Abady Law Firm, P.C. – Customs and Import/Export Attorney Blog

Learn the Basics of Customs and International Trade Policy and Procedure

Archive for January, 2012

Customs Attorney: Marking Continued

As discussed in the last marking post the requirements for marking must be:

1. in a conspicuous place
2. legible
3. permanent
4. English name as to the country of origin

Let us explain these even further shall we.

Legible and Conspicuous
The person who ends up with the product the “Ultimate Purchaser,” must be able to find the marking easily without straining him or her self. Some uses I have seen include, tags and stickers depending on the type of good.

What size font should I use? Depends on the type of product. For example, CBP found that lettering which was 1.7mm was the smallest font acceptable as a country of origin marking on a pen barrel according to HQ ruling 733940.

Ultimate Purchaser
Who is the ultimate purchaser?…that depends:
Article imported for retail – the end consumer will be the ultimate purchaser
Article imported as gift – the recipient will be the ultimate purchaser
Article imported for manufacturing – the manufacturer will be the ultimate purchaser if the article is going to be substantially transformed.

Permanence
The marking should be as permanent as the article permits it to be. It should should be sufficiently permanent so as to handle shipping and distribution until it finally reaches the ultimate purchaser.

English Name
Only the English name of the country of origin may be used unless Customs approves otherwise. Common forms for marking include “Made in…” “Product of…”

Customs Attorney: Marking

Generally, every imported or exported good is subject to marking regulations from at least one of the federal agencies. Marking requirements are enforced by physical inspection of the goods and also after release of the goods via a notice of redelivery and marking (CF4647). If Customs finds that marking is incorrect, they will delay the release of the goods until the marking is corrected.

Incorrect markings can result in delays and high expenses for remarking goods or may result in a liquidated damages claim against the importer for failing to redeliver the goods (example: when the goods were sold and shipped to buyers). Further, marking which is fraudulent may result in seizure and/or penalties.

Marking laws are not only U.S. Customs based. Customs enforces marking requirements for other agencies as well. For example the Federal Trade Commission requires clothing to have certain labels and information relating to fiber content, dry cleaning information, etc.

U.S. Customs marking requirements are as follows, the marking must be:

in a conspicuous place
legible
permanent
have English name of the country of origin.

Customs Attorney: U.S. Customs Took My Money at the Airport – Currency/Money Seizure

Can U.S. Customs seize your money at the airport?

Yes, if one failed to properly report all cash and cash equivalents transported into or out of the country. See Currency and Foreign Transaction Reporting Act (31 U.S.C. 5311, et seq.)

When do I have to declare my money to Customs?

Most people are uninformed of the reporting requirement however, “If you transport, attempt to transport, or cause to be transported (including by mail or other means) currency or other monetary instruments in an aggregate amount exceeding $10,000 or its foreign equivalent) at one time from the United States to any foreign country, or into the United States from any foreign country, you must file a report with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.” Currency Reporting As soon as you present yourself to Customs inform them that you are carrying over $10,000.00 in monetary instruments.

Please be aware, if persons/family members traveling together have $10,000 or more, they cannot divide the currency between each other to avoid declaring the currency.

For example, if one person is carrying $5,000 and the other has $6,000, they have a total of $11, 000 in their possession and must report it. If a person or family fails to declare their monetary instruments in amounts of over $10,000, their monetary instrument(s) may be subject to forfeiture and could result to civil and criminal penalties.

What is the definition of “Monetary Instruments?” 

Monetary Instruments— (1) Coin or currency of the United States or of any other country, (2) traveler’s checks in any form, (3) negotiable instruments (including checks, promissory notes, and money orders) in bearer form, endorsed without restriction, made out to a fictitious payee, or otherwise in such form that title thereto passes upon delivery, (4) incomplete instruments (including checks, promissory notes, and money orders) that are signed but on which the name of the payee has been omitted, and (5) securities or stock in bearer form or otherwise in such form that title thereto passes upon delivery. Monetary instruments do not include (i) checks or money orders made payable to the order of a named person which have not been endorsed or which bear restrictive endorsements, (ii) warehouse receipts, or (iii) bills of lading

What is the required form one has to fill out prior to transporting more than $10,000?

FINCEN Form 105

Does it cost anything to declare one’s money over $10,000 to Customs?

No.

What happens if you do not declare your money over $10,000?

If Customs  stops you, the money will most likely be taken (“seized”) from you. If this happens ensure that you get a receipt to account for all the money. Thereafter, one will receive a CAFRA seizure notice in the mail within sixty (60) days.  It is highly recommended to seek advice from an attorney experienced in these matters in order to fully explain your legal options.

What is the reason for the government seizing the money under these circumstances?

The government believes that the money being transported may be involved in drug trafficking, terrorist activity, evasions of tax laws for failing to report it.

You may contact this firm at 212-202-0542 for legal assistance in advocating for the return of your money.  We have helped persons from around the world get their money returned at airports and ports of entry throughout the United States. We also have a website dedicated to money seizures located here.