Here is a recap of the latest customs and international trade law news:
A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are in full enforcement mode carefully monitoring novel products claiming to treat, mitigate, or “kill” COVID-19. Compliance advisories issued at the beginning of the pandemic are now being replaced with enforcement advisories. Manufacturers, importers, distributors, and others engaged in the production or sale of products claiming to mitigate or “kill” COVID-19 should be more cautious than ever when developing product claims for both product labels and marketing material or alternatively, confirm products comply with the numerous regulations governing COVID-19 cleaning products.
On 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”.
On November 30, 2010, from 12 to 1:30 p.m., the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) is hosting a webinar on the topic of "EPA Import Compliance - What To Do When Things Go Wrong". Instructor will be Peter Quinter, Partner in Charge, Customs and International Trade Law Department, Becker & Poliakoff law firm.
Now that summer is here, air conditioners are on our minds. It is likely the air conditioner you purchase at the store was imported into the United States, and made in China. The EPA has very specific requirements regarding the importation of generators and motor vehicle engines, including ATVs, snowmobiles, motorcycles, and anything else with a non-road spark ignition engine. EPA is concerned about enforcing emissions standards under the Clean Air Act, and so should you.
On November 20, 2009, in Federal Court in Miami, Florida, Mr. James Garrido and the company he controlled, Kroy Corporation, pled guilty to charges related to their illegally smuggling into the United States certain restricted ozone-depleting substances, in violation of the Clean Air Act enforced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.