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The Letters - Update December 21, 2008

Van55

New Member
I haven't gone back and read every post on this thread, but several of the recent ones prompt me to clarify a couple of things.

First, remember the distinction between U.S. Customs (a unit of the Department of Homeland Security) and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) (a unit of the Department of Treasury.)

Customs is responsible for enforcing laws regarding what can or cannot be imported into this country. If you are the addressee of a parcel containing contraband (such as Cuban cigars) and Customs opens the parcel for inspection, Customs will ordinarily seize the package and notify you by certified letter that you have a right to contest the seizure and claim the property. Most people who report having recieved such a letter advise that they have simply ignored it without consequence.

Customs has no authority to enforce the Trading with the Enemy Act which criminalizes (and allows "civil penalties to be imposed for) the possession or purchase of most Cuban goods. That authority belongs to OFAC. I don't know whether OFAC and Customs share information or a database, but it appears certain that OFAC's enforcement actions relating to the internet purchases of Cuba did not stem from Customs seizures but from transaction records relating to purchases that were actually delivered to the allged purchaser.

Interestingly, I am reliably advised that in mosr, if not all, cases the OFAC enforcement/warning letters were addressed to the shipping address on the packages rather than to the billing address.
 

Matthew Adam

New Member
Been a year since the last post here. I found the whole thread very infomative.

Is there any update on this, anything working differently than the last postings? I would love not to walk into a rat's nest unknowingly in ordering some CCs.
 

Smok'em

Member
Been a year since the last post here. I found the whole thread very infomative.

Is there any update on this, anything working differently than the last postings? I would love not to walk into a rat's nest unknowingly in ordering some CCs.
All has been quiet. Hopefully, this is long behind us.
 

Habana Mike

New Member
All has been quiet. Hopefully, this is long behind us.
I'd say not - very recent experience with the empty packaging, 3x5 note and follow on letter.

Had someone else inform me they were sending a gift prior to receiving this and that's not arrived after several weeks.....
 

Black Plague

New Member
You should give a little more detail, but what you're describing sounds like just a confiscation letter. That does still happen, but rarely does anything come of, except a nasty little letter and having your cigars confiscated.

The letter from OFAC that this thread describes would just arrive in your mail out of the blue and had nothing to do with whether you had an overseas package intercepted by Customs or not (the OFAC letters would inquire about you making purchases to overseas companies known to sell Cuban goods).

OFAC took some heat after (I believe it was the) New York Times printed a story lambasting them for spending all that money to go after cigar and rum consumers, rather than using those resources to track down terrorist bank accounts and financiers. Hopefully, the OFAC letters are gone for good.
 

hojadepuro

eschew obfuscation
I hope so as well. A friend of mine just got a confiscation letter from US Customs recently. We are waiting to see if any more letters follow.

Brandon
 

jayro75

Well-Known Member
I hope so as well. A friend of mine just got a confiscation letter from US Customs recently. We are waiting to see if any more letters follow.

Brandon

He'll most likely receive a letter stating he can contest the confiscation with directions on how to do so, or he can do nothing which will result in him forfeiting the goods. There is no penalty involved with this letter and his best move is to ignore it, let them keep the goods and move on. There should be no follow up from Customs after that.
 

jfields

Where did all my money go?
I hope so as well. A friend of mine just got a confiscation letter from US Customs recently. We are waiting to see if any more letters follow.

Brandon

He'll most likely receive a letter stating he can contest the confiscation with directions on how to do so, or he can do nothing which will result in him forfeiting the goods. There is no penalty involved with this letter and his best move is to ignore it, let them keep the goods and move on. There should be no follow up from Customs after that.

That was my personal experience a couple of years ago. No other letters of fines followed.

I'm sure Officer Lopez really enjoyed my cigars.
 

vortex

"A billion Eddie Barzoons jogging into the future
I hope so as well. A friend of mine just got a confiscation letter from US Customs recently. We are waiting to see if any more letters follow.

Brandon

He'll most likely receive a letter stating he can contest the confiscation with directions on how to do so, or he can do nothing which will result in him forfeiting the goods. There is no penalty involved with this letter and his best move is to ignore it, let them keep the goods and move on. There should be no follow up from Customs after that.

That was my personal experience a couple of years ago. No other letters of fines followed.

I'm sure Officer Lopez really enjoyed my cigars.
Me, too. You're friend should be OK.
 

Napa_Smokes

Well-Known Member
Is there any updated info out there on this? I've recently heard of an increase in seizures since the bomb found on a UPS plane and was curious if anyone else had heard/experienced the same or if it has just been coincidence.
 

vortex

"A billion Eddie Barzoons jogging into the future
I noticed one of the sources that had been having many sale items suddenly reduced to very few sale items AND all small vitolas.

I was immediately suspicious, bein Xmas and all.
 

elderboy02

New Member
A bunch of people have been getting seized lately. On another board I believe the count was around 15-20 so far. A buddy of mine has had some boxes missing for 4 weeks now.
 
I believe I've become victim to this. It's week 3 and nothing has arrived. Was my first in a while and this is what I get. LOL
After seeing the report on how thorough they are being looking for counterfeit items, I'm not shocked by this at all.
 

vortex

"A billion Eddie Barzoons jogging into the future
Do you think a member sale would end even more quickly than usual?

I was waffling between more RASCC and a case of J Fuego Origen. Glad I went with the latter. :p
 

NASTY

Cold Fire
Dear Ms. Karen J. Dugan-RIvera, Director of Fines, Penalties & Forfeitures, US Customs and Border Patrol,
 
Kiss my ass and shove those cigars up your twat.
 
Sincerely,
 
This guy
 

tone-ny

I smoke therefore I am!
 
Dear Ms. Karen J. Dugan-RIvera, Director of Fines, Penalties & Forfeitures, US Customs and Border Patrol,
 
Kiss my ass and shove those cigars up your twat.
 
Sincerely,
 
This guy
Well that's a word I hadn't heard in a while, you forgot to say sideways!
 

grateful1

Oh My!
tone-ny said:
Dear Ms. Karen J. Dugan-RIvera, Director of Fines, Penalties & Forfeitures, US Customs and Border Patrol,
 
Kiss my ass and shove those cigars up your twat.
 
Sincerely,
 
This guy
Well that's a word I hadn't heard in a while, you forgot to say sideways!
 
 
You've heard 'kiss my ass' recently, eh!?
 
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