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CBP at JFK seizes Counterfeit Professional Sports Championship Rings - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

JAMAICA, N.Y. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at John F. Kennedy International Airport seized counterfeited professional sports championship rings.  

On July 7, CBP officers seized two separate shipments of counterfeit major league sports championship rings. This seizure of 144 rings in two separate shipments, 84 and 60 respectively, intercepted by CBP officers at JFK would have had a combined M.S.R.P. of $216,000 USD ($126,000 and $90,000) if they were actually legitimate.

“CBP Officers are protecting the American public from various dangers on a daily basis,” said Troy Miller, Director of CBP’s New York Field Operations.  “The interception of these counterfeit professional sports championship rings is a direct reflection of the vigilance and commitment to mission success by our CBP officers daily.”

This investigation is ongoing and there have been no arrests at this point.


Federal Register Notices:

MIAMI — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) import specialists reeled in $7.6 million since May in duties from 676 shipments of imported tilapia, thanks in part to the newly launched Operation Just Keep Swimming.

Launched on May 12, Operation Just Keep Swimming addresses the evasion of Chinese 301 tariffs on tilapia fillet imports arriving daily at seaports across the United States.

The program helps import specialists across the nation monitor imports of tilapia from China as a precaution against United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) decision to remove the 25 percent import tariff on frozen tilapia that went into effect in 2018 and grant a retroactive exclusion. The exclusion, which provides for frozen tilapia weighing no more than 115 grams each, is among the 177 product exclusions identified in USTR’s Notice of Exclusions published in the Federal Register in March of this year.

“Customs and Border Protection has a dual mission to facilitate legitimate cargo and enforce trade laws for CBP and other agencies,” said Diane Sabatino, Miami Director Field Operation. “Working as a team, focusing and coordinating our individual efforts, we achieve far greater results, such as the recovery of trade revenue.”

CBP’s Agriculture and Prepared Products Center of Excellence and Expertise (APPCEE) serves as a conduit for food imports by focusing on searching for imports subject to the additional 25 percent duties.

CBP’s workplace changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic have not impacted the Center’s processing operations said Center Director Dina Amato. “We continue to operate at full capacity and remain committed to supporting public needs during this challenging time” said Amato. “It is important import specialists remain engaged with CBP Officers and Agriculture Specialists. At the Center, we serve as a bridge between the trade community and the Ports of Entry.”

CBP is the federal government’s second largest source of revenue, playing a key role in administering these additional duties and quotas. The agency also enforces nearly 500 U.S. trade laws and regulations on behalf of 49 different partner government agencies, including the Department of Commerce and USTR, including implementation and ongoing administration of the new remedies. As a result, CBP assessed nearly $29 billion in duties for Section 301 goods from China in 2019.


OTEXA:  Announcements - Office of Textile & Apparel

  • 07/17/2020 –The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has proposed a new rule that would prohibit marketers from making unqualified “made in USA” claims on labels. The proposed rule would not change or affect any other existing federal or state law or regulation relating to country-of-origin labels (e.g., the Wool Labeling or Textile Labeling Rules) but would allow the FTC to seek civil penalties for violations. Get more details on the proposed rule and how to submit comments here.
     
  • 07/17/2020 –The Department of Commerce, along with the Departments of State, the Treasury, and Homeland Security, issued a business advisory to highlight risks and considerations for businesses with supply chain exposure to entities engaged in forced labor and other human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in the People’s Republic of China. Find more information and see the advisory here.
    Commerce Department Adds Eleven Chinese Entities Implicated in Human Rights Abuses in Xinjiang to the Entity List - Department of Commerce

The Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) added to the Entity List 11 Chinese companies implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor, involuntary collection of biometric data, and genetic analyses targeted at Muslim minority groups from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Today’s action will result in these companies facing new restrictions on access to U.S.-origin items, including commodities and technology.  This action will supplement BIS’s two tranches of Entity List designations in October 2019 and June 2020, actions that together added 37 parties engaged in or enabling PRC’s repression in Xinjiang.

“Beijing actively promotes the reprehensible practice of forced labor and abusive DNA collection and analysis schemes to repress its citizens,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This action will ensure that our goods and technologies are not used in the Chinese Communist Party’s despicable offensive against defenseless Muslim minority populations.”

The Entity List is a tool utilized by BIS to restrict the export, reexport, and transfer (in-country) of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to persons (individuals, organizations, companies) reasonably believed to be involved, or to pose a significant risk of becoming involved, in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.  Additional license requirements apply to exports, re-exports, and transfers (in-country) of items subject to the EAR to listed entities, and the availability of most license exceptions is limited. 

The entities to be added to the Entity List in connection with the practice of forced labor involving Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in the XUAR are:

Changji Esquel Textile Co. Ltd.
Hefei Bitland Information Technology Co. Ltd.
Hefei Meiling Co. Ltd.
Hetian Haolin Hair Accessories Co. Ltd.
Hetian Taida Apparel Co., Ltd.
KTK Group
Nanjing Synergy Textiles Co. Ltd.
Nanchang O-Film Tech
Tanyuan Technology Co. Ltd. 

The entities to be added to the Entity List in connection with conducting genetic analyses used to further the repression of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in XUAR are:

Xinjiang Silk Road BGI
Beijing Liuhe BGI


Louisville CBP Finds 40 Pounds of Crystal Meth Hidden in Car Parts - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

LOUISVILLE, Ky — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Louisville intercepted 40 pounds of Crystal Methamphetamine at the Express Consignment Operations hub yesterday, July 22. 

CBP officers inspected the parcel based on car parts being used as a common concealing tactic, a fresh paint smell and positive x-ray anomalies. Upon inspecting the shipment, officers found six engine supports, which concealed 40 pounds of Crystal Methamphetamine.

This is the second parcel within two weeks that CBP officers have found 40 pounds of crystal meth hidden inside a parcel. This parcel was coming from Mexico heading to a residence in Irving, Texas. The estimated street value of the meth would have been $365,000.

“CBP continues to seize shipments that contain dangerous narcotics that would harm the public,” said Thomas Mahn, Port Director, Louisville. “Our officers are committed to intercepting these illicit drugs from being smuggled in and will continue to stop these dangerous shipments.”

Methamphetamine is dangerous and highly addictive stimulants. Abuse can lead to paranoia, exhaustion, heart conditions, convulsions, stroke, and death. Methamphetamine is classified as Schedule II stimulants under the Controlled Substances Act.

CBP conducts operations at ports of entry throughout the United States, and regularly screens arriving international passengers and cargo for narcotics, weapons, and other restricted or prohibited products. CBP strives to serve as the premier law enforcement agency enhancing the Nation’s safety, security, and prosperity through collaboration, innovation, and integration.


USDA Provides Update on Investigation Following 2019 Tyson Beef Plant Closure and COVID-19 Pandemic - USDA

(Washington, D.C., July 22, 2020) – As part of its commitment to ensuring fair and competitive markets for the livestock, meat and poultry industries, today the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a Boxed Beef and Fed Cattle Price Spread Investigation Report on its ongoing boxed beef and fed cattle price spread investigation.

“The closure of the Tyson beef packing plant in Holcomb, Kansas, after a fire at the facility, and the COVID-19 pandemic clearly disrupted the markets and processing systems responsible for the production and sale of U.S. beef,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “The report examines these economic disruptions and the significant increase in the spread between boxed beef and fed cattle prices that resulted from them. While we’re pleased to provide this update, we assure producers that our work continues in order to determine if there are any violations of the Packers and Stockyards Act. If any unfair practices are detected, we will take quick enforcement action.”

Background:

The Boxed Beef and Fed Cattle Price Spread Investigation Report, prepared by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service in coordination with the Office of the Chief Economist, summarizes market conditions, fed cattle prices, boxed beef values and the spread before and after the fire and plant closure at the Tyson Holcomb plant, and before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report also discusses several policy considerations in light of the desire by many market participants for improved price discovery, reinvigorated competition, and a more transparent relationship between the prices for live cattle and the resulting products. Considerations include potential updates to Livestock Mandatory Reporting to reduce instances of non-reporting and increase percentages of negotiated cash transactions, risk management outreach, education and product improvements for small and medium-sized producers, small to very small meat processor outreach and opportunities, and enhancements to the Packers and Stockyards Act investigative and enforcement tools.

While the report does not examine potential violations of the Packers and Stockyards Act, USDA staff have maintained a cooperative relationship with the staff of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division and have discussed allegations of anticompetitive practices in the meat packing industry. Should USDA find a violation of the Packers and Stockyards Act, it is authorized to report the violation to DOJ for prosecution.

 
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