized about $3.8 million worth of products because of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Violations. CBP reported that the total number of IPR seizures has increased nine (9) percent since last year, from 28,865 in 2015 to 31,560 in 2016. With the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) exceeding $1.3 trillion.

What is Causing the Increase in Seizures?

Recordation of Trademark And Copyright With The CBP

In addition to registration of IPR with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO for trademarks), or the U.S. Copyright Office (for copyrights), owners can record said trademark or copyright with CBP. This additional step grants CBP additional enforcement power in both seizing counterfeit and piratical goods as well as thereafter issuing penalties for the MSRP value of the goods. In previous blog posts, we explained benefits of taking the extra step of recording your registered trademark or copyright with CBP, and CBP’s additional enforcement powers as a result of the recordations. Continue Reading

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Top Successes of Diaz Trade Law (DTL) & Diaz Trade Consulting (DTC) in 2016!

posted by Jennifer Diaz January 26, 2017 0 comments

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DTL saved clients MILLIONS of dollars in 2016, below we list a summary of some of our compliance successes!

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP)

  • Assisted an importer in having $434,486.00 worth of goods seized returned to it in a RECORD 24 working days, with a signed settlement agreement with CBP in a record 17 working days!
  • Assisted an importer in having $324,466.00 worth of goods seized for an underlying AES violation returned.
  •  Assisted importers in filing prior disclosures that were accepted by CBP, advising of errors found, and avoiding substantial penalties.
  •  Assisted importers in successfully responding to CBP 28’s and 29’s resulting in close outs, and no further enforcement action by CBP!
  •  Assisted importers in creating and maintaining pre-compliance programs to evaluate intellectual property rights and pre-report merchandise to CBP resulting in expedited entry into the U.S. with no delays or examinations by CBP.

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U.S. Customs – Your Personal Policeman at the Border

posted by Jennifer Diaz December 6, 2016 2 Comments

counterfeitMany companies mistakenly believe that registering a trademark or copyright with the U.S. Government provides sufficient protection and remedies, and, therefore, do not take the extra step to record those trademarks or copyrights with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. Customs).

The processes achieve two completely different goals.

Registering a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office gives public notice of one’s ownership of the trademark or copyright. On the other hand, the purpose of recording a trademark or copyright with U.S. Customs is to partner with the agency in preventing the unauthorized importation of merchandise that bears a recorded trademark or copyright. U.S. Customs prevents counterfeit and otherwise infringing products from entering or exiting the United States for registered trademark or copyright holders who have recorded their trademarks or copyrights with Customs. Continue Reading

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Cuban Cigars Seized by CBP

posted by Jennifer Diaz September 22, 2016 0 comments

Mark Twain once said, “I never smoke to excess – that is, I smoke in moderation, only one cigar at a time.”cuban-cigars-seize-2

With the loosening of restrictions on travel and trade with Cuba, including the authorization to import Cuban Cigars (for personal use only, under a certain value), persons under “U.S. jurisdiction” are getting caught right and left trying to take advantage and import more than their share of Cuban cigars to the US. In May of this year, Maxim magazine declared Cuban Cigars are still the worlds best. However, as relations thaw, will the Cuban cigar be able to take back the market share it lost in the past half century when countries like Dominican Republic and Nicaragua have served the US? That is a question recently posed by Will Yakwowicz in an article for Inc. earlier this year.

Although you are allowed to bring Cuban cigars back to the U.S. (if you are on an “authorized trip” to Cuba) there is a limit and the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can, and will, seize any amount over the allowed limit.

What is the scope and limit on how many cigars I can bring in?

Will Customs and Border Protection seize as little as 1 cigar?

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The End of Vape Shops, Hookah Shops, & E-Cigs? FDA’s New “Deeming” Laws

posted by Jennifer Diaz May 26, 2016 0 comments

 How to comply

On April 24, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) announced that it was officially “deeming” e-cigs, e-hookah, vape pens, and other tobacco products subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). This article covered the proposed regulation at the time. On May 10, 2016 the FDA published the final rule on the new deeming law.

What Are Tobacco Products and What’s Being Regulated?

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Ongoing Hoverboard Concerns

posted by Jennifer Diaz January 27, 2016 1 Comment

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Address Ongoing Litigation & Seizure of one of the hottest toys, the Hoverboard.

Hoverboards, as they are commonly known, are self-balancing two-wheeled electric scooters.  They are powered by controversial rechargeable batteries that have recently garnered attention for malfunctioning, causing devices to catch fire and destroy homes.  The lithium-ion batteries have been known to overheat, catch fire, and explode without warning.

Several airlines have begun to prohibit transportation of the boards aboard aircraft, due to safety concerns.  Amazon.com is placing safety first and offering consumers that have purchased a hoverboard from Amazon a full refund.  Hoverboards are also facing additional litigation from Mark Cuban, who potentially has a patent infringement claim against Walmart for selling the devices.

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