Becerra Law, P.A. gets Auto Parts Importer's Parts Back from U.S. Customs After Seizure in Jacksonville

Becerra Law filed Complaint for Return of Property in Federal Court
Robert J. Becerra, B.C.S.
Robert J. Becerra, B.C.S.
MIAMI - June 27, 2017 - PRLog -- In mid-2016, AMG Trade & Distribution LLC ("AMG") of Pompano Beach, Florida had a full container load of approximately 10,800 genuine Nissan auto parts seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") upon importation at the Port of Jacksonville, Florida. AMG filed a claim and cost bond in order to have CBP immediately commence judicial forfeiture proceedings in order to challenge the seizure, which CBP based on the auto parts allegedly being counterfeit. AMG knew the parts were genuine, as it had purchased them from an authorized Nissan distributor in the nation of Oman. CBP apparently seized the "grey market" parts believing that they were not genuine, and because of the trademark holder's representation that they were counterfeit. AMG knew the parts were genuine "grey market" Nissan parts, acquired at a lower price from the Nissan Omani distributor. Grey market items are genuine items which generally can be legally sold in the United States.

However, instead of immediately commencing judicial forfeiture proceedings, CBP sat on the seizure for six months without taking any action, all the while depriving AMG of its genuine auto parts, for which AMG had already paid the Omani distributor. At wit's end, AMG hired Robert J. Becerra of Becerra Law P.A. in January 2017 to assist its Customs counsel to get the parts back from the Government.

Becerra Law filed a Complaint for Return of Property on behalf of AMG in federal court against CBP and the federal government, stating, among other things, that the deprivation of AMG's property was unconstitutional in that it deprived AMG of its property without due process of law. This strategy was vindicated, as the federal government settled with AMG, prior to even filing a response to AMG's lawsuit, returning each and every seized part back to AMG by May 2017. In return, AMG agreed to dismiss its lawsuit. AMG believes this was a just result, since the parts were not counterfeit, but genuine Nissan parts. AMG is of the opinion manufacturers do not want their genuine parts distributed through "grey market" channels and therefore may cause CBP to seize them based on vague claims that the parts are counterfeit.

The case was styled, AMG Trade & Distribution LLC v. United States, et al., Case No. 8:17-cv-80-T-30-AAS, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Robert J. Becerra of Becerra Law, P.A. is a Florida Bar Board Certified Expert in International Law. His practice includes civil and criminal litigation involving international trade, representing exporters, importers and logistics providers in international trade disputes and actions involving governmental entities.

Becerra Law, P.A.'s website can be found at

Robert J. Becerra

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Tags:International Trade, Auto Parts, Customs, Imports
Industry:Accounting, Automotive, Legal
Location:Miami - Florida - United States
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