If you’ve had a shipment detained or seized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), you may be wondering what to do next. It’s important to take a step back and ask yourself a few key questions before moving forward. Here are five questions that you should consider:
Did you know that the merchandise was protected wildlife?
The government does not view ignorance of the law as an excuse, so it’s important to be honest with yourself. If you have a history of importing or exporting goods made from protected wildlife, it’s likely that you knew there could be an issue. Even if you didn’t know, it may be difficult to convince the government that you had no idea, as most business owners conduct some type of due diligence to protect themselves and their business.
Do you have a buyer waiting for the merchandise?
If you do have a buyer waiting, it’s important to notify them of the delay. In most cases, there will be at least a 30-day delay before a decision is made on your shipment.
Did you obtain the necessary permits or licenses?
If you’re shipping or receiving regulated products, it’s critical to ensure that you have all the necessary permits and licenses. Make sure they are still valid and that you shipped the merchandise to the correct port.
Were there any new parties in your supply chain?
If there were any changes to your supply chain, such as a new party being added, it’s possible that something was overlooked. Make sure everything was done correctly and that the merchandise was routed to the correct port.
Do you need expert help?
The regulations around shipments of protected wildlife are complex, and it may be difficult to handle the situation on your own. Even if you think you have the time to handle it, you may not have the necessary expertise. It’s important to consider whether you can afford to lose the shipment by not getting help. Time is of the essence, as the government has 30 days to make a decision on your shipment.
If you’ve asked yourself these questions and still need help, it’s important to make a decision and take action as soon as possible. Delaying could cause further complications and may even result in losing your shipment. At the Clark-Esposito Law Firm, P.C., we have the expertise to help you navigate this complex situation.
Is FWS on your tail? Have questions? Give our office a call today at (917) 546-6997, we would be happy to speak with you.
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