Tag: seizure

U.S. Customs Seize $541,000 in Unsafe Consumer Products

When importing into the United States an importer must make sure to comply with the customs laws for classification, valuation, invoicing, etc. But they also must make sure that they’re products are not harmful or in violations of the myriad of other regulations enforced by CBP at the border; whether they be FDA, Department of Agriculture, or the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Recently, customs seized over half a million dollars in unsafe consumer products in a joint effort with the French government.

The story below:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and French Customs General Directorate announce the results of Operation Bathe and Beaute, a bilateral Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement operation targeting counterfeit personal care products and electric personal care devices. The joint operation, conducted from April 8 through May 4, resulted in the seizure of 76 shipments of more than 31,000 counterfeit items for a combined manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $541,000.

“Operation Bathe and Beaute reflects our ongoing efforts to interdict illegal trade in counterfeit merchandise, which threatens the competitiveness of legitimate businesses and can jeopardize consumer health and safety,” said Assistant Commissioner Brenda Smith of CBP’s Office of International Trade.

Box of counterfeit items valued at suggested MSRP of $541,000.
76 shipments of more than 31,000 counterfeit items for a combined manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $541,000.

“After the successful Core Systems operation in late 2013, this fourth joint operation between CBP and French Customs demonstrates once again how important it is to exchange information and act together to fight organized crime in a global world,” said François Richard, French Customs Attaché.

The four week operation focused on personal care products and devices that potentially introduce dangerous chemicals and bacteria to the skin and eyes or burning or electrocution due to non-standardized wiring and ineffectual family planning protection to the consumer. Products seized during this event included make-up, condoms, hair removal devices, contact lenses, hair curlers, straighteners and skin cleansing devices.

 

You might be facing penalties from customs for importing counterfeit merchandise. We can help. Typically, we recommended preparing and filing a petition, with the assistance of legal counsel, which argues persuasively for the substantial mitigation, or when the facts and law warrant it, cancellation of the penalty in full.

Great Lakes Customs Law has been very successful in getting these kinds of penalties reduced and, sometimes, even eliminated entirely (some history of our success is HERE).If you have had merchandise seized by customs because they allege it is counterfeit and contains trademark violations and/or have a received a notice of penalty for importing alleged counterfeits or for making an importation contrary to law, call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a customs lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page. We are able to assist petitions for customs penalties and seizures around the country, including Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and many other places. Please read these other articles:

CBP Seizes Counterfeit Watches with $2.7M MSRP

Customs reported a seizure of over 11,000 counterfeit watches which, if real, would have a manufacturer’s suggest retail price of $2,791,250. The same law that permits Customs to seize the counterfeit watches also allows CBP to impose a penalty of up to the MSRP value of the counterfeit watches. In this case, that means the importer of these watches will be subject to a penalty of nearly $2.8 million dollars.

MIAMI – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers with the Miami Seaport Trade Enforcement Team (TET) seized 11,165 counterfeit watches with an MSRP value of $2,791,250.

Counterfeit watches with an MSRP value of $2,791,250.
CBP seized 11,165 counterfeit watches with an MSRP value of $2,791,250.

The watches were being shipped from China and destined for Florida. CBP OFO officers discovered the watches in 123 cartons arriving in a shipment from China.

CBP OFO officers with the Trade Enforcement Team (TET) suspected the watches were counterfeit as the items did not appear to be of the quality consistent with the watches that are normally manufactured by the trademark holder.

Samples were submitted to CBP Import Specialists for review and determined to be counterfeit.

“Counterfeiters are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their efforts and CBP OFO officers here at the Miami Seaport take great pride in protecting Americans from low quality and unsafe products,” said Miami Seaport Port Director Diane Sabatino. “Our CBP officers consistently demonstrate their exceptional skills at identifying counterfeit goods and work well with CBP Import Specialists to protect consumers and ensure these products do not enter the commerce of the United States.”

You might be facing penalties from customs for importing counterfeit merchandise. We can help. Typically, we recommended preparing and filing a petition, with the assistance of legal counsel, which argues persuasively for the substantial mitigation, or when the facts and law warrant it, cancellation of the penalty in full.

Great Lakes Customs Law has been very successful in getting these kinds of penalties reduced and, sometimes, even eliminated entirely (some history of our success is HERE).If you have had merchandise seized by customs because they allege it is counterfeit and contains trademark violations and/or have a received a notice of penalty for importing alleged counterfeits or for making an importation contrary to law, call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a customs lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page. We are able to assist petitions for customs penalties and seizures around the country, including Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and many other places. Please read these other articles:

CBP Seizes Alleged Counterfeit Auto Parts in Florida

Here’s one of those seldom thought about counterfeit merchandise seizures: counterfeit autoparts. When you think about counterfeits you usually think about currency, clothing, watches, and things like that. You don’t typically think of auto parts being something is counterfeited. But apparently they are out there, and it happens a lot, and its dangerous. Here’s the story from Customs (full version here):

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and import specialists seized more than 3,260 counterfeit automobile parts during an inspection at Port Everglades on May 8. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the counterfeit products is around $280,000.

CBP, along with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), targeted the shipment as part of a joint multi-layered enforcement operation focused on interdicting illegal counterfeit automotive parts.

The seizure included over 180 different types of vehicle parts ranging from small fuses to front ends.

Counterfeit automotive parts are a safety risk as they are of inferior quality compared to the authentic product and their failure to perform to standard could cause safety issues resulting in catastrophic failure.

 

You might be facing penalties from customs for importing counterfeit merchandise. We can help. Typically, we recommended preparing and filing a petition, with the assistance of legal counsel, which argues persuasively for the substantial mitigation, or when the facts and law warrant it, cancellation of the penalty in full.

Great Lakes Customs Law has been very successful in getting these kinds of penalties reduced and, sometimes, even eliminated entirely (some history of our success is HERE).If you have had merchandise seized by customs because they allege it is counterfeit and contains trademark violations and/or have a received a notice of penalty for importing alleged counterfeits or for making an importation contrary to law, call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a customs lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page. We are able to assist petitions for customs penalties and seizures around the country, including Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and many other places. Please read these other articles:

CBP Seizes $1.2B in counterfeits in FY 2014

In addition to currency seizures and drug seizures, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seizes counterfeit merchandise imported into the United States. CBP considers counterfeit interception to be a priority trade issue. Customs has released their annual statistics for 2014 wherein they breakdown what they seized throughout the past fiscal year. The report includes the total volume of seizures, value, and countries from which the counterfeit goods were exported. The summary from Customs is repeated below:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) today announced the fiscal year 2014 results of an aggressive enforcement program to protect the United States from counterfeit and pirated goods. CBP and HSI are the components within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) responsible for the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR).

“Protecting intellectual property rights is a critical part of CBP’s trade enforcement mission and critical to protecting American consumers,” said Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “In 2014, strong partnerships with our federal enforcement counterparts, effective targeting of high risk shipments and frontline interceptions of cargo at America’s ports of entry produced more than 23,000 seizures of fake products worth an estimated $1.2 billion that could have cheated or threatened the health of American consumers.

[ . . . ]

In fiscal year 2014, there were 23,140 intellectual property rights seizures with an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price or MSRP of $1.2 billion, the value of the goods had they been genuine.  In addition, 144 shipments of circumvention devices were seized for violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  CBP also enforced 44 exclusion orders in fiscal year 2014. Since 2007, CBP has identified intellectual property rights enforcement as a priority trade mission. Although IPR seizures declined slightly in 2014 from 2013, CBP recorded its third busiest year for seizures since 2005.

[ . . . ]

Wearing apparel and accessories continue to be the number one commodity classification based on number of seizures with 7,922 seizures or 28 percent.  Watches and jewelry are the largest commodity classification by value with an estimated MSRP of $375 million or 31 percent.

The People’s Republic of China remains the primary source economy for counterfeit and pirated goods seized with a total value of $772 million, representing 63 percent of all IPR seizures by MSRP. Hong Kong ranks second with $310 million or 25 percent.

Tactical interagency collaboration with the HSI-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) resulted in 683 arrests, with 454 indictments and 461 convictions.

You might be facing penalties from customs for importing counterfeit merchandise. We can help. Typically, we recommended preparing and filing a petition, with the assistance of legal counsel, which argues persuasively for the substantial mitigation, or when the facts and law warrant it, cancellation of the penalty in full.

Great Lakes Customs Law has been very successful in getting these kinds of penalties reduced and, sometimes, even eliminated entirely (some history of our success is HERE).If you have had merchandise seized by customs because they allege it is counterfeit and contains trademark violations and/or have a received a notice of penalty for importing alleged counterfeits or for making an importation contrary to law, call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a customs lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page. We are able to assist petitions for customs penalties and seizures around the country, including Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and many other places. Please read these other articles:

Filing a Petition for Seized Currency (with Sample and Tips) with CBP

If you are attempting to get your seized currency back from Customs by filing a petition for remission there are several legal requirements written into the Customs laws and regulations. Some do-it-yourselfers come to our customs law firm’s website looking for a sample currency seizure petition they can use to submit to Customs. Customs publishes its own set of forms for use in a wide variety of different customs enforcement/forfeiture contexts; for petitions there is a form called Petition for Remission or Mitigation of Forfeitures and Penalties Incurred (Customs Form 4609 (click to access)).  The form is extremely basic and we do not recommended it for use in the context of a customs money seizure. It can be used as a starting point, though, because any petition must have at least the information from that form.

But any good petition for seized currency should have a lot more information to be effective. When we file a petition on behalf of our currency seizure clients they are at least 10 Petition for Remission of Currency Seizurepages long because petitioning for the return of seized currency is a serious legal issue (read more about it here). Many people think it’s easy and sometimes Customs will lead you to believe it is. But why would you believe the people who just took your money? Here’s some of the questions that you should ask yourself before doing it yourself. Any lawyer you hire to help get your seized currency back should be able to answer these questions.

15 Questions to Ask Before Filing a Petition for Remission of Seized Currency with U.S. Customs:

  1. Was the search of your baggage or person constitutional?
  2. Was the currency seizure constitutional?
  3. Who has the burden of proof?
  4. What is the standard of proof that must be met by the party with the burden of proof?
  5. Does the currency seizure constitute an excessive fine in violation of the constitution?
  6. How do the federal courts in your state/circuit interpret the currency reporting requirement?
  7. Did you violate the currency reporting requirement?
  8. Are you admitting you violated the law? Are you saying too much? Are you not saying enough?
  9. Are you admitting other violations of laws you are unaware of? (unlawful currency structuring, bulk cash smuggling, conspiracy, FCPA violations (bribes), or false statement to law enforcement, among others)
  10. Did you bring the money from a country under economic sanctions, like Iran? If so, did you violate those sanctions or are you unintentionally admitting you violated those sanctions?
  11. Were there any recognized mitigating factors or aggravating factors?
  12. Are there mitigating factors that Customs has authority to recognize even though not in a written policy?
  13. Did you make an oral amendment of your declaration the Customs did not honor?
  14. Are documents properly notarized?
  15. Are documents properly translated?

If your money was seized by CBP/customs call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page (see our case results here). Our customs law firm handles currency/money seizures made by customs in Detroit and around the country. We are able to assist with cash seized by customs nationwide, including Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Orlando.

Please read these other articles about money seizures by customs:

  1. Seizure of currency and monetary instruments by U.S. Customs
  2. Seizure for bulk cash smuggling into or out of the U.S.
  3. Structuring currency imports and exports
  4. Is it $10,000 per person?  Under what circumstances is filing a report with Customs for transporting more than $10,000 required?
  5. Criminal & civil penalties for failing to report monetary instrument transportation
  6. Is only cash currency subject to seizure by Customs?
  7. How do I get my seized money back from customs?
  8. Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
  9. How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?
  10. Targeted Enforcement for Customs Money Seizures
  11. Statute of Limitations for Currency Reporting Violations
  12. Filing a Petition for Seized Currency (with Sample and Tips) with CBP
  13. Don’t Talk About Your Customs Currency Seizure Case
  14. Understanding CBP’s Election of Proceedings Form
Port of Buffalo, N.Y. border crossing check point where cbp seized cash for currency reporting violations.

Port of Buffalo Customs Currency Seizures by the Numbers (FY 2014)

Last week the Port of Buffalo released its enforcement data for 2014. I do not have any other regional data from other ports to compare it to, but it is clear that there are far more customs currency seizures at the Port of Detroit than at the Port of Buffalo.

For the fiscal year 2014, the Port of Buffalo in New York seized $267,323 in a total of 22 currency seizures; on average then, each seizure would be about $12,100. In comparison, in the Port of Detroit in Michigan for fiscal year 2013, customs seized more than $5 million at places like Detroit Metro Airport, The Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. For the same period of time the national daily average of currency seizures by Customs was $650,000.

Has Buffalo CBP seized cash from you?

If Buffalo CBP seized cash from you can learn more about the process from our trusted customs money seizure legal guide and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

 

 

Cross Border Customs Cash Seizure Nets $39k

U.S. Customs and Border Protection released some news about recent enforcement actions, including a seizure of about 39,000 from a Mexican man entering the United States. No mention if the person involved was arrested. Have you had cash seized by Customs? You can read our popular page on Responding to a Customs Money Seizure HERE. In short, the man can get some of his seized money back from Customs if he can prove the money came from a legitimate source and had a legitimate intended use.

TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Port of Douglas arrested two women – one from Douglas and one from Glendale, Arizona – as well as a cbp cash seizureMexican national man, during separate weekend smuggling attempts involving more than 300 pounds of marijuana and nearly $39,000 in unreported currency. [ . . . ]

[On] Jan. 25, officers conducting outbound inspections referred a 34-year-old man from Mexico for further inspection of his Nissan truck. When officers searched the man and his vehicle, they seized nearly $39,000 in unreported currency.

Officers seized the vehicles [and] currency, and referred all … suspects to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Of course, even if not arrested that day the government has 5 years to criminally charge them. Our customs law firm handles currency/money seizures made by customs in Detroit and around the country. If you have had money seized by Detroit CBP/customs call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page (see our case results here). We are able to assist with cash seized by customs nationwide, including Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Orlando.

Please read these other articles about money seizures by customs:

  1. Seizure of currency and monetary instruments by U.S. Customs
  2. Seizure for bulk cash smuggling into or out of the U.S.
  3. Structuring currency imports and exports
  4. Is it $10,000 per person?  Under what circumstances is filing a report with Customs for transporting more than $10,000 required?
  5. Criminal & civil penalties for failing to report monetary instrument transportation
  6. Is only cash currency subject to seizure by Customs?
  7. How do I get my seized money back from customs?
  8. Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
  9. How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?
  10. Targeted Enforcement for Customs Money Seizures
  11. Statute of Limitations for Currency Reporting Violations

$24,000 Seized by Customs at Amtrak Station

U.S. Customs reports on a recent customs money seizure from a mother and son entering the United States from Montreal via train. At entry, she reported recently traveling to Cuba and being in possession of $5,000 each. Turns out they actually had $24,000 total. And thus the money was seized by customs. Now the headline of the story says they were arrested but that detail is not in the story itself, just that the case is currently under investigation (the government has 5 years to criminally charge them).  Let’s have a look at this story now (You can read our popular page on Responding to a Customs Money Seizure HERE):

ROUSES POINT, N.Y. –U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers from the Champlain Port of Entry working at the Rouses Point Amtrak station seized more than $24,000 in unreported US currency.

“A person can travel with any amount of currency they wish, there is no limit” said Paul Mongillo, CBP Port Director for the Port of Champlain. “The requirement is to declare amounts exceeding $10,000. This requirement is for currency entering and leaving the U.S.”Customs Money Seizure

On January 4, CBP officers inspecting the Amtrak train from Montreal destined for New York City encountered an individual claiming recent travel to Cuba. The traveler provided a CBP declaration form and stated that she and her son each possessed$5,000 in U.S. currency. During a secondary inspection, multiple envelopes were discovered containing U.S. currency totaling more than $24,000. The traveler later admitted to possession of the unreported currency.

The currency was seized and the case is currently under investigation.

Travelers can avoid seizure by declaring currency amounts exceeding $10,000. International travelers carrying more than $10,000 into or out of the U.S. must report the amount they are transporting or risk seizure of the currency.

Travelers can make currency declarations by completing FinCEN Form 105 and giving it to a CBP officer. Currency is not limited to U.S. dollars and coins but all negotiable monetary instruments including traveler’s checks, money orders and securities. A complete list of negotiable monetary instruments is available on FinCEN Form 105.

This is the first story I’ve related on our customs law blog that involves a money seizure when the border was crossed by train, but of course customs can seize money when entered into the United States by any means, whether by train, bus, car, plane, or boat. I’m also not sure why the reference to a recent trip to Cuba was mentioned unless the traveler’s are U.S. Citizens and are prohibited from traveling to Cuba and that somehow raised suspcions.

Our customs law firm handles currency/money seizures made by customs in Detroit and around the country; call (734) 855-4999 to consult with a customs lawyer today. If you have had money seized by Detroit CBP/customs call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page (see our case results here). We are able to assist with cash seized by customs nationwide, including Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Orlando.

Please read these other articles about money seizures by customs:

  1. Seizure of currency and monetary instruments by U.S. Customs
  2. Seizure for bulk cash smuggling into or out of the U.S.
  3. Structuring currency imports and exports
  4. Is it $10,000 per person?  Under what circumstances is filing a report with Customs for transporting more than $10,000 required?
  5. Criminal & civil penalties for failing to report monetary instrument transportation
  6. Is only cash currency subject to seizure by Customs?
  7. How do I get my seized money back from customs?
  8. Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
  9. How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?
  10. Targeted Enforcement for Customs Money Seizures
  11. Statute of Limitations for Currency Reporting Violations

Statute of Limitations for Currency Reporting Violations

This is an article about the statute of limitations for currency reporting violations (failure to report monetary instruments over $10,000, bulk cash smuggling, and structuring); in other words, how soon after an offense is committed (or when the currency is seized) that the government must bring criminal charges against you before they are prevented by the statute of limitations. If you want to skip to that part and don’t want to learn some fascinating facts about the most intact T-Rex skeleton ever found, and how one of its discoverers was pursued by the government for allegedly failing to report a currency and monetary instruments over $10,000, scroll down to the next heading.

Currency Reporting Violations and Sue the Dinosaur

Like a lot of grown men, I was fascinated with dinosaurs as a kid. So those kind of headlines still catch my eye. The other day I came across this CNN story — a saga really — about the discovery of the “most intact T-rex skeleton ever found” back in 1990 (“Sue“). To sum things up, shortly after the fossil was discovered FBI agents, accompanied by the national guard, seized the fossil because it was, they alleged, on Indian Trust land (read: under Federal government jurisdiction). The

Sue the Dinosaur

ownership of the dinosaur, and allegations that the people involved with the discovery had stolen and sold dinosaur fossils found on public land, were in the courts for years.

But as I read the story, I was intrigued to read that one of the people responsible for the discovery of the dinosaur “served 18 months in federal prison for customs violations” unrelated to the dinosaur discovery. I thought it must have had something to do with the importation of dinosaur fossils like happened in Detroit a few years ago, which I blogged about. But not so. Looking into the matter further, I discovered this 1996 article from the New York Times that explains the customs violations were for failing to report the transport of more than $10,000 into or out of the United States:

…Mr. Larsen was convicted of two felonies — failure to report to American customs officials $31,700 in travelers checks he had brought from Japan, and failure to report $15,000 in cash he took to Peru.

Oops! The story basically says that, of 153 charges in a 39 count indictment brought against him by the Federal government, these currency reporting violations and some misdemeanors related to the sale of fossils valued at less than $100 is what stuck. In the context of the fiasco about the dinsoaur bones, winding up getting criminally charged with failure to report currency being transported in excess of $10,000 seems kind of ridiculous, doesn’t it?

What’s the statute of limitations of currency reporting violations?

This story was just the occasion for me write about the statute of limitations for currency reporting violations (failure to report, bulk cash smuggling, and unlawful structuring that often result in currency seizures). The statute of limitations for currency reporting violations under 31 USC §§ 5316, 5324 and 5332 is found in 18 USC § 3282(a), which states:

Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, no person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished for any offense, not capital, unless the indictment is found or the information is instituted within five years next after such offense shall have been committed.

That means once the event giving rise to the violation has occurred, the government has 5 years from that date to bring criminal charges against you.

My customs currency seizure clients often want to know: is failing to report currency a crime? Yes, it is, and it is punishable by a fine of $250,000 to $500,000 and 5 to 10 years in jail. But I also tell them that if they were not arrested at the time the currency was seized, and the U.S. Attorney was notified and declined to prosecute you, they probably will not face criminal charges.

But just because you weren’t arrested and charged immediately still means it could happen up to 5 years later.

Keep Calm and Declare Monetary Instruments Exceeding $10,000 USD

If you have had cash seized by customs and are contemplating what to do next, please make use of the other information available on this website or call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a customs lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page. We are able to assist with cash seized by customs around the country, including Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and many other places, and not just locally in Detroit. Please read these other articles:

  1. Seizure of currency and monetary instruments by U.S. Customs
  2. Seizure for bulk cash smuggling into or out of the U.S.
  3. Structuring currency imports and exports
  4. Is it $10,000 per person?  Under what circumstances is filing a report with Customs for transporting more than $10,000 required?
  5. Criminal & civil penalties for failing to report monetary instrument transportation
  6. Is only cash currency subject to seizure by Customs?
  7. Responding to a Customs currency seizure
  8. How do I get my seized money back?
  9. Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
  10. How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?

 

CBP Reminds Public About Currency Reporting Requirement

In the past month we have reported on two violations of the currency reporting requirements that resulted in seizure of money by U.S. Customs & Border Protection at the CBP pre-clearance station in Nassau, Bahamas. Those stories are HERE and HERE. Now we have a “reminder” about the “Currency Reporting Requirement” from that same pre-clearance station, which is excerpted below.

If you have had money seized by customs call our office at  (734) 855-4999 or CONTACT US BY CLICKING HERE to speak to a customs lawyer. We are able to assist with cash seized by customs nationwide, including Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.cbp money seizure

NASSAU, Bahamas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection reminds travelers of the requirement to report currency amounts of $10,000 or more to CBP when traveling to or from the United States.

Individuals are permitted to carry any amount of currency or monetary instruments into or out of the United States; however, if the quantity is $10,000 or higher, they must formally report the currency to CBP (note: like the money seizure story HERE). If travelers have someone else carry the currency or monetary instrument for them, they must file a currency report for the entire amount with (note: like the structuring story HERE). Failure to report may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest.

“The easiest way for travelers to hold on to their currency is to truthfully report it all to a CBP officer,” said Robert Allen Smith, area port director for Nassau Preclearance.

There’s a lot of great reasons why you should hire our firm, but one of them is that we know the law: you may not know the law, and oftentimes, as this article shows, customs does not know the law.  Annoyingly, this CBP news release, like many, gets the law wrong. 31 USC 5316(a)(1), the law that gives CBP the authority to seize money and monetary instruments which are not reported, clearly says that a report is required if only if “more than $10,000” is transported, not $10,000 “or more”.

Having an attorney is especially important if more than one person was travelling and the seizure was of cash, there are allegations of smuggling, or structuring, or if you experienced a lengthy dentetion or questioning at the time of seizure. We handle this and many other types of cases, which we publish the results of here.  Read our popular article on responding to a currency seizure by clicking HERE.

Please read these other articles about money seizures by customs:

  1. Seizure of currency and monetary instruments by U.S. Customs
  2. Seizure for bulk cash smuggling into or out of the U.S.
  3. Structuring currency imports and exports
  4. Is it $10,000 per person?  Under what circumstances is filing a report with Customs for transporting more than $10,000 required?
  5. Criminal & civil penalties for failing to report monetary instrument transportation
  6. Is only cash currency subject to seizure by Customs?
  7. How do I get my seized money back from customs?
  8. Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
  9. How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?
  10. Targeted Enforcement for Customs Money Seizures