Customs Money Seizure
Peter S. Herrick PA represents enterprises and individuals in Government "Customs" money seizures cases, helping them recover seized assets and litigating against inappropriately imposed fines for legally transported goods.
Anyone transporting over $10,000 across the United States borders must file a Form 4790 with the U.S. Customs. The failure to file the report results in asset seizure and forfeiture.
Anyone transporting, mailing, shipping, or causing such physical transport of monetary instruments or currency and anyone in the United States being paid currency or monetary instruments from outside the country.
- Federal Reserve banks
- Foreign banks, banks, or securities brokers, or dealers
- Trust companies
- Commercial banks
- Individuals who are not citizens or U.S. residents with money shipped to a bank or securities broker/dealer
- Common passenger carriers
- Common goods carriers
- Currency transportation businesses
- Persons with restrictively endorsed traveler’s checks
Monetary instruments inclined to report and currency seizure for failure to report include the following:
- The U.S., foreign coin, or currency
- Unrestricted Traveler’s checks
- Negotiable instruments, like promissory notes, money orders, and checks in bearer format, endorsed without restriction or made to a fictitious payee or in transferable type
- Incomplete instruments that omit the name of the payee
- Securities or stocks in bearer form
U.S. Customs does not need funds to be reported that warrants normal banking procedures. However, no physical exchange of currency or monetary instruments is encouraged. These funds are not subject to reporting include:
- Money orders or unendorsed checks made out to a named person or with restrictive endorsements
- Warehouse receipts
- Bills of lading
- Potential penalties for reporting violations
Violations that can affect customs currency seizure, including:
- Failure to file a report
- Material omission or misstatement in a report
- False or fraudulent report
- Potential criminal and civil penalties for violations include maximum fines of $500,000
- Maximum imprisonment for ten years
- Forfeiture of seized assets
The Harmonized Tariff Schedule regulates export and import types for merchandise depending on the international Harmonized System. Categorization is the process of placing goods into trade categories that create a standardized international system on which to:
It also enables governments to monitor prohibited and restricted goods. The Harmonized Trade System is inclusive of some goods that receive preferential classifications and tariffs. The U.S. Customs is the only U.S. government authority that can offer binding advice or rulings on import classification.
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) formed the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1993, establishing the customs value of traded goods, protecting domestic companies, international trade, and increasing importation of certain goods countries also base their duties on the valuation.
Besides seizing unreported cash or currency valued over $10,000, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs), under the Department of Homeland Security, may seize counterfeit and pirated property in violation of copyright, patent, and trademark laws other prohibited or restricted goods.
Customs penalty Valuation and classification violations can end up in added penalty fees anywhere between 200% and 800% of a commodity’s duty value. They may also prosecute violators criminally if it suspects fraudulent intent.
Drawback pertains to the partial or complete remission or refund of a collected duty based on the commodity’s use. The drawback is an incentive for manufacturing and commercial trade, enabling U.S. companies to compete in international markets without including the duty of imported goods in their sales price. Before committing to transactions, manufacturers can apply for a drawback ruling to evaluate their production costs. Our attorneys assist clients with a drawback, petitioning the United States Treasury for forfeiture penalty, remission, claims, and mitigation cancellation for liquidated damages. We can also bring in lawsuits on behalf of our clients for asset recovery and fines cancellation. We’re licensed to practice before the United States Court of International Trade.
Dumping Duties and Countervailing Duties
Our attorneys support international enterprises to stay in the competition. Dumping is an international trade practice in which one country exports goods at lower rates as compared to the charges in the domestic market, essentially dumping the product. Under GATT, importing countries may follow anti-Dumping measures.
Subsidizing Imported Goods
The U.S. International Trade Administration (ITC) directs whether other countries subsidize imported goods. If the subsidies are harmful to U.S. domestic markets and if considered so, the ITC orders U.S. Customs to levy Countervailing duties corresponding with the subsidies.
Our attorneys help companies with filing petitions about Countervailing duties. Under Section 702(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, to file a petition, manufacturers must provide evidence substantiating that they produce 25% of the total domestic product and that more than 50% of the industry producing this product supports it or opposes the petition.
Our customs attorneys have extensive experience and knowledge dealing with regulatory agencies to hold dumping duties and countervailing international enterprises' duties.
Refunds Of Money/Currency Seized
Refunds of money/currency seized by customs as of October 1, 2018. Since the passage of CAFRA 2000, Customs has made thousands of seizures of money/currency from persons entering and departing the United States without completing the currency reporting forms. We are aware of the $3,517,339 seized by customs. We are aware of $3,318,814.43 of this amount being refunded. On the other hand, in a report by the Government dated March 29, 2017, out of 168 currency seizures, approximately 95% of the funds were forfeited to the Government because the persons had no legal counsel.