PNCT will be closed on 12/24 + 12/31 - PNCT
Port Truck Gate Schedule for Christmas Holiday 2021 - PierPass
Terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have announced schedules for the Christmas holiday period of Friday, Dec. 24, 2021, through Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021. A PDF of the schedule can be downloaded by clicking here
Please continue to monitor the websites of individual terminals for updates.
CBP issues Withhold Release Order on Brightway Group - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
Agency will detain imports of disposable gloves produced by the Brightway Group
WASHINGTON — Effective December 20, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel at all U.S. ports of entry will detain disposable gloves produced in Malaysia by Brightway Holdings Sdn Bhd, Laglove (M) Sdn Bhd, and Biopro (M) Sdn Bhd (collectively, Brightway Group).
CBP issued a Withhold Release Order against Brightway Group based on information that reasonably indicates the use of forced labor in that entity’s manufacturing operations. CBP identified 10 of the 11 International Labour Organization’s indicators of forced labor during its investigation.
“Forced Labor is a human rights abuse inflicted upon 25 million people worldwide,” said Chris Magnus,, CBP Commissioner. “CBP will not allow goods tainted with forced labor to make their way into American households and businesses.”
“As Americans, we wholeheartedly reject goods made with forced labor,” said CBP Office of Trade Executive Assistant Commissioner AnnMarie R. Highsmith. “CBP applauds ongoing efforts made by our industry partners to identify and remove forced labor from their supply chains and urges all importers to do the same.”
The International Labour Organization estimates that 25 million workers suffer under conditions of forced labor worldwide. Foreign companies exploit forced labor to sell goods below market value, which hurts law-abiding businesses, threatens American jobs, and exposes consumers to making unethical purchases.
Federal statute 19 U.S.C. 1307 prohibits the importation of merchandise produced, wholly or in part, by convict labor, forced labor, and/or indentured labor, including forced or indentured child labor. CBP detains shipments of goods suspected of being imported in violation of this statute. Importers of detained shipments can export their shipments or demonstrate that the merchandise was not produced with forced labor.
Any person or organization that has reason to believe merchandise produced with the use of forced labor is being, or likely to be, imported into the United States can report detailed allegations by contacting CBP through the e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT.
OTEXA: Announcements - Office of Textile & Apparel
[12/21/2021] – Limitation of Duty-Free Imports of Apparel Articles Assembled in Haiti Under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA), as Amended by the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity Through Partnership Encouragement Act (HOPE): For the period December 20, 2021 through December 19, 2022, the annual quantitative limit of the Haiti HOPE Value-Added program is 367,770,223 square meters equivalent (SME).
12/15/2021 – The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative requests comments regarding its Special 301 Review to identify countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property (IP) rights or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on IP protection. Public comments are requested by January 31. See further information in Federal Register notice 86 FR 70885.
12/08/2021 – Free webinar: Complying with Made in USA Labeling Standards, January 19, 2022, 2 p.m. ET. Register Here.
Federal Register Notices:
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Notice of Commission Determination To Conduct a Full Five-Year Review; Lemon Juice From Argentina
• Complaint: Certain Knitted Footwear, DN 3580; Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public Interest; Correction
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Hot-Rolled Flat-Rolled Carbon-Quality Steel Products From the Russian Federation: Final Results of the Expedited Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Vehicle Control Systems, Vehicles Containing the Same, and Components Thereof; Notice of a Commission Determination Not To Review an Initial Determination Granting a Joint Motion To Terminate the Investigation Due to a Settlement Agreement; Termination of the Investigation
• Pentafluoroethane (R-125) From China; Revised Schedule for the Subject Investigations
• Scheduling of Expedited Five-Year Reviews; Carbon Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings From Brazil, China, Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand
• Notice of Request for Submissions on the Public Interest; Certain In Vitro Fertilization Products, Components Thereof, and Products Containing the Same
• Certain Chemical Mechanical Planarization Slurries and Components Thereof Notice of the Commission's Final Determination Finding a Violation of Section 337; Issuance of a Limited Exclusion Order and Cease and Desist Orders; Termination of the Investigation
• Certain Light-Emitting Diode Products, Fixtures, and Components Thereof Notice of a Commission Determination Finding a Violation of Section 337; Issuance of Limited Exclusion Order and Cease and Desist Order; Termination of the Investigation
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Truck and Bus Tires From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2019
• Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, Partial Rescission of Antidumping Administrative Review, and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2019-2020
• Common Alloy Aluminum Sheet From the People's Republic of China: Final Results and Partial Rescission of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2018-2019
• Cast Iron Soil Pipe From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2018-2020
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Foam Footwear; Institution of an Advisory Opinion Proceeding
• Certain Skin Rejuvenation Resurfacing Devices, Components Thereof, and Products Containing the Same; Commission Determination Not To Review an Initial Determination Granting Complainants' Unopposed Motion To Terminate the Investigation in Its Entirety Based on Settlement; Termination of the Investigation
• Superabsorbent Polymers From South Korea
• Stainless Steel Wire Rod From Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan; Scheduling of Expedited Five-Year Reviews
CBP Port of Nogales Officers Encounter Drugs Within Load of Auto Parts - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations, Port of Nogales officers arrested a Mexican national this week in connection to a record seizure of methamphetamine by CBP officers in Arizona.
Wednesday afternoon, officers at the Mariposa Commercial Facility referred a 21-year-old Mexican male for additional inspection of the tractor trailer as he attempted to enter the U.S. A non-intrusive inspection of the contents resulted in a positive alert by a CBP narcotics detection canine to a scent it is trained to detect. A physical search of the shipment of commercial auto parts led to the discovery of more than 470 packages of methamphetamine hidden within the truck. The drugs were determined to weigh nearly 3,280 pounds.
Officers seized the drugs and vehicle, while the subject was arrested and then turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Guadalupe Ramirez, Director, Field Operations, commended the Port of Nogales for this record-breaking drug seizure.
“While CBP Officers facilitate legitimate trade and travel, they remain focused on our highest priorities which includes stopping the flow of hard narcotics such as methamphetamine and opioids from entering our country.” He concluded, “Our officers prevented these dangerous drugs from causing devastation to families and ultimately saving many lives, not only in our community but throughout the United States.”
Shop Smart and Stay Safe This Season - U.S. Department of Commerce
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) estimates that the global sale of counterfeit goods is above $2 trillion. The damage they cause goes well beyond economic repercussions for honest businesses and consumers – counterfeits are cause for serious safety concerns. This is especially important as retailers and their customers are in the midst of the holiday shopping season. Keep reading to learn why counterfeits are so dangerous, what you can do to spot fake products, and what other resources are available to protect consumers this holiday season, and all year round.
The dangers of counterfeits
Counterfeiting is more than a dollar and cents issue – fake products cause real harm in the form of more than 70 deaths and 350,000 serious injuries every year. Whether you mistakenly purchase knockoff electronics that catch fire or foods and perfumes made with poisonous, unregulated substances, buying a counterfeit product means taking a gamble on your safety. Unfortunately, these days, it’s not always easy to determine if you’re getting the real thing.
Shopping online is increasingly global, and you don’t physically see what you’ve bought until it arrives on your doorstep, making spotting fakes incredibly difficult. Many third-party websites knowingly list these counterfeit items as genuine products, often at what seems to be a great price. Worse, these scams are growing increasingly sophisticated. One study found that 26% percent of U.S. consumers had unwittingly bought at least one counterfeit product in 2019 alone.
In addition, international organized criminals are turning to counterfeiting to fund their other illegal activities like gun and gang violence, child labor, and human trafficking. The more informed you are on identifying counterfeits, the less likely you are to support these criminals or get hurt by fake goods.
Getting the word out
Go for Real campaign
The USPTO is working with the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) to provide a number of helpful resources and tips to help consumers spot fake products. Since 2019, the “Go for Real” campaign has educated consumers, specifically younger buyers and their parents, about the serious dangers of buying counterfeits. This year, the campaign features ads that are being rolled out to more than 2,100 television stations, social media, electronic billboards, online gaming, radio and music services. Learn more in the joint press release from the USPTO and NCPC.
Think you can spot a fake? Test your knowledge in the Go for Real Challenge.
STOP FAKES campaign
Another important resource is STOPfakes.gov, a one-stop-shop for U.S. government tools and resources on intellectual property rights. The website includes resources on how to spot and report fakes, consumer and businesses guides, as well as upcoming events and training.
How can you stay safe and ensure you’re getting the real thing this holiday season? It starts with shopping smart.
Remember the 4 Ps:
• Place: Are you buying from a trusted source, either online or at a physical store?
• Price: If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
• Packaging: Does the packaging look “off,” e.g. graphics and printing blurred, colors imbalanced, labels not on straight, misspellings?
• Product: Does the product or labeling have a quality look? Does it look comparable to what you’ve purchased before?
Protect yourself when shopping online with these tips, from the Go for Real Dupe Detector Kit:
• Before browsing online, make sure your computer's security software is up to date.
• Consider alternate payment methods to your personal bankcards, such as prepaid gift cards or disposable debit cards.
• Be wary of pop-up and banner ads when shopping online. Many contain false information that may lead you to a malicious site.
• Make sure that any site prompting you to enter financial information begins with “HTTPS://”. The "s" stands for "secure" and is accompanied by a locked padlock symbol.
• Don't use the same password for all your purchase sites.
• Avoid shopping while on public Wi-Fi and from public computers. If prompted, never save your account information (credit card, password, etc.) to a computer that is not yours.
Counterfeiting affects our daily lives, threatens our health and safety, and negatively impacts U.S. jobs and the overall economy. Remember these tips, and if you think you've been duped into buying a counterfeit, report it to help others shop smart and stay safe this holiday season and beyond.
Los Angeles Fashion District Company Owner Sentenced to One Year in Prison for Committing Customs Violations and Tax Offenses - Department of Justice
LOS ANGELES – The owner of a garment wholesaling company in the Fashion District of downtown Los Angeles was sentenced today to 12 months and one day in federal prison for scheming to undervalue imported garments and avoid paying millions of dollars in duties to the United States, failing to report millions of dollars in income on tax returns, and failing to report large cash transactions to the federal government.
Sang Bum “Ed” Noh, 67, of Bel-Air, who owns Ambiance Apparel, was sentenced by United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips.
Ambiance Apparel – the operating name for two corporations, Ambiance U.S.A. Inc. and Apparel Line U.S.A. Inc. – pleaded guilty in October 2020 to eight criminal counts, including conspiracy, money laundering and customs offenses, was sentenced to a term of five years’ probation and has been ordered to implement an effective anti-money laundering compliance and ethics program with an outside compliance monitor. There is a restitution order in this case for $35,227,855, a forfeiture money judgment of $81,564,856, and the additional forfeiture of $1,104,997 previously seized by law enforcement.
Court documents outline separate schemes involving Ambiance and Noh, which came to an end in September 2014 when law enforcement authorities executed dozens of search warrants as part of an investigation into money laundering and other crimes at Fashion District businesses.
Noh “made defrauding the United States a significant revenue stream for Ambiance, appropriating approximately $35,227,855.45 from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Internal Revenue Service in less than four years,” prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum. “While [Noh] was cheating the United States and facilitating money laundering [by failing to file Forms 8300], he enjoyed a house in Bel Air, bought luxury cars, and squirreled away bundles of cash worth $35 million in shoeboxes and garbage bags.”
In the customs fraud scheme, Ambiance imported clothing from Asian countries and submitted fraudulent invoices to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that undervalued the shipments and allowed Ambiance to avoid paying the full amount of tariffs owed on the imports.
At Noh’s direction, the Asian manufacturers prepared two invoices for the clothing ordered by Ambiance – one that usually reflected 60 to 70 percent of the actual price and was paid by letter of credit, and one that reflected the balance of the actual price and was paid by wire transfer.
The first invoice, which stated only 60 to 70 percent of the shipment’s value, was fraudulently submitted to CBP and was used to calculate the tariffs due on the imports. As a result of this scheme, over the course of just over 4½ years, Ambiance undervalued imports by about $82.6 million and failed to pay more than $17.1 million in tariffs.
Ambiance also failed to file reports with the Secretary of the Treasury that documented cash transactions of more than $10,000. Ambiance employees received approximately 364 payments of more than $10,000 over a two-year period – which totaled more than $11.1 million – and the company failed to file a single Form 8300 to alert federal authorities to the cash transactions.
In conjunction with transactions made at Ambiance’s storefront, Ambiance used two sets of books to record sales, one of which documented only cash transactions and was not reported to Ambiance’s outside accountants. Noh also directed some of the second set of transactions to be underreported to the accountants. The lower sales figures were reported on 2011 and 2012 tax returns filed by Noh. Noh failed to report income for those two years and owed the IRS a total more than $16.8 million, which includes unpaid taxes, penalties and interest.
The $16,806,412 Noh owed to the IRS and the $18,421,443 he owed to CBP have been provided to the court from seized funds.
The case against Ambiance and Noh was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, IRS Criminal Investigation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, LA IMPACT, the Long Beach Police Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Gardena Police Department, and the West Covina Police Department.
Assistant United States Attorney Scott D. Dubois of the International Narcotics, Money Laundering and Racketeering Section prosecuted this case. Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan S. Galatzan, Chief of the Asset Forfeiture Section, handled the asset forfeiture portion of this case.