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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 113490
Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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I wish there was an upload button here so that i could show

Customer Question

I wish there was an upload button here so that i could show you exactly what i need help on. So a shipment of mine has been seized by the local authorities (CBP), they are some automotive headlights and are not DOT compliant. The CBP has offered us 3 options; we can abandon the merchandise, we pay a penalty or we file a petition within 30 days (latest by Oct 10th). I want to know what the best option can hope for, where our main priority is the recovery of our merchandise. The total value of the shipment on paper is $3,630.
Please let me know if you require additional information.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Quite honestly, if the headlights are not DOT compliant and are in violation, it is going to cost you well more than $3600 in legal feeds and or fines to fight to get the merchandise back. In most of these cases, the most economical way, IF THE MERCHANDISE TRULY IS IN VIOLATION, is to walk away from it and not pay penalties or attorney's fees to try to appeal.
If the lights are not in violation or you dispute whether or not they are in violation and you want to fight for it, the appeal is the best option to try to prove that there truly is no violation. Other than proving there is no violation I would say most people just abandon the property.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for the quick response. I have attached a scan of the document we got if it helps, we truly want to recover the merchandise. Walking away from it is the last resort, only if recovery is simply impossible. As long as there is a way, we want to pursue it. Can we get a little descriptive on the costs involved in recovery? Because the value on paper is only 10% of the actual worth!
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Unless you can prove that the lights are compliant, you are going to lose your appeal to them, that is the issue. They will not release the property to you if the items are not compliant with US regulations as they will not release them into the US marketplace. An attorney to fight this would cost you about $2500 at the minimum and again unless you can prove they are compliant it would be throwing good money after bad.