CBP Seizes $800k of Human Hair From China Alleging Forced Labor

On July 1, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Newark, New Jersey seized an import from China of roughly 13 tons of beauty products and accessories, discovered products made of human hair. The shipment, which came from the Xinjiang Region of China is estimated to be worth over $800,000.00.

The import was seized as a result of a June 17, 2020, Withhold Release Order (WRO) for “imported merchandise made wholly or in part with hair products produced by Lop County Meixin Hair Product Co. Ltd. (Meixin) in Xinjiang, China”.

According to CBP’s Executive Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Trade, there had already been evidence that reasonably indicated that the Chinese hair product company had been using prison labor to produce their merchandise, which is prohibited by Federal statute 19 U.S.C. 1307.

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Wondering if your Exclusion Request has been granted or denied? Find out here!

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Since the inception of the Trade War with China, the Office of the United States’ Trade Representative (USTR) has provided citizens, primarily those in industries directly affected by the imposition of ad valorem duties (tariffs), the opportunity to request that certain products be granted exclusions. Each list of tariffs has its own specific process to ensure that concerned citizens may voice their opinions as to why given products should not be subjected to additional duties upon importation, as prescribed in the Section 301 investigation.

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Section 301- List 4 Tariffs in Effect Starting September 1

President Donald Trump, left, poses for a photo with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) President Donald Trump, left, poses for a photo with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

New Table-Blogs-Section 301 Tariffs On Chinese Products

Despite the reignition of tensions in May, hopes of reconciliation began to grow in the preeminence of the G-20 international economic forum, held in June. While substantial progress was not made, President Trump and potential dictator for life Xi Jinping appeared to slow the escalation, coming to a bilateral good-faith agreement. Supposedly, the two nations agreed that the United States would soften the sanctions imposed on Chinese tech giant, Huawei, contingent that China begins to repurchase American agricultural products, as well as halt their exportation of Fentanyl.

The tentative “cease-fire” also intended to delay the United States’ imposition of the threatened list 4, which would levy a 25% ad valorem on roughly $300 Billion worth of Chinese goods. The new round of tariffs looms over China, considering that 2019 proved to be their […]

CBP, BIS, and Other Agencies Launch A New Task Force to Combat Counterfeit Goods

Press Release The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a press release announcing a new multi-agency task force, The Global Trade Task Force (GTTF), which is designed to protect national security and combat counterfeit goods. The multi-agency task force was launched recently in Detroit and DHS believes the task force could serve as a national model for related investigations.

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Civil Forfeiture – Know Your Rights!

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Routinely, individuals in the U.S. have property taken from them under “Asset Forfeiture” laws and are unaware of their rights.  Civil judicial forfeiture does not require a criminal conviction, and is a powerful legal tool used by law enforcement and Federal Agencies to seize property that is involved in a crime. Fines and forfeitures have become a key source of revenue, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

The majority of federal forfeiture cases are uncontested when there is a related criminal case. Administrative forfeiture occurs when property is seized but no one files a claim to contest the seizure. Property that can be administratively forfeited includes merchandise prohibited from importation; a conveyance used to import, transport, or store a controlled substance; a monetary instrument; or other property that does not exceed $500,000 in value. Federal law imposes strict deadlines and notification requirements in the administrative forfeiture process. If the seizure is contested, then the U.S. government is required to use either criminal or civil judicial forfeiture proceedings to gain title to the property.

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Why Your Freight Forwarder MUST Segregate Hazardous Materials

It’s important to understand why freight forwarders take certain steps prior to shipping your goods. We previously discussed why it’s important to complete a Shipper’s Letter of Instruction. Now we are addressing why your Freight Forwarder segregates your hazardous materials, even if you request otherwise. The fines for non-compliance are severe. 49 CFR 107.329 provides for the maximum civil penalty amounts. Violators that knowingly violate hazardous material transportation laws and regulations may face no more than a $78,376.00 penalty for each violation, but if the violation results in death, serious illness, severe injury to any person, or substantial destruction of property the maximum civil penalty is $182,877.00. There is no minimum civil penalty, except for a minimum civil penalty of $471 for violations relating to training. When the violation is a continuing one, each day of the violation constitutes a separate offense. […]

Importers: If you Can’t Answer These 12 Questions on Forced Labor You’re In Trouble!

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An estimated 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery at any moment in time in 2016. This amounts to 5.4 victims of modern slavery for every thousand people in the world. Seventy three per cent of the victims of forced labor were female, and one in four victims were children. Forced labor accounted for 24.9 million people, while 15.4 million were in forced marriage.

What is the U.S. Doing About It? […]

Essential Oils Company to Pay $760K for Lacey Act Violations

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The Justice Department announced YOUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS, L.C., (the Company), headquartered in Lehi, Utah, plead guilty in federal court to federal misdemeanor charges regarding its illegal trafficking of rosewood oil and spikenard oil in violation of the Lacey Act and the Endangered Species Act. […]

VW to pay HIGHEST CBP PENALTY EVER, $1.45 Billion!

Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 11.48.28 AMOn January 11, 2017, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Attorney General announced the largest criminal and civil settlement ever against Volkswagen (VW) that totaled $4.3 billion. The breakdown of the settlement was $2.8 billion for the criminal penalty and $1.45 billion for a combined civil penalty for both the CBP and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Volkswagen agreed to plead guilty to three felony criminal counts and pay the $2.8 billion dollar penalty. The $1.45 billion combined settlement was for EPA’s “claim for civil penalties against VW in connection with VW’s importation and sale of these cars” as well as CBP’s claim for customs fraud.

CBP’s part of the $1.45 billion settlement dealt with a violation of 19 U.S.C. §1952, which “prohibits persons, by fraud, gross negligence or negligence, from entering or introducing, attempting to introduce, or aiding and abetting the entry or introduction of merchandise into the commerce of the United States, by means of statements or acts that are material and false, or by means of omissions which are material”.

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Now, More than Ever, Be Wary of and Responsive to a CBP Form 28!

rob-articleU.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), having previously identified AD/CVD evasion as priority trade issue, is ramping up its efforts to further combat AD/CVD evasion. Effective August 22, 2016, interested parties can, in addition to pursuing either a civil False Claims Act/Qui Tam Action or a criminal trade violation, now report Enforce and Protect Act (“EAPA”) violations using CBP’s e-Allegation mechanism.

Who is an Interested Party?

Interested parties qualified to use this violation reporting mechanism include:

• Foreign manufacturers, producers, exporters, or importers of covered merchandise or a trade or business association a majority of the members of which are producers, exporters, or importers of such merchandise
• Manufacturers, producers, exporters, or importers in the U.S. of a domestic like product
• A certified union or recognized union group of workers that is representative of an industry engaged in the manufacture, production or wholesale of a domestic like product in the U.S.
• A trade or business association a majority of the members of which manufacture, produce, or wholesale a domestic like product in the U.S.
• If covered merchandise is a processed agricultural product, a coalition or trade union that is representative of processors, processors and producers, or processors and growers […]

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