3 Shipments Containing 3,165 Counterfeit Items Worth Over $3.1M Seized by Louisville CBP in 1 Night - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
LOUISVILLE, Ky — May 8 was a busy night for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Louisville. CBP officers in Louisville seized three shipments containing various luxury items. From handbags, to jewelry, to Rolex watches, all were deemed to be inauthentic and bearing counterfeit marks, by CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise, the agency’s trade experts.
CBP officers examined all three shipments to determine the admissibility of the goods and discovered they all contained inauthentic luxury items. The first shipment contained 1,438 necklaces bearing counterfeit Van Cleef & Arpels trademarks. The necklaces, arriving from Hong Kong and heading to a residence in Miami, would have been worth a total of $2.18 million, Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), had they been genuine.
CBP officers inspected a second parcel originating from Hong Kong and found 10 fake Rolex watches. This shipment was heading to a residence in Ontario, Canada. Had the watches been real, the MSRP would have been worth a total of $102,500.
The final package was also from Hong Kong and was headed to a P.O. Box in Laredo, Texas. Inside, officers found 14 fake Louis Vuitton handbags, and over 1,400 pairs of earrings bearing inauthentic logos representing Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Versace, Tous, Tory Burch, and Disney brands. Officers also found over 200 necklaces bearing inauthentic logos representing Chanel, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton brands. The MSRP for this shipment would have been $812,510, had the goods been authentic.
“These types of seizures happen every night. Our officers are very well trained and vigilant in stopping these illegal shipments from reaching their destinations,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations-Chicago Field Office. “Whether it is Intellectual Property Right violations, narcotics, unapproved items or counterfeit products our officers will continue to protect our local communities and our ports of entry.”
The rapid growth of e-commerce enables consumers to search for and easily purchase millions of products through online vendors, but this easy access gives counterfeit and pirated goods more ways to enter the U.S. economy. U.S. consumers spend more than $100 billion every year on intellectual property rights (IPR) infringing goods, falling victim to approximately 20% of the counterfeits illegally sold worldwide. Counterfeit costume jewelry bearing famous brands such as Chanel, have been found to contain lead and other toxic materials which are dangerous to human health.
“This is just another example of the work our officers do to protect consumers and the U.S. economy,” said Thomas Mahn, Port Director, Louisville. “As consumers increasingly purchase from online or third-party vendors, our officers are at the frontline to guard against defrauders expecting to make money selling fake merchandise.”
CBP has established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers associated with purchasing counterfeit and pirated goods online or in stores. More information about this initiative is available at www.cbp.gov/fakegoodsrealdangers. To report suspected counterfeits, visit CBP’s online e-Allegations portal or call 1-800-BE-ALERT.
Brand owners wishing to partner with CBP to prevent the importation of counterfeit and substandard goods should visit https://iprr.cbp.gov/s/ for information about the e-Recordation program.
For more ways to protect yourself from counterfeit and pirated goods, visit https://www.stopfakes.gov/.
Federal Register Notices:
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Activated Carbon From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2021-2022
• Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the Republic of Korea: Amended Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review in Part; 2020-2021
• Certain Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From India, Thailand, and Republic of Turkey: Final Results of the Expedited Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Orders
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Wi-Fi Routers, Wi-Fi Devices, Mesh Wi-Fi Network Devices, and Hardware and Software Components Thereof; Notice of Institution
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From Brazil, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan and Certain Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From Taiwan: Final Results of Expedited Fifth Sunset Reviews of the Antidumping Duty Orders
• Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews
• Carbazole Violet Pigment 23 From India: Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2021-2022
• Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the Republic of Korea: Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2020
• Certain Small Diameter Seamless Carbon and Alloy Standard, Line and Pressure Pipe From Germany: Final Results of Expedited Fifth Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Boltless Steel Shelving Units Prepacked for Sale From the People's Republic of China: Rescission of Circumvention Inquiry on the Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Orders
• Common Alloy Aluminum Sheet From Germany: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2020-2022
• Common Alloy Aluminum Sheet From Turkey: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2020-2022
• Common Alloy Aluminum Sheet From the Republic of Turkey: Preliminary Results of the 2020-2021 Administrative Review
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Fitness Devices, Streaming Components Thereof, and Systems Containing Same; Notice of a Commission Determination To Reconsider the Original Remedial Orders and To Issue Orders Modifying Those Remedial Orders
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Liquid Transfer Devices With an Integral Vial Adapter; Institution of Investigation
USITC Makes Determinations in Five-Year (Sunset) Review Concerning Certain Hardwood Plywood Products from China - U S. International Trade Commission
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that revocation of the existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders on certain hardwood plywood products (hardwood plywood) from China would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury or threat of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time.
As a result of the Commission’s affirmative determinations, the existing orders on imports of this product from China will remain in place.
Chairman David S. Johanson and Commissioners Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, Jason E. Kearns, Randolph J. Stayin, and Amy A. Karpel voted in the affirmative.
Today’s action comes under the five-year (sunset) review process required by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. See the attached page for background on these five-year (sunset) reviews.
The Commission’s public report Hardwood Plywood from China (Inv. Nos. 701-TA-565 and 731-TA-1341 (Review), USITC Publication 5426, May 2023) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the reviews.
The report will be available by June 16, 2023; when available, it may be accessed on the USITC website at: https://www.usitc.gov/commission_publications_library.
The Uruguay Round Agreements Act requires the Department of Commerce to revoke an antidumping or countervailing duty order, or terminate a suspension agreement, after five years unless the Department of Commerce and the USITC determine that revoking the order or terminating the suspension agreement would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping or subsidies (Commerce) and of material injury (USITC) within a reasonably foreseeable time.
The Commission’s institution notice in five-year reviews requests that interested parties file responses with the Commission concerning the likely effects of revoking the order under review as well as other information. Generally within 95 days from institution, the Commission will determine whether the responses it has received reflect an adequate or inadequate level of interest in a full review. If responses to the USITC’s notice of institution are adequate, or if other circumstances warrant a full review, the Commission conducts a full review, which includes a public hearing and issuance of questionnaires.
The Commission generally does not hold a hearing or conduct further investigative activities in expedited reviews. Commissioners base their injury determination in expedited reviews on the facts available, including the Commission’s prior injury and review determinations, responses received to its notice of institution, data collected by staff in connection with the reviews, and information provided by the Department of Commerce.
The five-year (sunset) reviews concerning Hardwood Plywood from China (Review) were instituted on December 1, 2022.
On March 6, 2023, the Commission voted to conduct expedited reviews. Commissioners Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, Jason E. Kearns, and Randolph J. Stayin concluded that the domestic interested party group response was adequate and the respondent interested party group response was inadequate and voted for expedited reviews. Chairman David S. Johanson and Commissioner Amy A. Karpel concluded that both the domestic interested party group response and the respondent interested party group response were adequate and voted for full reviews.
A record of the Commission’s vote to conduct expedited reviews is available from the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may be made by telephone by calling 202-205-1802.
CBP Tops 18 Cut Flower Inspections Ahead of Mother's Day - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
Inspections curb unwanted pests, plant diseases from entering U.S.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists across the United States are ramping up efforts to inspect cut flower shipments to prevent bugs and disease from reaching the American public during Mother’s Day this weekend.
Since April 1, CBP agriculture specialists have inspected more than 1 billion stems of cut flowers from Europe, Asia, Africa and South America, intercepting 1,514 significant pests of varying species. Colombia remains the top shipping country, with more than 650 million flower stems, most being shipped through the Miami International Airport.
“With more than 1.3 billion flowers cleared last year for Mother’s Day;\, CBP agriculture specialists are on track to surpass the number this year,” said Kevin Harringer, Executive Director, CBP Agriculture Programs and Trade Liaison. “Agriculture specialists remain vigilant at the frontlines and are hard at work to ensure these flowers are available for the holiday. So, whether you plan to give a single stem or an entire bouquet for Mother’s Day, rest assured the flowers will be free from invasive pests, and our nation’s agriculture will be protected.”
While it is legal to import flowers from other countries, certain flowers and plant materials commonly found in floral arrangements are restricted because they may carry plant pests and diseases that can cause damage to U.S. agriculture. A single pest could cause millions of dollars of damage to the nation’s crops. The Noctuidae family, or owlet moths, for example, include more than 35,000 known species that are reported to feed on a range of herbs, shrubs, and trees, including crop plants such as bean and corn, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and the Easter holiday weekend are traditionally the busiest times of the year for CBP agriculture specialists, with the most popular flowers being roses, mixed bouquets, and chrysanthemums.
CBP recommends that people who wish to import flowers, plant materials, and other agricultural items consult the CBP Information Center on the CBP website or call (877) 227-5511. Travelers should also declare all items acquired abroad to CBP officers to avoid civil or criminal penalties and reduce the risk of introducing pest and disease to the United States. CBP now offers the CBP One mobile app, which allows travelers to request a variety of CBP services, including inspection of agricultural products. The CBP One app can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
Click here for b-roll footage of cut flower inspections.
Internet Purchases - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
Your Responsibility and Liability
The Internet has made it easy to find and purchase items from almost anywhere in the world. However, many people are discovering that getting a foreign-bought item successfully delivered to the United States is much more complicated.
When goods move from any foreign country to the United States, they are being IMPORTED. There are specific rules and regulations that govern the act of importing - and they can be extremely complex and confusing - and costly.
That artisan cheese from Italy may be a snap to find and buy on the Internet, but U.S. Customs and Border Protection could seize your purchase because certain regulations prohibit the importation of dairy products from particular countries without a permit.
Your great auction purchase of gorgeous linen products? Depending upon the country of origin, quota restrictions could hold them up in CBP for a long time. And storage charges in such cases can be expensive.
In other words, "Buyer, Beware." When you buy goods from foreign sources, you become the importer. And it is the importer - in this case, YOU - who is responsible for assuring that the goods comply with a variety of both state and federal government import regulations. Importing goods that are unsafe, that fail to meet health code requirements, or that violate quota restrictions could end up costing you quite a bit of money in fines and penalties. At the very least, such goods would be detained, and possibly destroyed, by CBP.
Knowing what is admissible is just part of the story. The other part is knowing how to import. Depending upon what you are importing and its value, the procedures can be very complicated.
It does not matter whether you bought the item from an established business or from an individual selling item in an on-line auction. If merchandise, used or new, is imported into the United States, it must clear CBP and may be subject to the payment of duty as well as to whatever rules and regulations govern the importation of that particular product into the United States.
Keep the following questions in mind before you buy something from a foreign source. The answers will have far-reaching CBP implications (explained below) that could influence your decision to buy.
• Can the goods be legally imported? Are there restrictions on, or special forms required, for your purchase's importation?
• Are you buying the item(s) for your personal use or for commercial purposes?
• Will you be responsible for shipping costs? If so, you should discuss with the seller how your purchase will be shipped. The choices are freight, courier service or international postal service. If you're not careful, transportation and handling costs could far outweigh the cost of your purchase. Sometimes, the seemingly cheaper methods can be more expensive in the long run because they are more susceptible to theft, misdeliveries and logistical problems.
• You should discuss with the seller what the exact delivery arrangements will be. If the seller does not make arrangements for postal or door-to-door delivery, you will either need to hire a customs broker to clear your goods and forward them on to you, or go the port of entry and clear them yourself.
• Can you trust the seller to provide accurate information about the item being shipped in the Customs section of the shipping documents? Giving misleading or inaccurate information about the nature of the item and its value is illegal. And it is the importer - YOU - who could face legal action and fines for this violation!
The following is a brief primer on the various factors that can impact the clearance of your goods through CBP.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Declarations
All paperwork for sending packages internationally has a section for providing CBP information. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Declaration is a form obtainable at most foreign post offices. This declaration form should include a full and accurate description of the merchandise, and should be securely attached to the outside of your shipment. Declaration forms vary from country to country, and they don't all ask for the information required by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. You should ask the seller to provide the following information, whether or not it is asked for on the paperwork.
Hearing Aids and Personal Sound Amplification Products: What to Know - Food & Drug Administration
Are you or a loved one having a hard time hearing? Perhaps you considered getting a hearing aid in the past?
Hearing aid technology keeps evolving, which means there’s a growing variety of styles and features to consider.
“People who already use a hearing aid know that selecting one is not a simple decision,” says Eric Mann, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Advisor in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration office responsible for hearing aids. “Hearing loss affects people in different ways. So, it’s important to choose a hearing aid that’s appropriate for your condition and fits your lifestyle.”
The FDA regulates hearing aids to make sure they provide reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness. If you’re considering hearing aids, this article highlights some common technologies and terms you may encounter, including information about the FDA’s requirements for hearing aids sold over-the-counter (OTC), which are intended for people 18 years of age and older who have perceived mild to moderate hearing loss.
Hearing Aids and How They Work
People may be born with hearing loss. Or they may develop it later in life — often because the inner ear can wear out as we age or be damaged by years of exposure to loud sounds.
In some cases, hearing loss is temporary and can be restored with medical help. In other cases, it’s permanent but can be improved with hearing aids.
Hearing aids are medical devices worn behind or in the ear. They can improve hearing by making sounds louder. However, hearing aids usually won’t restore your hearing to normal levels or quality in the way that eyeglasses can often restore vision to 20/20.
Air-Conduction vs. Bone-Conduction Hearing Aids
Most hearing aids work through air conduction. They bring amplified sound into the ear canal. Sound then moves through the eardrum and three tiny bones in the middle ear to reach the inner ear, where it’s processed and sent to the brain.
For people who have problems with their outer or middle ear, those areas can be bypassed with bone-conduction hearing aids. They send sound through the skull to reach the inner ear.
Those Urgent Emails from MetaMask and PayPal are Phishing Scams - FTC-Consumer Advice
If you got an email that seems to be from MetaMask or PayPal, stop. They’re phishing scams. The MetaMask fake says your cryptocurrency wallet is blocked. And, if you don’t act fast, click a link, and update your wallet, they say your crypto will be lost. The phony PayPal message says BNC Billing cancelled your payment to Binance — and it gives you a phone number to reach PayPal…except that’s a scam, too. If you get one of the messages, delete it. But what then?
Most unexpected emails saying to act quickly, click a link, or call a number are phishing scams. They may look like they come from companies you know, but they’re from scammers who want you to think the message is real. That way, scammers think you’ll click into a fake website or call an actual scammer — all to solve a fake problem. If you click or call, the scammers will steal your financial or personal information, and that could lead to identity theft.
Here are examples of these fake phishing emails: