U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

The False Claims Act: Get Paid to Expose Fraud & Unfair Competition, Protect Yourself from an Investigation

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!! UPCOMING False Claims Act Webinar !!

Learn how to expose fraud, blow the whistle on unfair competition, and avoid being the target of an FCA investigation

May 9, 2024 | 12:00 PM ET

Speakers: Jennifer Diaz, President &Dana Watts, Of Counsel, Diaz Trade Law and Jonathan Tycko, Partner, Tycko & Zavareei LLP

Register HERE.

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The False Claims Act (FCA) is a powerful federal anti-fraud law that incentivizes average people to expose fraud. The law attempts to reward whistleblowers and disincentivize committing fraud and can be used to expose customs fraud.

What is the False Claims Act?

The FCA, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 – 3733, is a federal statute enacted in 1863 in response to defense contractor fraud during the Civil War.

The FCA provides that any person who knowingly submits, or causes to submit, false claims to the government is liable for three times the government’s damages plus a penalty. Conspiring to commit these acts also is a violation of the FCA.

The FCA allows the U.S. government to investigate perpetrators of fraud directly, but it also provides an avenue for private citizens to become whistleblowers and expose fraud.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) obtained more than $2.68 billion in settlements and judgments involving fraud and false claims in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2023.

The FCA and International Trade

The FCA is commonly used to prosecute financial crime such as misuse of federal grants and healthcare related claims. However, in recent years the FCA has been increasingly used to allege customs duty […]

UFLPA Enforcement Update

At CBP’s 2024 Trade Facilitation and Cargo Security Summit (“the Summit”) this week, panelists shared some pending developments in Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“UFLPA”) enforcement. The UFLPA establishes a rebuttable presumption that the importation of any goods mined, produced, or manufactured, wholly or in part, in the Xinjiang region of China, or produced by an entity on the UFLPA Entity List, is prohibited under U.S. forced labor law.

Panelists indicated that “more than 10” new entities would be placed on the Entity List in the coming months. The government has received criticism regarding the relatively low number of entities on the Entity List since the UFLPA was enacted in June 2022. While “more than 10” is still a relatively low number, given that the current Entity List is comprised of just 30 entities, ten-plus new entities would represent a significant increase.

Panelists also announced that new high-priority sectors for UFLPA enforcement would be identified in the near future. Currently, only cotton, tomatoes, and polysilicon are officially listed as high-priority sectors. Panelists re-affirmed that the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (“FLETF”) – an interagency team led by the Department of Homeland Security – uses reports from Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), reporting from journalists, letters from Congress, and other sources to identify additional potential high-priority sectors. Panelists also appeared to agree that polyvinyl chloride (“PVC”), fish, and aluminum – sectors that have recently been tied to Uyghur forced labor in NGO and media reporting – were likely candidates for designation as high-priority […]

Updates to CBP’s Global Business Identifier Test

On February 12, 2024, CBP announced key updates to the ongoing Global Business Identifier Evaluative Proof of Concept (GBI EPoC). The agency extended the test from February 12, 2024, through February 23, 2027, clarified the purpose and scope of the test, and expanded the test to include more entry types and countries of origin.

GBI EPoC Background

The Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) is the system through which the U.S. Government processes trade-related import and export data. The transition away from paper-based procedures has resulted in faster, more streamlined processes for both the U.S. Government and industry. To continue this progress, CBP began working with the Border Interagency Executive Council (BIEC) and the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) starting in 2017, to discuss the continuing viability of the data element known as the manufacturer or shipper identification code (MID).

Although use of the MID has served CBP and the international trade community well in the past, it became apparent that the MID is not always a consistent or unique number. 

CBP thus engaged in regular outreach with stakeholders in the trade community with the goal of establishing a global entity identifier system. As a result of these discussions, CBP developed GBI EPoC, an interagency trade transformation project that aims to test and develop a single entity identifier solution. 

Through the GBI EPoC, CBP aims to develop a systematic, accurate, and efficient method for the U.S. […]

Know Your Supply Chain: Forced Labor 

The production of goods using forced labor remains an issue around the world. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has made clear that they will continue to prioritize forced labor enforcement. CBP is the only U.S. government agency, and one of the few in the world, with the legal authority to take action against goods produced with forced labor to prevent entry into domestic commerce. 

What is Forced Labor? 

Forced labor is defined under 19 U.S.C. § 1307 as “all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace [threat] of any penalty for its non-performance and for which the worker does not offer himself voluntarily.”  Forced Labor is the third most lucrative illicit trade, behind only drugs and weapons, and has an annual trade value of roughly $150 billion 

Right now, over 40 million people around the world are victims of some type of forced labor, including modern slavery, human trafficking, child labor, etc. Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1307) prohibits the importation of all goods and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in any foreign country by forced labor, convict labor, and/or indentured labor under penal sanctions, including forced child labor. 

CBP is responsible for preventing the entry of products made with forced labor into the U.S. market by investigating and acting upon allegations of […]

Join Diaz Trade Law at Americas Food and Beverage Show!

Americas Food and Beverage Show is one of the largest food and beverage shows with over 5,000 buyers representing Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Middle East, North America, and South America. The show also has a conference tied to it where leading experts will provide market trends, FDA compliance tips, trends, challenges and opportunities in the food sector, and much more. Diaz Trade Law is excited to announce that our President, Jennifer Diaz, will be a featured speaker discussing “Top 10 Tips When Importing into the U.S. in compliance with CBP and FDA.”The food show and conference are happening September 18th – 20th, 2023 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST and will take place at the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach, FL 33139.

Why Attend?

  • Over 600 Exhibitors
  • Food and Beverage Demo Stage
  • 245,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space
  • Buyers from more than 50 countries
  • Annual conference with industry experts including our very own Jen Diaz!

Register as a buyer or attendee HERE!

 

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