U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a statement warning Internet users of their liabilities when purchasing certain goods from overseas suppliers. More often, we are hearing of items (potentially used for shoplifting) being seized, such as the detacher hook or magnetic pocket detachers.
On its website, U.S. Customs and Border Protection states;
“When goods move from any foreign country to the United States, they are being IMPORTED. There are specific rules and regulations that govern the act of importing – and they can be extremely complex and confusing – and costly.”
Using very clear and an increasingly authoritarian tone, they go on to state;
“When you buy goods from foreign sources, you become the importer. And it is the importer – in this case, YOU – who is responsible for assuring that the goods comply with a variety of both state and federal government import regulations.”
Two of the most important points that our readers should be concerned about are:
- Can the goods be legally imported?
- Can you trust the seller to provide accurate information about the item being shipped in the Customs section of the shipping documents?
So, if you’re not a shopkeeper, and you shouldn’t be in possession of these items, then you certainly should not be importing them. We advised our readers in a post on August 12, 2012, to avoid the issue altogether by purchasing from reputable USA based sellers. By doing so you avoid any permit issues and will not have your shipment scrutinised by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent who has the power to seize your goods and notify any relevant authority.