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December 22, 2011 

Seasons Greetings and Happy New Year From International Trade Law News + Letter to Santa Regarding Possible Compliance Violations

Season's Greetings and Happy New Year to all of our loyal readers and clients around the world. See you in 2012. 

In the spirit of the holiday season we have reprinted below a letter to Santa regarding a number of alleged violations of import, export and other laws and regulations. 

—Doug Jacobson 

Letter to Mr. Claus from Scrooge McGrinch
By Dennis Salvey, Manager of Trade Compliance, VT iDirect Inc., Herndon VA. (reprinted with permission) 

Dear Mr. Claus:

We regret to inform you that your annual distribution of toys and gifts will not be permitted to proceed this year due to multiple Trade Compliance violations. Each of the below listed “alleged” violations are under review and until each is resolved, your enterprise is suspended from its normal course of business.

1.To begin with: the Office of Export Enforcement (OEE) has opened an investigation regarding the potentially illegal exports of toys and  gifts from the U.S. without the proper export licenses, customs declarations or documentation. The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) clearly defines an export as being the movement of goods, services, toys, gifts or technology from the U.S. to any other country by any means including reindeer powered sleds. There is no exception for Magic as your voluntary disclosure alludes to.

2.OEE is also considering placing 2 of your cohorts on the Denied Parties List. Donner and Blitzen are suspected of diverting toys and gifts into embargoed countries for the nefarious purpose of bringing joy to the world. Vixen may also be named as an accomplice. Dancer, Prancer and Comet’s alibi of being contestants on Dancing with the Stars during the time of the alleged incident is holding up for now. Incidentally, Interpol has some questions for you concerning 2 of your known alias’ Father Christmas and Kris Kringle.

3.   Incorrect application of Incoterm DDP (Delivery Duty Paid) has resulted in millions of gifts held by Customs agencies around the world as you are not a registered importer in any country in which you do business.  Although all of your customers (recipients) wanted to receive those gifts, not one of them was willing to act as the Importer of Record. The exception was little Billy Johnson of Des Moines Iowa who attempted bribing a customs official with a box of candy canes and now faces 5 years hard labor in Santa’s workshop on an FCPA charge. The total fines for storage by the respective Customs agencies are in the gazillions of dollars and must be paid before the gifts can be returned to the North Pole at your expense. Be advised that when paying fines in the currency of board games, only Monopoly and the Christmas Game currencies are acceptable.

4.   The Air Waybill’s used on your last 400 delivery episodes issued by “Fairy Land Airlines” is very questionable. It turns out that the dimensional weight versus the actual weight is impossible to calculate. In addition, the North Pole is not recognized as a valid Country of Origin.

5.   Speaking of Country of Origin, you claim that all of the material used in the making of every gift as well as all of the labor is a direct product of the North Pole. The World Customs Organization cannot verify that the materials needed to make all of these gifts could conceivably come from the North Pole. The criteria of “Grown, Produced or Manufactured in a specific country” used to determine origin is an absolute, international law does not recognize “Magic” as part of these criteria. They are also looking into unfair labor practices brought before the world court, by a group known as the International Little Brotherhood of Elves.

6.   There have been multiple complaints from parents around the world reporting high levels of lead and mercury in some toys and baby furniture prompting this panel to believe that these items are indeed made in China, not in the North Pole as you attest.

7.   The Cost of Goods value you have reported on these items is too low to have been manufactured in any other country but China. Your financial records will be subpoenaed unless you can otherwise validate the low value claim before your next distribution season. If North Pole currency, The Saint Nickel, was used in your valuation methodology, be prepared to show its value against the U.S. dollar, the Euro and the Yen at the time the determination was made as North Pole currency is not listed by any of the world’s financial markets. Example; 1 St Nickel = $1.19 USD

8.   The TSA has declared you as an “unknown shipper.”

9.    We are astonished at the number of paternity suits filing in from all over the world. These suits all start the same way; “I saw Mommy kissing Santa Clause underneath the mistletoe last night.” World courts will act with discretion in determining the validity of these claims; BUT we cannot guarantee that Mrs. Clause will not become aware of them at some point. The makers of Viagra seek your advice.

10. Immigration in all countries will deny you access because your passport expired December 24, 1611. The U.S. will require an I-129 for your brief employment within U.S. borders each year certifying that you do not require an export license for “Deemed Exports.”

11. The EPA and equivalent agencies around the world are investigating complaints of excessive reindeer emissions (droppings). The fact that some farmers welcome this will not be considered a mitigating factor when and if the case goes to court.

12. Your “naughty / nice” list has raised more than a few eyebrows. Servicing those on the nice list while refusing to do business with those on the naughty list is a direct violation of the U.S. Antiboycott rules as well as violating the discrimination laws in countries in which you do business. The Justice Department’s of the U.S., Argentina, Brazil, Hungary, Ethiopia, the entire European Union and the North and South Pole are looking into this.

13. Investigations into privacy laws have also been opened concerning the allegation that; “you see them when their sleeping and know when their awake”. However, all of these investigations will be dropped if you surrender the Intellectual Property rights to these methods to the CIA, FBI, Mussed, M5, and the KGB.

14. Finally; the red blinking light on Rudolf’s nose interferes with air traffic control and UFO sightings. The FCC, the FAA and the History Channel are investigating. You and Rudolf will be summoned to Roswell for a hearing on this issue. My advice; do not arrive at these hearings in the company sled.

Until each of the above issues is resolved you are hereby ordered to cease and desist your annual distribution or holiday cheer-spreading as you refer to it.

As an aside (not a Trade Compliance issue) the World Health Organization will be rescinding your status as a role model due to your weight and poor diet of milk and cookies at every house. This is not the type of example they expect from a person that children look up to. You will also receive a nasty note from Michelle Obama on the subject.


Scrooge McGrinch

Bah Humbug Division BIS (Big Important Stuff)


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