Import and Export Violations

Customs regulations are in effect to regulate the import of goods into the country and taxes on import and export violations in Miami, imports also being known as "duties." The stated aim of U.S. customs laws is to protect the economy, people, employment, and environment by regulating the movement of products into and out of the country (such as preventing foreign pests, plants, or diseases from coming into the country); The United States Customs and Border Patrol Protection Agency (CBP) is enforcing customs duties on goods entering the country. Usually, the customs duty is imposed upon importation.

All who violate import and export laws may be punished with both criminal and civil sanctions. In addition to smuggling, there are other big types of crimes that come under customs violations including false statements, violations of exports, and violations of imports.

False statements may occur when an individual returns to the US or first enters. They must declare the value of any merchandise they bring in from abroad. You may infringe the law by misrepresenting the value of the goods, completely omitting them from the declaration form, or making false representations. Failing to report currency worth $10,000 or more upon leaving or entering the country may also lead to criminal charges.

Export violations occur when an individual does not obtain an export license for goods before the products are exported out of the country. It can also happen when an individual or company exports controlled goods to a restricted community or region, such as exporting money to a known group of terrorists.

Violations of imports include attempts to hide the source, origin, value, or quality of the goods in order to avoid import duties. Individuals that infringe import duties when, for example, they bring in foreign-made textiles, tobacco, and food products without paying customs duties by claiming the goods do not reach the U.S. for use.

Smuggling is a crime that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by a federal prosecutor in order to be found guilty. The following items need to be proved in order to be charged:

  • The defendant intentionally smuggled the goods into the United States without allowing the goods to be invoiced
  • The defendant was aware that the merchandise was of a declared type
  • The defendant demonstrated willful intent to defraud the United States.

A multitude of United States government agencies and departments will investigate import and export crimes. In addition to U.S. Customs and Border Control and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, investigating and prosecuting such crimes may include the Department of Justice, the offices of U.S. attorneys, the Treasury Department, and the FBI, to name a few. Often, different agencies will work together as part of task forces and programs to track, prevent, and prosecute violations of imports and exports.

Crimes involving import and export violations are typically prosecuted as felonies based on federal criminal laws. If you are found to be guilty of smuggling, for example, you may face time in prison, fines, or both. Import and export law is very complex and includes a multitude of government departments, offices, and organizations. These crimes may also be brought along with or in place of other related offenses such as breaking and entering a carrier facility (i.e.: a vehicle carrying foreign shipments), the illegal exportation of munitions, and even fraud.

If you or someone you know has been charged with criminal Import and Export violations, it's imperative that you contact us immediately. These federal charges can carry significant prison terms and enormous financial penalties. Additionally, these types of offenses are typically charged along with other criminal offenses.

The general information provided above about import and export violations in Fort Lauderdale is meant for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for speaking directly with an attorney about the facts and circumstances of your case. Please call 954-500-0003 in Broward or 305-674-0003 in Miami to schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of Mark Eiglarsh.

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