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Federal Government Websites Shutdown

Due to the lapse in federal funding, U.S. Customs & Border Protection's website, and all Federal Government websites are not being actively managed.  Most of the websites were last updated on or before September 30, 2013 and will not be updated until funding is enacted. Therefore, the current information we usually provide you in our newsletter is limited at this time. We will keep you updated via Special Notices of any pertinent information as we receive it.


Limitations on Duty and Quota-Free Imports of Apparel Articles
International Trade Administration / http://otexa.ita.doc.gov/

09/30/2013Limitations on Duty and Quota-Free Imports of Apparel Articles  Assembled in Beneficiary Sub-Saharan African Countries From Regional and Third- Country Fabric, 2013-2014


CBP Seizes 54 Pounds of Cocaine Inside Container
U.S. Customs & Border Protection/ http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/news_releases/local/09272013_3.xml

San Juan, Puerto Rico — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized Thursday 54 pounds (24.35 kilos) of cocaine inside a container at the San Juan seaport.

During the inspection of containers arriving on board the maritime vessel Maersk Wismar a container was selected for secondary scrutiny. Inside CBP officers found a large duffle bag, which contained 21 bricks that later tested positive for cocaine.

“Smuggling organizations try to conceal their loads by any means possible and use many venues to avoid detection from law enforcement,” stated Juan Hurtado, San Juan area port director. “Our officers remain vigilant managing all risk factors to deter these smuggling attempts.”

The estimated value of the seized cocaine is $608,750.

CBP Officers contacted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, who responded and took custody of the seized narcotics. The HSI investigation is ongoing.


More Than 16,000 Counterfeit Hermes Handbags Seized by CBP
U.S. Customs & Border Protection / http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/news_releases/local/09272013.xml

Fake High-End Designer Purses Violated Hermes Protected Trademark

Los Angeles — U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) officers and import specialists at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport complex seized 16,053 counterfeit Hermes handbags in nine shipments from June 6 through September 17. All were in violation of the Hermes protected trademark.

Their combined domestic value of $295,665 contrasted to the manufacturer suggested retail price of $210,785,475 had they been genuine, illustrates the potentially high profit margins in such an illegal venture.

“CBP officers are trained to identify and interdict counterfeit goods, and this is a great example of how their training and expertise are employed every day in our ports of entry,” said CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles Todd C. Owen. “These counterfeiters are not only cheating the legitimate designers and manufacturers of protected trademark merchandise, but also the public and the U.S. government,” he added.

Eight of the shipments were coming from China, one from China via Hong Kong. Two had the knock-offs hidden in the nose of the containers with concealing attempts of packing legitimate, non-infringing merchandise behind them.

Five different importers sent the shipments. All were destined to surrounding areas of Los Angeles except for one destined to Texas.

Approximately $1.26 billion worth of counterfeit goods originating overseas were seized by CBP in 2012. China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India and Taiwan are the top five countries of origination for counterfeit goods seized by CBP.
Nationwide, handbags and wallets comprised the greatest number of counterfeit items seized by CBP last year, with the value of seizures up 142 percent compared to 2011. Of the approximately $511 million in handbags and wallets seized, more than $446 million came from China.

Violations of trade laws, including violations of intellectual property rights laws can be reported to CBP online. 


CBP and Merchant Ship Crew Intercept 27 Destructive Asian Gypsy Moth Egg Masses on Car Carrier Ship
U.S. Customs & Border Protection / http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/news_releases/local/09302013_2.xml

Baltimore – A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) laboratory confirmed Wednesday that 27 egg masses discovered on a freighter first in Baltimore September 16 and again during the ship’s transit to Brunswick, Ga., were the highly destructive Asian Gypsy Moth.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists first encountered six egg masses during a routine inspection of the M/V Columbia Highway, a vehicle carrier ship that arrived from the United Kingdom. The ship had made a port call in Japan in June and July. The egg masses were removed and the area treated with Golden Pest Spray Oil.

During the ship’s transit from Baltimore to Brunswick, Ga., M/V Columbia Highway crewmen conducted a comprehensive examination and reported to CBP that they discovered and mitigated 20 additional egg masses. CBP agriculture specialists discovered one additional egg mass when the ship moored in Brunswick September 18.

CBP reported that the vessel was clear of Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) egg masses during a follow-up examination in Charleston, S.C., September 20.

AGM poses a significant threat to our nation’s forests and urban landscapes as it is known to be extremely mobile – females can travel up to 25 miles per day – can lay egg masses that could yield hundreds of hungry caterpillars, and is itself a voracious eater that attacks more than 500 species of trees and plants.

“This important interception highlights the serious threat that the highly invasive and destructive Asian Gypsy Moth poses to our nation’s agriculture industries and to our economy,” said Susan Thomas, Acting CBP Port Director for the Port of Baltimore. “This case also demonstrates the tremendous teamwork and cooperation between U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Agriculture and merchant seamen to quickly mitigate this potential threat. I commend the Columbia Highway crew for their tenacity in hunting down all AGM egg masses on their ship while at sea.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), officials first detected AGM in North America in 1991 near Vancouver, Canada. After that, AGM was detected in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. Ships infested with egg masses from ports in far eastern Russia probably introduced the pest to North America while visiting ports on the West Coast. APHIS and state officials eradicated those infestations by trapping and spraying.

Since then, there have been several reported AGM infestations in North Carolina and the Pacific Northwest. Federal and state agriculture specialists eradicated all of those infestations.

AGM differs from European Gypsy Moth (EGM). EGM is well established in the Northeast United States. AGM has a more voracious appetite for a broader variety of plants and its females are active fliers. In contrast, EGM prefers oak and its females are flightless.

APHIS says EGM defoliate an average of about 4 million acres each year, causing millions of dollars in damage. If AGM were to establish in the United States, the damage could be more extensive and costly.

USDA’s APHIS and CBP agriculture specialists continue their vigilance against future introductions through stringent inspections of arriving high-risk merchant vessels and their cargo, particularly those vessels that call on ports in Asia, which is known as an AGM high-risk area.

“Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists perform a critical border security role in safeguarding America’s agricultural and natural resources from harmful pests and plant diseases,” said Thomas.

CBP agriculture specialists have extensive training and experience in the biological sciences and agricultural inspection. On a typical day, they inspect tens of thousands of international air passengers, and air and sea cargoes nationally being imported to the United States and seize 4,919 prohibited meat, plant materials or animal products, including 476 insect pests.

To learn more about CBP agriculture specialists, please visit the webpage. ( Agriculture Specialist )

CBP agriculture specialists work closely with USDA’s APHIS to protect our nation’s agriculture resources against the introduction of foreign plant pests and animal diseases.

For more on the USDA’s APHIS program, please visit the website. ( USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service )


Travel Advisory Lower Level of the George Washington Bridge Closed Overnight Saturday, October 5, through Sunday Morning for Emergency Response Drill
Port of Authorty of New York & Newark  / http://www.panynj.gov/press-room/press-item.cfm?headLine_id=1834

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will conduct a full-scale emergency response drill on the lower level of the George Washington Bridge beginning Saturday night, October 5, at 9 p.m. and ending on Sunday morning at 8 a.m. During those hours, the lower level of the George Washington Bridge will be closed to all traffic. Commuters using the bridge during these hours must use the upper level.

The exercise is part of the agency’s ongoing drills, which enable the Port Authority Police Department, agency personnel and other emergency responders to test and enhance response procedures. Members of the public may notice smoke conditions and emergency vehicles as part of the drill.

Drill participants include the NYPD, FDNY, Fort Lee, Englewood Cliffs and Bergen County police departments, the New Jersey State Police, the FBI and the Palisades Interstate Parkway Police Department.

For up-to-the-minute traffic updates at all Port Authority crossings, motorists are encouraged to sign up for Port Authority alerts at http://www.paalerts.com/.

CONTACT: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey 212-435-7777

Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where construction crews are building the iconic One World Trade Center, which is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov.

 
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