Friday, June 4, 2010

General Trade News

It's been a slow week in trade news, so today's blog contains some interesting tidbits of general interest.

Summer Travel

With schools adjourning for the year and summer on the way, people are planning vacations. Airports will see an increase in travelers for the summer months. If you are planning to fly for personal or business, check out the Summer Travel Tips provided the Transportation Security Administration. Be sure to click on the link that provides additional information on how to pack to get through the line faster! Here’s an additional tip from the Wizard. If you are traveling some place warm, wear sandals. They are easy to slip off and on when going through security!

Importer v. Broker

It’s not uncommon to hear about importers and brokers suing U.S. Customs & Border Protection, but the news of
importers suing customs brokers is rare. Recently, an importer filed a suit under the Lanham Act against a customs broker in Savannah, Georgia. The suit alleges that the broker failed to use “reasonable care” and their actions resulted in the furtherance of the distribution and sale of counterfeit goods. This is an unusual case, since CBP normally places the majority of responsibility on the importer. It will be interesting to learn more about the facts of this case see how it and a similar case filed by the same importer in New Jersey are resolved.

Illegal Exports of Electronic Components

In May, two Chinese nationals and a corporation owned by one of them were found guilty of conspiring to violate U.S. export laws and illegally exporting electronic equipment from the U.S. the China. For more than 10 years, some of the illegal exports were sent to Chinese military entities and included items such as military radar equipment and global positioning systems. Documentation produced revealed that the defendants and employees had knowledge that the restricted goods were being shipped to China without the required export license. The Chinese nationals each face 20 years in prison, $1 million in fines and deportation after serving their sentence. The corporation was fined $1.9 million dollars. Here’s a question from the Wizard. How much of that money with the government actually collect?

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