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:
CINCINNATI—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 CBP’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.