Tag: export

4 gold bars seized by Customs on export

Gold Worth $67,830 Sezied by Cincinnati CBP

On March 9, CBP officers discovered that someone was shipping gold bars out of the country in a box which was declared only to contain clothing.

That’s a problem.

The gold should have been declared on the shipping paperwork. And they exporter should have filed Electronic Export Information (EEI) in the government’s Automated Export System (AES).

Because they did neither of these things, the gold was seized. No doubt, the gold was seized for export contrary to law and probably, in the future, the involved person will receive a penalty for failure to file the EEI in the AES. So the seizure of the gold is not likely to be the only penalty.

There would be no duties owed if the gold was declared, because there are no export tariffs. A FinCen 105 form is not required because the gold is not a monetary instrument (although some minted coins are…). So what’s the point of the EEI filing?

Well, apart from giving “big brother” a sneak peak into your life, the primary reason is to ensure export laws are not violated and restricted or prohibited items are not being exported to restricted or prohibited countries or persons (i.e., sanctioned nations or sanctioned people).

Here’s an excerpt from the original story:

CINCINNATIā€”On March 9, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers stationed at the Port of Cincinnati seized an outbound shipment declared as containing clothing after they discovered it also contained loose gold and gold bars worth far more than the declared value of $125 USD.

Officers selected the shipment for an x-ray exam while conducting routine inspections on cargo exported from the United States to international destinations. After noting density anomalies during the x-ray screening, officers opened the shipment and found four gold bars and a box of loose gold concealed within articles of clothing. The package originated from an apartment in San Francisco, California and was headed for an address in Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Cincinnati officers . . . confirmed the gold was approximately 98% pure, leading import specialists . . . to assess the value of the shipment at $67,830.

[ . . . ]

CBP is responsible for ensuring that all goods entering and exiting the United States do so in accordance with all applicable U.S. laws and regulations. Exporters must file electronically through CBPā€™s Automated Export System if the value of their goods exceeds $2,500 USD. Failing to file or filing misleading export information can incur civil or criminal penalties and prosecution.

Have you had exports seized by CBP?

If you have had exported goods seized by CBP, you should give us a call at 734-855-4999, or use the contact and WhatsApp links on this page to reach out to an experienced customs lawyer in writing.

CBP to Help U.S. Exporters Resolve Tariff Disputes with Foreign Governments

A very long but worthy read appears in today’s Federal Register. It is a new opportunity from U.S. Customs & Border Protection to make U.S. products more competitive overseas. Essentially, if you are a U.S. exporter whose exports are being incorrectly classified or valued by a foreign government, you now have recourse to the CBP who will, if they agree with your position, work through the appropriate channels to achieve a resolution. Here is the most relevant text fromĀ the notice:

Inquiries Concerning Tariff Classification or Customs Valuation by 
Other Customs Administrations Affecting U.S. Exports

    By publication of this notice, U.S. Customs and Border Protection 
emphasizes that opportunities exist to strengthen communication and 
coordination between industry, CBP, other customs administrations, and 
the WCO to advance the shared goal of facilitating international trade. 
Greater collaboration with industry promotes improved technical 
understanding among contracting parties and helps to foster uniformity 
in the interpretation and application of the HS Convention and WTO 
Valuation Agreement.
    On matters involving non-uniform tariff classification or customs 
valuation treatment by other customs administrations, individual 
parties or firms do not have standing to initiate dispute settlement 
procedures or consultations under the HS Convention or the WTO 
Valuation Agreement. Consequently, for a U.S. individual or firm to 
raise a tariff classification or customs valuation dispute, that party 
must file an inquiry or complaint with the U.S. government and provide, 
or assist in the collection of, any information relating to the matter 
which may be required.
    Accordingly, CBP hereby invites U.S. exporters to file with CBP 
requests for assistance in resolving any tariff classification or 
customs valuation treatment by other customs administrations affecting 
U.S. exports.Of course, as a threshold technical matter, in order to provide the 
requested assistance, CBP must agree with the position of the exporter 
with regard to the specific matter brought to CBP's attention.
    CBP will endeavor to provide an initial response to such requests 
within 60 days of their receipt. Thereafter, in cooperation with the 
appropriate agencies, CBP will consider the appropriate course of 
action, including but not limited to the initiation of consultations or 
dispute settlement at meetings of the HSC or TCCV at the WCO. The 
inquirer or complainant will be informed of the progress achieved in 
resolving the matter. Requests for assistance on tariff classification 
or customs valuation treatment by other customs administrations 
affecting U.S. exports should be addressed to U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection, Office of International Trade, Regulations & Rulings, 
Attention: Commercial and Trade Facilitation Division, 90 K St. NE., 
10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177.


    Information submitted by U.S. exporters concerning requests for 
assistance may, in some instances, include confidential commercial or 
financial information, the disclosure of which could result in 
competitive harm to the business submitter. Such information is, 
generally, protected under the provisions of the Freedom of Information 
Act (5 U.S.C. 552) (FOIA), the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a), and the 
Trade Secrets Act (18 U.S.C. 1905). If confidential treatment is 
requested, submitters should specifically designate the information it 
considers confidential. Such requests will be handled in accordance 
with CBP Regulations (19 CFR 103.35) regarding the protection of such 

If you need help classifying your exports and want the assistance of CBP, you should contact our office by e-mailĀ or call (734) 855-4999. We areĀ experienced in adressing specific concerns of clients before federal angencies, congressional committees, and classifying products in the HTSUS. You can also make use of our other articles, such as: