Money laid out on a steel table of seized by CBP in Philadelphia

Philly CBP Seizes $36K in Cash

In Philadelphia, CBP officers seized $36,000 in cash from a man returning from a trip to Lebanon. The full story indicates that he initially was stopped and asked to make a verbal report, and only reported $15,000. Then…

Officers conducted a baggage examination and in total counted $36,834 in the traveler’s possession. Officers seized the total $36,834 for violating currency reporting laws. Officers then remitted $834 to the man as a humanitarian relief and released him to continue his travel.

As I’ve talked about in other places on this website and in my Youtube channel, if CBP has to ask you to make a verbal report, you’ve already committed a violation of the reporting requirement.

That is because the reporting requirement does not allow verbal reports. You must make the report using FinCen Form 105. Even if you make an accurate verbal report, CBP could still seize the money because you did not file the required form!

This is the trap. It is like when a police officer pulls you over and asks you:

“The speed limit is 70mph. Do you know how fast you were going?

“Yes, officer. I was doing 82mph.”

In that situation, you admitted violating the law. The officer doesn’t have to prove it with his own evidence, like a report from his radar. Similarly, if you report have more than $10,000 without having filed the FinCen 105 form, CBP does not have to prove anything else. You’ve admitted your own violation.

Has Philadelphia CBP seized your cash?

If Philadelphia CBP seized your cash, read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

New Section 301 (China) Tariff Rates and Exclusions Request for Comments

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) made public a “Request for Comments” after the report on the 4-year review of the Section 301 China Tariffs (see that story here).

The comment period, open to the participation of interested parties, will run from May 29, 204 to June 28, 2024. Comments must be submitted through the USTR comment portal. Comments can be submitted concerning:

  1. Adding or increasing section 301 duty rates
  2. Subheadings eligible for an temporary duty-exclusion process for “particular machinery used in domestic manufacturing” classified within certain subheading under Chapter 84 and 85 of the HTSUS
  3. 19 potential exclusions for “certain solar manufacturing equipment” (effectively immediately and to expire on May 31, 2025).

The notice details the proposed changes as follows:

Consistent with the President’s direction to increase section 301 tariff rates on certain categories of products, included in Annex A to this notice are 382 HTSUS subheadings and 5 statistical reporting numbers of the HTSUS, with an approximate annual trade value of $18 billion (2023). The President has directed that increases for certain products take effect in 2024, 2025, and 2026. The Trade Representative is proposing that increases in 2024 be effective August 1, 2024, and that increases in 2025 and 2026 be effective January 1 of the corresponding year.

There’s a lot more detail in the full notice which is available here. Contact Great Lakes Customs Law at 734-855-4990 via the contact page for assistance.

Section 301 Duties to Increase from 2024 to 2026

UPDATE 5/22/24: Details about affected HTS subheadings and the comment period are contained in a new notice from the USTR: Request for Comments on Proposed Modifications and Machinery Exclusion Process in Four-Year Review of Actions Taken in the Section 301 Investigation: China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation

[original story from 5/14/22 continues]

The USTR has published a report (linked here) on the 4-year review of the Section 301 duties imposed on Chinese-origin goods and as a result, additional increases are coming to the Section 301, as follows:

Battery parts (non-lithium-ion batteries) Increase rate to 25% in 2024
Electric vehicles Increase rate to 100% in 2024
Facemasks Increase rate to 25% in 2024
Lithium-ion electrical vehicle batteries Increase rate to 25% in 2024
Lithium-ion non-electrical vehicle batteries Increase rate to 25% in 2026
Medical gloves Increase rate to 25% in 2026
Natural graphite Increase rate to 25% in 2026
Other critical minerals Increase rate to 25% in 2024
Permanent magnets Increase rate to 25% in 2026
Semiconductors Increase rate to 50% in 2025
Ship to shore cranes Increase rate to 25% in 2024
Solar cells (whether or not assembled into modules) Increase rate to 50% in 2024
Steel and aluminum products Increase rate to 25% in 2024
Syringes and needles Increase rate to 50% in 2024

An exclusion process will be established for machinery used in domestic manufacturing, including certain solar manufacturing equipment.

More information is available in the press release at the USTR website.

Stacks of cash seized by CBP in Detroit

CBP Hauls in Big Cash Seizures in Detroit

CBP in April and May continue to log huge cash seizures from arriving and departing traveler’s at the Port of Detroit, including at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, the Ambassador Bridge, and the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.

CBP has been sharing photographs of these cash seizures on the X account for the Director of Field Operations for Detroit. These cash reporting violation seizures fall within the purview of the DFO. See the first post, below, from back on April 19:

Then, another seizure on May 10 totaling $21,230, from someone who was alleged to have admitted “intentionally misreporting” the amount of currency he was traveling with.

Has Detroit Metro Airport CBP seized your cash?

If CBP at Detroit Metro Airport seized your cash, you need a lawyer. Read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

US and Canadian Currency Seized by CBP in March 2024

Detroit Cash Seizures at Ambassador Bridge & Detroit Metro Airport in March 2024

CBP officers in Detroit had their own version of March madness, when they seized around $370,000 total in cash from travelers at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, and another $100,000 at the Ambassador Bridge that connects the US & Canada (these figures are according to CBP’s really awesome currency seizure dashboard).

I was away from X/Twitter for a while but checked back in when I learned a new Director of Field Operations was appointed for the Detroit Field Office at CBP. Lo, and behold, there was lot of publicized seizure activity for March. A bonus was the high-res images images of the seized currency for a few cases for the month. So here is a walk-through of those seizure incidents for March 2024:

On March 1, there was a total of $30,000 seized (in more than one incident) at Detroit Metropolitan airport for passengers arriving in the United States:

Usually, people arriving with cash (who are usually not arrested) bring it with them for travel expenses, purchases, college tuition, and things of that nature.

On March 3rd, there was a total of $23,000 seized in combined amounts of U.S. dollars and Canadian currency at the Ambassador Bridge:

The activity at the Ambassador Bridge also includes travelers, but there’s always a good number of people gambling at Windsor or Detroit casinos who run afoul of the currency reporting laws when they’re crossing the border with their winnings.

On March 8, CBP seized $30,000 from someone leaving the United States for Amsterdam (probably where they would catch another connecting flight somewhere else….) at Detroit Metro Airport:

On March 23, a similar story with $22,000 seized from two travelers (seemingly traveling together) at Detroit Metro Airport on their way out of the United States (true story: most people don’t know they have to report amounts over $10,000 when leaving the country!):

Has Detroit CBP seized your cash?

If CBP in Detroit seized your cash whether at the Detroit Metro airport, the Ambassador Bridge, or the Tunnel, you need a lawyer. Read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

Stacks containing $124,052 in unreported currency seized by CBP officers at Eagle Pass Port of Entry.

Texas CBP Seizes $124K cash at Eagle Pass

Texas CBP officers seized $124,000 in Eagle Pass, Texas, on March 20, when a Mexican national traveled with $124,052, apparently hidden in his vehicle.

Although no details are given about how the money was hidden, it is probably a case of classic bulk cash smuggling (watch an explanation of bulk cash smuggling). Here’s CBP’s summary of the incident:

EAGLE PASS, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Eagle Pass Port of Entry recently seized over $124,000 in unreported currency hidden within a vehicle during an outbound examination.

“This seizure reflects the vigilant inspectional [sic] work of our frontline officers and their commitment to our border security mission,” said Port Director Pete Beattie, Eagle Pass Port of Entry. “Undeclared bulk cash seizures like these, often proceeds from illicit activity, have significant impact on those who fail to comply with federal currency reporting requirements, including transnational criminal organizations.”

The seizure occurred on Wednesday, March 20 at the Camino Real International Bridge when a CBP officer referred a southbound vehicle driven by a 48-year-old male Mexican citizen for secondary examination. After initial inspection, CBP officers conducted an intensive secondary examination and discovered a total of $124,052 in unreported currency concealed within the vehicle.

Has Texas CBP seized your bulk cash?

Has Texas CBP seized your bulk cash? If so, we can help. Read our helpful customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

Stacks of money seized by CBP officers in Pharr, Texas.

Texas CBP seizes $85K in unreported and smuggled money; 1 arrested

Another day, another customs money seizure. This one in particular happened to the U.S.-Mexico border in Pharr, Texas, and actually involved an arrest. CBP officers can arrest anyone for the not reporting, structuring, or smuggling cash, but most often, they do not.

The cash reporting requirement laws in Title 31 of the U.S. Code allow for CBP to choose whether to proceed as a civil matter or criminal matter. For the unlucky 19 year old fellow involved in the what seems to be a bulk cash smuggling offense, he was arrested.

There are no specifics on how the money was hidden within the vehicle, only that it was discovered by a non-intrusive examination. Here’s the story:

PHARR, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry this weekend seized $85,000 in unreported currency hidden within a vehicle during an outbound examination.

“Or officer continue to maintain strict vigilance and that dedication to duty, inspection skill and experience contributed to this significant outbound currency seizure,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “These types of seizures, often involving proceeds from illicit activity, have significant impact and reflect CBP’s ongoing commitment to our priority border security mission.”

Stacks containing $85,000 in unreported U.S. currency seized by CBP officers during an outbound examination at Pharr International Bridge.

The seizure occurred on Sunday, April 14 at the Pharr International Bridge when a CBP officer referred a southbound vehicle driven by a 19-year-old male U.S. citizen for a secondary examination. Following a thorough examination that included use of a nonintrusive inspection system, CBP officers discovered a total of $85,000 in unreported currency hidden within the vehicle.

CBP officers seized the currency. Homeland Security Investigations special agents arrested the driver and initiated a criminal investigation.

Has Texas CBP seized your money?

If Texas CBP seized your money at Pharr, Hidalgo, Anzalduas, Laredo, or elsewhere, we urge you to call us for a consultation before considering doing it yourself. You probably will not be happy with the outcome if you do, based on their’ aggressive posture in most cases. Read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

Envelopes of cash seized by Dulles airport CBP

Dulles CBP Seizes $167K in Unreported Cash; Ruins Vacations of 6

The first few weeks of February 2024 saw a lot of cash seizure activity for CBP at Dulles airport, which is basically the norm. Most of the stories publicized by CBP as money seizures from your ordinary traveler (and not your US-Mexico drug/cash smuggling travelers) is coming out of Dulles airport, very near to Washington DC.

In the summary of cash seizure activity, there were a total of 6 cash seizures running from February 7 to February 24 and the total amount seized was $167,257.  The original release is here, with the important parts and my comments below:

STERLING, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized more than $167,000 in unreported currency during six separate seizures in February at Washington Dulles International Airport. [ . . . ]

CBP officers routinely conduct outbound examinations on departing international flights to ensure that all travelers comply with U.S. laws and regulations, including federal currency reporting requirements. During these departure inspections, CBP officers allow travelers multiple opportunities to truthfully report all currency in their possession through both a verbal and a written declaration.

Sometimes, CBP officers or CBP currency detector dogs discover unreported or bulk currency, such as in the following six seizures.

    • On February 24, CBP officers seized $26,300 in unreported currency from a traveler boarding a flight to Brussels, Belgium. CBP canine Cato alerted to the currency.
    • On February 21, CBP officers seized $18,949 in unreported currency from a traveler boarding a flight to Jedda, Saudi Arabia. CBP canine Fuzz, a 4-year-old male yellow labrador retriever, alerted to the currency. Fuzz is also trained to detect firearms and ammunition and has worked at Dulles airport for about 2.5 years.
    • On February 19, CBP officers seized $45,009 in unreported currency from a traveler boarding a flight to Brussels, Belgium. CBP canine Fuzz alerted to the currency.
    • On February 16, CBP officers seized $26,256 in unreported currency from a traveler boarding a flight to Accra, Ghana. CBP canine Cato alerted to the currency.
    • On February 13, CBP officers seized $38,150 in unreported currency from a traveler boarding a flight to Brussels.
    • On February 7, CBP officers seized $12,593 in unreported currency from a traveler boarding a flight to Accra.

“We know that airlines are focused on quickly onboarding their international passengers and so currency detector dogs are instrumental in assisting Customs and Border Protection officers enforce our nation’s currency reporting laws while also getting aircraft out on time,” said Marc E. Calixte, Area Port Director for CBP’s Area Port of Washington, D.C. “These seizures should also be a reminder to travelers that they can board their flight quicker and with all their money in their possession if they truthfully report it all to a CBP officer.”

Travelers who fail to truthfully report all of their currency risk severe consequences, including missing their flight and interrupting vacation plans, to seeing all their currency seized by a CBP officer, to facing potential criminal prosecution for bulk currency smuggling.

Unreported bulk currency may sometimes be the proceeds of illegal activity, such as financial fraud and money scams. Greed may also cause some travelers to smuggle unreported currency that they may have lawfully attained to shield it from family or business partners.

CBP officers and agents seized an average of about $217,700 in unreported or illicit currency every day during 2022 along our nation’s borders.

Has Dulles CBP seized your money and ruined your vacation?

If Dulles CBP has seized your money, we urge you to call us for a consultation before considering doing it yourself. You probably will not be happy with the outcome if you do, based on Dulles’ aggressive posture in most cases. Read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

Bulk cash seized by CBP in Dulles airport

San Diego CBP Money Seizure of $20,155 (yawn)

CBP in San Diego has quite a few ports, including Calexico, Otay Mesa, Cross Border Xpress, San Ysidro, and Tecate. CBP seizes cash from Mexicans and Americans at each of them

In early 2024, CBP officers in San Diego seized $20,155 in currency from someone going into Mexico. This kind of money seizure in San Diego are common. I have had numerous clients over the years traveling to Mexico for cosmetic procedures, to purchase real estate, to buy or sell cars at auction, or many other personal or economic reasons, all with money. So in this case, the seizure of $20,155 in unreported currency by Customs is not a surprise, so much that it almost seems not worth mentioning compared to the other seizures discussed in the story, like 472 pounds of narcotics. Anyway, here is the story from CBP:

SAN DIEGO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers within the San Diego Field Office worked tirelessly despite severe inclement weather over the weekend seizing $2.4 million worth of narcotics, a weapon and currency.

A combined total of 367 packages were discovered in vehicles over the weekend testing positive for the properties of methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cocaine. Officers extracted narcotics from various locations in vehicles such as the trunk, roof, firewall, air intake box, doors, floorboards, gas tanks, and quarter panels. The narcotics seized by CBP had a combined weight of 472 pounds with an estimated street value of $2,483,780.

Adding to the weekend busts, CBP officers at the San Ysidro port of entry discovered a 9mm handgun, one 33-round extended magazine, 30 9mm rounds of ammunition, and marijuana in a traveler’s purse.

The final incident occurred when CBP officers at the San Ysidro port of entry encountered a vehicle traveling into Mexico. During inspection of the vehicle, CBP officers discovered unreported currency in the amount of $20,155.

Has San Diego CBP seized your money?

If San Diego CBP seized your money at Otay Mesa, Calexico, or elsewhere, we urge you to call us for a consultation before considering doing it yourself. You probably will not be happy with the outcome if you do, based on their’ aggressive posture in most cases. Read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

Dulles CBP seized cash discovered by k9 from Iraqi man laid out on table

Dulles CBP Seizes $56k from Iraq-bound Man

Dulles is back in the news again with another cash seizure. In this case, CBP officers aided by a detector dog named “Fuzz,” were searching passengers leaving for Qatar. The dog alerted to a man’s carry-on baggage, and the man initially reported possessing $30,000.

CBP then searched and found a total of $42,000. Then, apparently, they searched harder and found another $14,400, for a total of $56,400. Not sure how that happened, but that’s what the story seems to say.

Because the first report of $30,000, and the other $26,400 was packed away in luggage, this is probably going to lead to allegations of bulk cash smuggling. And bulk cash smuggling violations, especially at Dulles FP&F, tend to lead to big penalties (like 50% of the amount seized, if not forfeiture).
STERLING, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized $56,400 from an Iraq-bound man at Washington Dulles International Airport on Thursday only hours after they seized $68,000 in unreported currency from a Nigeria-bound family.
There is no limit to how much currency or other monetary instruments travelers may bring to or take out of the United States. However, federal law [31 USC 5316] requires travelers to report all currency of $10,000 or greater to a CBP officer and complete U.S. Treasury Department Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments [FINCEN 105]. Read more about currency reporting requirements.

CBP officers and currency detector dog Fuzz conducted outbound inspections of passengers departing on a flight to Doha, Qatar, when K9 Fuzz alerted to a man’s carryon baggage. Officers explained U.S. currency reporting laws and asked the man how much currency he and his mother had in their possession. The man, who was traveling with his mother to Iraq, reported that he had $30,000 and signed the FINCEN 105 form formally reporting that amount.

During a subsequent inspection, CBP officers discovered a combined $42,000 in carryon bags and on their persons.

Officers escorted the man and his mother back to CBP’s inspection station where officers discovered an additional $14,400 in the man’s checked baggage.

CBP officers seized a combined $56,400 and released the family to continue their trip.

Earlier on Thursday CBP officers seized $68,000 from a Nigeria-bound family after the family reported to officers that they possessed only $10,000.

“These are two currency seizures that could have been completely avoided had the two parties truthfully reported all of their currency to Customs and Border Protection officers,” said Marc E. Calixte, Area Port Director for CBP’s Area Port of Washington, D.C. “CBP urges all travelers to fully comply with our nation’s laws during inspection, including U.S. federal currency reporting law.”

 

Has Dulles CBP seized your cash?

If Dulles CBP has seized your cash, we urge you to call us for a consultation before considering doing it yourself. You probably will not be happy with the outcome if you do, based on Dulles’ aggressive posture in most cases. Read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.