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Old 06-12-2009, 12:40 AM
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Part 5

Sample Customs Letter


The following is a copy of a real letter from U.S. Customs. This is a Package Detainment Letter. Hopefully you never have the bad luck in receiving one of these and losing your products or a big sum of money. But having a sample and reading over it a couple of times, you can have some knowledge and insight on what to expect and what to do.



Sir

The records of this office indicate that you might have an interest in certain property seized by Customs at the JFK Airport on July 21, 1997. The property was seized under the provisions of title 18, United States Code section 545, title 19, United States Code, section 1595a(c) and title 21, United states code section 952 for violation of the anabolic steroids control act of 1990 (21 USC 812(c). The act requires that you have authorization from the United States Attorney General for importation of this merchandise which is considered prohibited merchandise and subject to forfeiture. The property seized is described as follows: anabolic steroids which are considered a prohibited substance and therefore contraband.

Under the provisions of title 19, United States Code section 1618, you may petition for relief from the above liability. The enclosed Notice of Seizure and Information for Claimants explains your options which regard to the remission of the forfeiture of seized property. if you do wish to petition for relief from the forfeiture, you must provide an express agreement to defer judicial or administrative forfeiture proceedings until completion's of the administrative process. Completion of the enclosed Election of Proceedings form will provide this express agreement.

All petitions should be filed, in duplicate, within thirty days of the date of this letter, at the following address: Area Director, U.S. Customs Service, Bldg. 77, JFK Airport, Jamaica, NY 11430. For further information contact Paralegal Specialist Ms. Mendolia at (718) 553-1577.

To the Party named in the Attached Letter:

You are hereby notified that the merchandise, conveyances, monetary instruments, or other property shown on the attached document were seized for violation of the Custom Laws or the other laws enforced or administered by the U.S. Customs service, as indicated on the attachment.

The facts available to the U.S. customs service indicates that you have an interest in the seized property. The purpose of this letter is to advise you of the options available to you concerning this seizure.

1. You may choose to take no action. If you take no action, The customs Service will seek to forfeit the property by administrative action in accordance with section 607, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C 1607) and section 162.45, Title 19 Code of Federal Regulations. In order to obtain forfeiture, the customs service must post a notice of seizure and intent to forfeit at the CustomHouse for three successive weeks. After that time, The government acquires full title of the seized property. The first notice will be posted on or about 10/2/97(this was handwritten the date) in building 77, fines, penalties & Forfeitures, JFK Airport, Jamaica, NY.

2. You may request the district or area director of customs to post the first notice sooner than the scheduled date which appears above.

In either case (#1 or #2 above), once the first notice is posted, and within 20 days of the posting, you may appear before the district or area director of customs and file a claim and a bond in the amount of $2,500 or 10% of the value of the claimed property(this is why I don't see why they are making a big deal about it 10% of the value of my order would be $6 ....ing dollars!!) whichever is lower, but not less than $250. If you file the claim and bond, the matter will immediately be referred to the appropriate United states attorney for the institution of judicial proceedings in Federal court to forfeit the seized property. in accordance with the section 608, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1608) and section 162.47, Title 19, code of Federal Regulations. If you wish the Government to seek judicial forfeiture proceedings but cannot afford to post the bond, you should contact the district or area director of customs. {If you are}....indigent (needy or poor) you may not have to post the bond.....[To get a waiver of the bond]...you must fully disclose your finances in a signed statement.

3. If you wish to seek administrative relief, you must, within 30 days from the date of the attached letter(unless some other period is stated in the letter), file a completed copy of the attached form waiving your right to prompt commencement of administrative forfeiture proceedings in accordance with section 609, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1609) and request administrative ,action and:

A) File a petition for administrative relief with section 618, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended ( 19 U.S.C. 1618) and section 171.11, Title 19, Code of Federal Regulations; or

B) Submit an offer in compromise to the district or area director of customs in accordance with section 617, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C 1617) and section 161.5 Title 19, Code of Federal Regulations; or

C) Unless the seized property is prohibited entry into the United States, submit an offer to pay the appraised domestic value of the seized property accompanied by payment or irrevocable letter of credit with the district or area director of customs in accordance with section 614, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C 1614) and section 162.44, Title 19, Code of Federal Regulations. If customs accepts your offer, the property will be immediately released, the security will be substituted for the seized property, and you may still petition for relief{see 3(a) above} or submit an offer in compromise [see 3(b) above].

If you complete and submit the attached waiver requesting administrative processing, together with any of the options in 3(a), (b) or (c) above, you will be requesting the customs service not to begin administrative forfeiture proceeding by posting of the notice of seizure and intent to forfeit while your petition or offer is pending administratively, or to halt proceedings if they have already commenced. However, if the matter has been refereed to the United States attorney for the institution of judicial forfeiture proceedings because a claim and bond were filed with Customs, your petition or offer will be forwarded to the United States attorney for consideration under Department of justice regulations.

If your petition or offer in not accompanied by the attached waiver, or you request immediate commencement of administrative forfeiture proceedings on that form, postings of the notice of seizure and intent to forfeit will begin promptly, unless the matter has been referred to the United States attorney because a claim and cost bond has been filed, your petition or offer will be forwarded to the United States attorney for consideration.

If you decide to file a petition for relief, an offer in compromise, or an offer to pay the value to obtain release, with the customs service, you should address it to the Commissioner of Customs and submit it in duplicate (2 copies) to the district or area director of customs at the address shown ion the attached letter.

If you follow any of the options in #3 above and you do not believe that the customs service is acting expeditiously on your request, you may notify the district or area director of customs in writing that you are withdrawing your request and the customs service will, within 14 days from receipt of your notice, begin to post the notice of seizure and intent to forfeit at the customshouse (see#1 and #2 above).

Special Notice To Multiple Claimants and Holders of Liens or Security Interest

The information available to customs indicates that another party has an ownership interest in the seized property identified on the attachment. Although you may avail yourself of the options listed above, no relief will be granted to you until after forfeiture unless your petition, offer, or request is accompanied by an agreement to hold the United States, its officers and employees harmless, and a release from the registered owner, and/or the person from whom the property was seized [ contact the district or area director of customs for details]. If you do not submit the hold harmless agreement and releases, the administrative forfeiture proceedings will proceed, unless you file a claim and a bond in the amount of $2500 or 10% of the value of the claimed property, whichever is lower, but not less than $250, in which case the matter will be referred to the United States attorney for the institution of judicial forfeiture proceedings.

Penalty Information

In addition to the seizure and forfeiture liability, a civil penalty has been or will be assessed in this matter. Details on the civil penalty are:

[ ] in the attached letter; or

[ ] being prepared and will be mailed shortly


(none of these boxes are checked this could be a good sign)

Election of Proceedings

Form AF- Post

Note: Read the attached "Notice of seizure and the information for claimants" before you fill out this form. This form must be completed and returned with your petition or offer. If you do not complete and return this form, the matter will be handled under administrative forfeiture proceedings, and a notice of seizure and intent to forfeit will be posted at the customhouse promptly, regardless of whether you file a petition or offer.

TO: District Director of Customs



I understand that property in which I have an interest has been seized for violation of the Customs laws or other laws enforced or administered by the Customs Service, under Case Number ______________.

Check one of the following choices:

[ ] I hereby request that the customs service consider my petition or offer administratively. A copy is attached. By making this request, I understand that I am waiving my right to immediate commencement of administrative forfeiture proceedings, which would begin with the posting of a notice of seizure and intent to forfeit as provided in section 162.45, customs regulations( 19 C.F.R. 162.45). I understand that I may request immediate commencement of administrative forfeiture proceedings at any time. If administrative forfeiture proceedings have already commenced, they will be halted until the petition or offer had been considered administratively.

[ ] I hereby request that the customs service commence administrative forfeiture proceedings immediately. Please begin postings of the notice of seizure and intent to forfeit immediately and consider my petition while the administrative forfeiture proceedings are pending or as soon thereafter as possible.

____________________

signature

____________________

date

Hold Harmless Release Agreement

Customs Case No:____________________________

Property: ___________________________________

Released to:___________________________________

Date of Release: ________________________________

In consideration of the release of the above listed property to the

above named party, I _______________________________,

hereby release and forever discharge the United States, its officers, agents, servants, and employees, their heirs, successors, or assigns, from any and all action, suits, proceedings, debts, dues, contracts, judgments, damages, claims, and/or demands whatsoever in law or equity which I, my heirs, successors, or assigns, ever had, now have ,or may have in the future in connection with the detention, seizure, and/or release by the United States customs service of the above listed property.

I further agree to hold and save the United States, its officers, agents, servants and employees, their heirs, successors, or assigns, harmless from any claims by any others, including costs and expenses for or on account of any and all lawsuits or claims of any character whatsoever in connection with the detention, seizure, and/or release by the United States Customs Service of the above listed property.

Name:___________________________

please print

address:__________________________


Phone:__________________________

Signature:________________________

Date:____________________________

Subscribe Before Me:

this___day of______________________19___

notary public (print name)___________________

notary public(signature)_____________________

My Commission Expires:____________________
__________________

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.. Any advice given on this board is just an opinion and not to be taken as medical advice. WCBB doesn't advocate or condone use of steroids. Check the laws in your country. WCBB just provides the platform in which to discuss such matters
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