Saturday, September 19, 2020

Federal Prison Industries Awarded Army Contract

Federal Prison Industries, Inc., Washington, D.C., has been awarded a $39,270,400 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-quantity contract for Molle 4000 rucksack carriers. This is a three-year contract with no option periods. Locations of performance are Washington, D.C., North Carolina and South Carolina, with a Dec. 17, 2023, ordering period end date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-20-D-F065).

Army and Navy Tarpaulin Contract Awarded

Transhield Inc., Elkhart, Indiana, has been awarded a maximum $7,705,846 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-quantity contract for tarpaulins and fitted vehicular covers. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a three-year base contract with two one-year option periods. Location of performance is Indiana, with a Sept. 18, 2023, performance completion date. Using military services are Army and Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Columbus, Ohio (SPE7LX-20-D-0218).

Friday, September 18, 2020

The Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) will hold its quarterly meeting on Wednesday, October 7, 2020.

The Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) will hold its quarterly meeting on Wednesday, October 7, 2020.

The COAC will hear from the current subcommittees on the topics listed below and then will review, deliberate, provide observations, and formulate recommendations on how to proceed:

1. The Intelligent Enforcement Subcommittee will discuss its White Paper on Enforcement Modernization to support CBP’s 21st Century Customs Framework, which aims to further improve risk management and the impact of efforts to detect high-risk activity, deter noncompliance, and disrupt fraudulent behavior by better utilizing technology, big data, and predictive analysis to drive decision-making. The subcommittee also will discuss prioritized past recommendations and any new recommendations from the Anti-Dumping/Countervailing Duty (AD/CVD), Bond, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), and Forced Labor Working Groups. The Forced Labor Working Group will present recommendations on CBP’s existing forced labor allegations submission mechanisms including the e-Allegations web portal.

2. The Secure Trade Lanes Subcommittee will provide updates on the Trusted Trader Working Group’s activities specific to the CTPAT Trade Compliance program enhancements including benefits, Participating Government Agency engagement, and forced labor. The Export Modernization Working Group will provide updates and recommendations focusing on improving current export processes. The subcommittee will also report on the activities of the Remote and Autonomous Cargo Processing Working Group.

3. The Next Generation Facilitation Subcommittee will provide an update on the progress of the One U.S. Government Working Group with Partner Government Agencies regarding advancement in Trusted Trader initiatives. There will be an update on the progress of the Unified Entry Processing Working Group’s operational framework. Finally the Emerging Technologies Working Group will provide an assessment of various technologies evaluated this past quarter that could be adapted for CBP and the trade.

4. The Rapid Response Subcommittee will provide updates on the United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA) Automotive Working Group activities regarding the plans for Auto Certification Submissions and challenges/concerns post entry into force of the USMCA. The Broker Exam Modernization Working Group will discuss alternate locations for broker exams and remote proctoring exam options.

Counterfeit Designer Shoes, Handbags, & Clothes Seized by CBP in Louisville

On September 17, 2020, a CBP officer in Louisville held a shipment, manifested as women’s clothes, for inspection. The parcels was inspected to determine the admissibility of its contents in accordance with CBP regulations. When the shipment was opened designer shoes, handbags, and clothes were found inside. The items were inspected by an import specialist who determined the items were counterfeit. In all, 95 items were seized. If these items were real, the total MSRP for these would have been $193,740. The packages were coming from Vietnam and were heading to Westminster, California.

Intellectual property rights (IPR) protection is a priority trade issue for CBP. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, CBP and their partner agency Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) seized 27,599 shipments containing IPR violations with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of over $1.5 billion had the goods been genuine. Watches and jewelry represent 15 percent of all IPR seizures, and continue to top the list of all seized IPR materials.

Dulles CBP Officers Seize Nearly $3 Million in Counterfeit Consumer Goods

On September 15, 2020, CBP officers at Washington Dulles International Airport checked those boxes when they seized nearly $3 million in counterfeit consumer goods from China.

The shipment, which arrived on August 22, and destined to a drop shipper in Dallas, was manifested as “sticker storage bag.” The shipment consisted of 74 boxes that included 4,213 belts of various designer brand names, 176 Louis Vuitton handbags, 39 Gucci shirts, 37 pairs of Gucci pants, and six Louis Vuitton shirts.

CBP officers detained the shipment August 24 as suspected counterfeit goods. CBP’s Consumer Products and Mass Merchandise Center of Excellence and Expertise and the Apparel, Footwear and Textiles CEE, the agency’s trade experts, worked with trademark holders and verified that all 4,471 products were counterfeit. They appraised the products at $2,950,479 manufacturer’s suggested retail price, if authentic.

On a typical day in 2019, CBP officers seized $4.3 million worth of products with Intellectual Property Rights violations.

CBP officers and Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents seized 27,599 shipments containing counterfeit goods in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, down from 33,810 seizures in FY 2018. However, the total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the seized goods, had they been genuine, increased to over $1.5 billion from nearly $1.4 billion in FY 2018.

E- Commerce sales have contributed to large volumes of low-value packages imported into the United States. In FY 2019, there were 144 million express shipments and 463 million international mail shipments. Over 90 percent of all intellectual property seizures occur in the international mail and express environments

The People’s Republic of China (mainland China and Hong Kong) remained the primary source economy for seized counterfeit and pirated goods, accounting for 83 percent of all IPR seizures and 92 percent of the estimated MSRP value of all IPR seizures.

Rhode Island textile manufacturer forges ahead in uncertain times with Defense procurement contracts awards.

Northwest Woolen Mills, a division of The Brickle Group, has recently been awarded a string of Department of Defense contracts for textile clothing requirements for the armed forces.

The company submitted and won awards for a three-year contract for both Snow Camo Trousers and Parka for the Army expected to be worth nearly $13 million dollars. In addition, the most recent 5-year contract for Wool Berets was also awarded last month to Northwest Woolen Mills, expected to be worth over $18 million dollars.

Max Brickle, President of The Brickle Group, noted, “We’re excited to be able to continue supporting our troops and local communities and industries that will benefit from this award. Especially during these uncertain economic times that Covid19 has brought us to. This will help not only our company and employees and our Rhode Island community, but all of our subcontractors and their staff as we all weather the Covid-19 storm.” With its extensive background and global contacts in the textiles industry, Northwest Woolen Mills has also recently converted part of its business focus to sourcing and supplying PPE gear for federal, state and local government, businesses large and small, NGOs and schools around the country to fight Covid-19. It is currently waiting to hear on several federal government contracts related to hard to find USA made PPE.

The Brickle Group to which Northwest Woolen Mills belongs, is a diverse textiles manufacturing company. Its other divisions include Bouckaert Industrial Textiles, which manufactures nonwoven fabrics, and Hyman Brickle and Son which recycles fabrics and yarns and creates new textile products like the yarn that goes into every MLB baseball.

CBP Intercepts 20,000 Counterfeit N95 Masks in Boston

On Wednesday, September 2, CBP Officers targeted a suspicious shipment arriving from Hong Kong. Officers detained the shipment of 43 boxes that appeared to contain counterfeit N95 respirator masks. The boxes were brought to the International Cargo Port where specialists from CBP’s Apparel, Footwear and Textile Center of Excellence and Expertise (CEE) determined the items to be counterfeit with an appraised value of $163,200.

“Counterfeit personal protective equipment puts frontline workers and the general public’s health at risk,” said Michael Denning, Director of Field Operations for the Boston Field Office. “CBP Officers and our trade teams are trained to identify and intercept these dangerous goods before they can do harm to our communities and the American consumer.”

Certain organizations are attempting to exploit the limited supply of and increased demand for some pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment and other medical goods required to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other products, these criminals are smuggling and selling counterfeit safety equipment, unapproved COVID-19 test kits, unproven medicines and substandard hygiene products through the online marketplace.

To combat these criminal activities, CBP is targeting imports and exports that may contain counterfeit or illicit goods. The products in targeted shipments often include false or misleading claims, lack required warnings or lack proper approvals.