December 2023

2023: A Year in Review

From all of us at Diaz Trade Law, we are immensely grateful for your support this year. We are thrilled to report another year of achievements including saving our clients MILLIONS of dollars. The year was filled with numerous achievements and accomplishments we are humbled to share with you. We look forward to working with you in 2024!

Top 2023 Success Stories

Successfully Mitigated Penalty Actions and Obtained Refunds Issued by CBP to our Clients

  • Our client was issued a notice of penalty in the amount of $812,500.00 from CBP alleging a violation of 19 USC 1526(f).  After Diaz Trade Law filed a successful petition, CBP mitigated the penalty down to $5,000.00, saving our client $807,500.00.
  • DTL’s importer client received a penalty from CBP in the amount of $120,154.00 for Wood Packaging Material violative of 7 CFR 319.40.  DTL mitigated the penalty amount to roughly 3.5%, or $4,200.00, yielding to $115,954.00 in savings.
  • An importer received a Notice of Penalty from U.S. Customs (CBP) in the amount of $46,735.82 for an alleged ISPM-15 Wood Packaging Material (WPM) violation. DTL filed a successful petition with CBP, and our client’s penalty was mitigated down to $3,271.00, a savings of over 43k!
  • An importer received a penalty from U.S. Customs (CBP) in the amount of $44,530.50 for alleged intellectual property rights (IPR) violations. Diaz Trade Law (DTL) sent CBP a petition requesting relief and CBP decided to mitigated the penalty to $13,200.00. Not satisfied with the result, DTL again requested mitigation via a supplemental petition […]
By |2023-12-29T11:47:39-05:00December 29, 2023|Events|0 Comments

Customs and Trade News Weekly Snapshot

Here is a recap of the latest customs and international trade law news:       

 Customs and Border Protection (CBP)  

  • CBP releases November 2023 monthly update, highlights: 
    • Identified estimated duties of nearly $6 billion to be collected by the U.S. government 
    • Stopped 331 shipments valued at more than $125 million for further examination based on the suspected use of forced labor. 
    • Seized 1,607 shipments that contained counterfeit goods valued at more than $118 million if the items had been genuine. 
  • CBP updates seafood import restrictions 
    • In support of the Executive Order and the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control determination, CBP will now require importers to provide self-certification that fish, seafood, and seafood containing products imported into the United States do not contain any inputs originating from the Russian Federation.  
  • Recent ruling further defines “Customs Business” 
    • A recent ruling analyzed whether certain functions performed in preparation for filing an entry with CBP arise to the level of “Customs Business” that must be performed by a […]
By |2023-12-29T11:40:42-05:00December 29, 2023|Snapshot|0 Comments

MoCRA Update: Final Guidance and Launch of Electronic Submissions Portal

On December 18, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched Cosmetics Direct, an electronic submission portal for product listing and facility registration required under the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act (MoCRA). The agency also issued final guidance with recommendations to assist companies and individuals submitting facility registration and product listing information to the FDA.

Cosmetics Direct

The Cosmetics Direct portal is dedicated exclusively to cosmetic product facility registration and cosmetic product listing electronic submissions to FDA. The portal is an FDA Structured Product Labeling (SPL) authoring tool that contains user friendly data entry forms, performs initial validations, creates and saves the SPL submission, and submits the SPL to FDA for internal processing.

Along with the launch of the portal, the agency also released a portal user guide. The guide provides helpful information on creating submissions through the portal including:

  • Managing accounts and subaccounts
  • How to check submission information and statuses
  • Step-by-step instructions for new registrations
  • Instructions for amending registrations

While the agency prefers electronic submissions, individuals and companies may also submit paper forms which will be offered soon.

Final MoCRA Guidance

The final guidance provides recommendations and instructions to assist persons submitting cosmetic product facility registrations and product listings to FDA. The guidance document explains several frequently asked questions including:

  • The statutory requirement to submit cosmetic product facility registrations and product listings
  • Definitions
  • Who is responsible for making the submissions
  • What information to include in the submissions
  • How to make the submissions
  • When to make the submissions

The guidance […]

ICYMI: U.S. & Chinese Companies Fined $2.5 Million for Underpaying Customs Duties, Whistleblowers to Receive $500,000

Earlier this month, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas announced that a Dallas-based importer, two individuals, and two Chinese companies agreed to pay $2.5 million to resolve allegations that they failed to pay customs duties on imports.

Underpaying Through Duplicate Invoices

ADCO, a Dallas-based importer of industrial products, the company owner Raymond E. Davis, customs broker Calvin Chang, and Chinese companies Xiamen Atlantis MFC Co., Ltd. and Xiamen Taft Medical Co., Ltd conspired to underreport the value of goods they were importing.

The scheme involved falsifying invoices with low values for goods ADCO was importing from China. The company used a separate set of invoices that contained the correct value of goods to ensure that ADCO paid its suppliers the actual value of the goods.

In investigating the scheme, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and CBP’s Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Center of Excellence and Expertise reviewed over 1,000 import entry lines.

Qui Tam Lawsuit

The settlement with the government resolved a “qui tam” lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act (FCA). A qui tam lawsuit is one that is brought by a private citizen or company against a defendant or defendants that owe money to the government.

When a qui tam lawsuit is successful, the party that initiated the case—called a “relator”—is entitled to a substantial monetary reward, ranging between 15% and 30% of the amount recovered for the government.  A qui tam lawsuit also engages the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) in the case, and typically results in the opening of […]

Customs and Trade News Snapshot

Here is a recap of the latest customs and international trade news:      

 Customs and Border Protection (CBP)  

  • Commercial Customs Advisory Committee held its final public meeting of 2023.
    • The Committee unanimously passed 12 recommendations on items like export modernization, rapid response and North American trade. 
  • Cincinnati CBP seized $6.9 million in counterfeit high-end jewelry 
    • A total of 11 shipments were discovered and determined to be counterfeit and were seized for infringing on the designer’s protected trademarks.  
  • CBP officers at the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge seized over $100,000 in unreported currency hidden within passengers of a vehicle during an inbound examination. 
  • Reminder: the submission period for the 2024 Customs Broker Triennial Status Report (TSR) and associated $100 filing fee for all licensed customs brokers opened December 18, 2023. The TSR and $100 fee is due by February 29, 2024. 
  • On January 16, 2024, CBP will nationally implement cargo messaging to communicate with the filer on entry summaries that are potentially noncompliant for antidumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) while the entry […]
By |2023-12-24T10:41:47-05:00December 24, 2023|Snapshot|0 Comments

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