Tuesday, February 21, 2012

How I Helped Release $2.5 Million Stuck in Customs

Before beginning a career in international trade, I did not ever stop to think that the t-shirt I was wearing or dishes I was using were likely made elsewhere, and went through a long complicated logistics supply chain in order to reach my local store. Little did I know that when anything goes wrong in that complicated supply chain, it would be my job to help. Recently, a client had over 2.5 million dollars worth of electronic merchandise on hold by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs) for alleged intellectual property rights violations. In plain English, Customs was under the impression my client was trying to import goods with trademarks or logos they did not have the authorization to import.

When you see these symbols, make sure you think about LICENSES to use them!!
For this client, this was a lot of money at stake, and it could have put them out of business if we did not come up with a quick solution. Instead of thinking of the band aid type solution, to solely fix this issue, we came up with a compliance plan for the client to use going forward, that would also help solve the current issue.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

U.S. Customs & Border Protection Seized My Goods - Oh No!

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) seizes merchandise EVERY day (and there is a LOT you can do to get your merchandise back!).  Check out the latest 2011 stats on intellectual property rights enforcement and seizure statistics.

What some don't know is the merchandise does NOT even have to be destined for the U.S. for CBP to seize it.  Yes, it's true.  CBP detains and physically inspects cargo daily. CBP is supposed to issue timely detention notices and the detention notices are supposed to include the specific reason for the detention, anticipated length of the detention; nature of the tests or inquiries to be conducted; and nature of any information which, if supplied to U.S. Customs may accelerate the disposition of the detention.  I wish I had a dollar for every importer that told me they never received one, or where the rationale for detention was blank, or said IPR (intellectual property rights)!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


What is the Black List?

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authority from Congress to place an importer, manufacturer, shipper, grower, geographic area, or country on a “detention without physical examination” (DWPE) list (aka the FDA’s black list). To check if a company you are doing business with is on such a list, check FDA’s Import Alert page, you can search by country, company, etc. If your company is on this list, any merchandise you import may be detained as soon as it is offered for entry into the United States. You will have to prove to the FDA that the merchandise should be allowed to enter the U.S., otherwise, it will be refused entry and must be exported or destroyed within 90 days. The company/country, etc. will remain on this black list, until information is presented to the FDA that proves the merchandise is no longer violative.

How to Get Off the Black List

Thursday, February 9, 2012


If you import, you need to!

On behalf of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT-South Florida), I am hosting an informal round table where members OWIT will have the opportunity to get to know one another and learn all about compliance with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)!

Yes, men are welcome!

This session is especially important for importers and brokers and those in involved in international trade.

Attendees will receive a special "cheat sheet" providing great resources to utilize when importing, including the top 10 compliance tips.

Space is limited to OWIT members! Become a member of OWIT here (it is only $100 for a YEAR of benefits including these FREE IBR's), and assure your spot by sending in your RSVP today!

Please email Jennifer Diaz with any questions!