Thursday, February 21, 2013

TSA Compliance for Indirect Air Carriers

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) cargo security requirements for indirect air carriers (IACs) are again undergoing a dramatic change.  As international freight forwarders a/k/a indirect air carriers have noticed, there are increased visits by TSA personnel to warehouse facilities resulting in an increased number of violations and penalties against IACs.

The National Educational Institute (NEI) of the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) is hosting a webinar entitled "TSA Compliance for IACs" on Thursday, February 28, 2013, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. EST. to discuss:
  1. How To Mitigate Penalties Assessed by TSA
  2. Transporation Security Regulations in 49 CFR   
  3. Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP)
  4. National Country Security Program (NSCP)
  5. Air Cargo Advanced Screening Program (ACAS)
 The Presenters will be Brandon Fried, Executive Director, AirForwarders Association, a Washington, D.C. based organization representing the air freight forwarding industry, and Peter Quinter, Shareholder and Chair of the Customs and International Trade Law Group at the law firm of GrayRobinson.  Mr. Quinter represents air carriers and IACs regarding TSA compliance and penalty matters.

Registration for the webinar is through the NEI by email at or (202) 466-0222. For more information about the webinar, click here.

For questions about TSA matters generally, please comment below or contact directly:

Peter Quinter, Chair
Customs and International Trade Law Group
GrayRobinson, P.A.
Phone (954) 270-1864
Miami, Florida

Friday, February 15, 2013

Seafood and FDA and CBP Requirements at International Boston Seafood Show

peter.jpg  Please join me at the International Boston Seafood Show (IBSS), on March 11, 2013, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m, a panel of legal experts and managers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will discuss what seafood importers need to know to comply with Government requirements and avoid delays, seizures, and penalties.  The Federal Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) and its many implementing regulations by the FDA for prior notice by importers and registration of food facilities will be explained.  Buyers, sellers, air and ocean carriers, trucking companies, distributors, importers, and anyone who handles seafood should be well aware of the new legal requirements.

Learn what the Government is doing to be sure that the seafood imported into the United States is safe to eat, from a reliable source, and properly described and labeled. That and much more will all be addressed in this panel discussion followed by a question and answer session.  As in the past two years, this regulatory panel has been praised by attendees and been the highest rated panel presentation at the IBSS.

Peter Quinter will moderate the panel as well as introduce the policies and procedures of both the FDA and CBP in selecting, holding, sampling, testing, and either releasing or refusing imported seafood.  There will be an extensive discussion of Import Alerts and Detention Without Physical Examination (DWPE) particular to seafood.

Peter Quinter, Chair
Customs and International Trade Law Group
GrayRobinson, P.A.
Direct: (305) 416-6960

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Customs Seizes NFL Counterfeit Merchandise

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in cooperation with Special Agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security made a spectacular bust of a ring of counterfeiters in New Orleans prior to the Superbowl.  Arrests were made and millions of dollars of allegedly counterfeit merchandise were seized.  This is just the latest incident in the daily activities of both CBP and HSI officers to attempt to stop the importation, distribution, and sale of counterfeit merchandise.  Statistically, 2012 was a record year for CBP with $1.26 billion in counterfeit merchandise seized and 691 arrests, according to CBP Assistant Commissioner Al Gina.  

Every year, CBP reports its statistics of seizures of counterfeit merchandise. The trend is clear; it is up because there is simply more counterfeit merchandise entering the United States each year from countries such as China, Mexico, and Vietnam.  One day it may be counterfeit NFL team jerseys, the next day it will be counterfeit birth control pills, or counterfeit auto parts.  Counterfeiting is a multi-billiion dollar business.  

Americans apparently support it because we are huge consumers of counterfeit merchandise.  Most consumers of counterfeit merchandise know they are buying a knock-off because instead of paying $5,000 for a genuine Rolex watch, the $50 counterfeit look alike seems like a good deal.  That occurs whether the illegal purchase and sale is at a flea market or on the Internet.

CBP is, however, often simply wrong when it detains, and then seizes, merchandise it suspects is counterfeit.  In those situations, an attorney very familiar and experienced in challenging such detentions or seizures becomes critical to obtain the release before the value is significantly decreased and delivery can still be made to the customer.  Plus, a huge fine can be issued by CBP to any importer for a violation of 19 USC 1526(f) when the importer attempts to import counterfeit merchandise, so avoiding or mitigating that fine through the CBP administrative petition process becomes paramount.

Customs and International Trade Law Group
GrayRobinson law firm
Direct Phone (305) 416-6960