Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cuban Cigars Seized by CBP

Mark Twain once said, “I never smoke to excess - that is, I smoke in moderation, only one cigar at a time.”

With the loosening of restrictions on travel and trade with Cuba, including the authorization to import Cuban Cigars (for personal use only, under a certain value), persons under “U.S. jurisdiction” are getting caught right and left trying to take advantage and import more than their share of Cuban cigars to the US. In May of this year, Maxim magazine declared Cuban Cigars are still the worlds best. However, as relations thaw, will the Cuban cigar be able to take back the market share it lost in the past half century when countries like Dominican Republic and Nicaragua have served the US? That is a question recently posed by Will Yakwowicz in an article for Inc. earlier this year.
Although you are allowed to bring Cuban cigars back to the U.S. (if you are on an “authorized trip” to Cuba) there is a limit and the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can, and will, seize any amount over the allowed limit.

What is the scope and limit on how many cigars I can bring in?
Will Customs and Border Protection seize as little as 1 cigar?
  • YES! CBP can and will seize even one cigar. Since 2013, CBP posts seizure notices online, so the world can see what CBP seized. Here’s the proof that CBP has been seizing Cuban cigars. An example of U.S. CBP seizing JUST one cigar was as recent as 06/20/2016 at the port of JAMAICA, NY.
  • During August of 2016, CBP has seized cigars from Ports of entry such as San Diego, California; Anacortes, Wa.; Jamaica, NY; Phoenix, Ar.; Washington, DC with the most being seized at the Port of Jamaica, NY, with a total of over 300 Cigars seized from different individuals.
U.S.’s normalization of ties with Cuba is progressing, and our office is well positioned to help you take advantage of these changes and ensure you stay compliant. Be sure you know the rules and don’t enter the U.S. with more than your $400 worth of Cuban goods, $100 of which of alcohol and tobacco. If you are faced with a seizure notice, or want to ensure you stay compliant, contact us at with any questions.

This is no longer applicable due to new revised OFAC and BIS Regulations. What's new? Click here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Learn About "The ABC’S of Customs Seizures - PLUS Top 10 Tips to Ensure Import Compliance" From the Expert!

compliance-imageThe DTL Team wants to ensure you are a compliant with U.S. federal regulations and laws when importing your goods from abroad! Here is your chance to learn directly from our Founder, Jennifer Diaz, about the "dos" and "don'ts" of importing. 
On Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, The Organization for Women in International Trade (OWIT) invites you to a Trade Talk Webinar Program on International Trade Compliance-Register NOW! 
 Did you know that In FY 2015, 28,865 seizures were for underlying Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) violations? The MSRP of the goods seized was $1,352,495,341! IPR enforcement is a priority trade initiative for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the detention and seizure process is a complicated one. If your merchandise is detained and/or seized, you have options. But more  Learn exactly how you should respond and more importantly how to avoid future problems with CBP.

This event is particularly important for:

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

DTL's Jennifer Diaz to Moderate E-Commerce Panel at U.S.-Mexico Logistics & Supply Chain Leaders Meeting


We strive to keep our readers updated on import and export compliance issues and events. Here is another chance for you to learn what it takes to trade with Mexico. Join Diaz Trade Law’s founder, Jennifer Diaz, at U.S.-Mexico Logistics & Supply Chain Leader Meeting this Thursday, September 8, 2016 at the Four Seasons in Brickell. Ms. Diaz will moderate the panel discussion on Challenges and Opportunities in Cross-border E-Commerce.  

The panelists include:

Thursday, September 1, 2016

FDA Targets Vending Machine Operators


Co-Authored by Jennifer Diaz and Kristina Hernandez-Tilson, an attorney in Miami, Florida, practices in state and federal court, litigating matters of civil and administrative law. 

Since April 2008, pursuant to New York City Health Code Section 81.50, all Starbucks (and many other restaurants) in New York City have been required to display the calories of each of the menu items. A subsequent study found that this mandatory calorie posting influenced consumers in NYC, causing average calories per transaction to drop by 6%. The study also found that calorie posting did not cause any significant change in Starbucks’ overall revenue.

Now, owners and operators of vending machines across the U.S. are next. Back in December of 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final rule entitled “Food Labeling: Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines”. This rule is codified at 21 CFR 101.8, and requires vending machine operators who own or operate twenty (20) or more vending machines, or who voluntarily register with FDA to be covered, to declare calories for those vending machine foods for which the Nutrition Facts label cannot be examined before purchase or for which visible nutrition information is not otherwise provided at the point of purchase. According to the December 2014 final rule, covered vending machine operators must comply by December 1, 2016.