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Mislabeling of Bamboo Products Leads to Fines
December 19, 2015

The Federal Trade Commission has announced proposed court orders imposing $1.3 million in penalties against four retailers.  The fines are due to a settlement based on wrongly labeling bamboo materials.    The complaints allege that the four importers broke the law by continuing to misrepresent products of bamboo, despite the warning letters from the FTC in 2010.  In 2013, several other importers settled a combined $1.26 million to settle similar FTC claims.  

Jessica Rich, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, is quoted saying the following on the matter:

"It's misleading to call bamboo that has been chemically processed into rayon simply 'bamboo'. With consumers in the midst of their holiday shopping, it's important for them to know that textiles marketed as environmentally friendly alternatives may not be as 'green' as they were led to believe."

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President Biden announced on April 12th his intent to nominate Chris Magnus, who has served as police chief of Tucson, Ariz., since January 2016, as commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

According to a White House press release, Magnus rose through the ranks of the Lansing, Mich., police department and has also served as police chief in the cities of Fargo, N.D., and Richmond, Calif. “In each of these cities,” the press release said, “Magnus developed a reputation as a progressive police leader who focused on relationship-building between the police and community, implementing evidence-based best practices, promoting reform, and insisting on police accountability.” The White House also cited Magnus’ “extensive experience in addressing immigration issues” during his time in Tucson near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Enforcement of the prohibition of importation of goods mined, produced, or manufactured by forced labor is on the rise. CBP has published a webpage that contains withhold release orders issued by the Commissioner and findings published in the Federal Register. CBP does not generally publicize specific detentions, re-exportations, exclusions, or seizures of the subject merchandise that may have resulted from the withhold release orders or findings.

On April 29, 2021, Kevin J. Kurland, Acting Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, announced an administrative settlement of $3,290,000 with SAP SE (SAP), a multinational software company based in Walldorf, Germany. SAP also agreed to complete three audits of its export compliance program over a three-year period. SAP voluntarily self-disclosed potential violations of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to BIS and cooperated with the investigation conducted by the Boston Field Office of BIS’s Office of Export Enforcement.

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