Are Huawei Phones Now Banned From the Mail?

Ann Santiago
June 26, 2019

Smith said the new government regulations create an "impossible burden" on FedEx and common carriers to know the origin and technological makeup of the contents of all the shipments that companies handle each day and whether they comply with the EAR.

FedEx has filed a lawsuit against the USA government arguing that it should not be made to enforce export bans.

China's foreign ministry said on Monday that FedEx should offer a proper explanation.

The department in May added Huawei and its affiliates to an "entity list", a move that under Export Administration Regulations (EAR) barred United States companies from supplying the Chinese company with parts such as electronic chips or providing other technologies without USA government approval.

"The package in question was mistakenly returned to the shipper and we apologize for this operational error", a company spokesperson said in a statement.

The legal move comes after a phone, produced by Huawei of China, was sent to the U.S. and then returned to its sender in Britain, in what FedEx said was an "operational error". However, it turns out the executive order was misinterpreted by whichever customs agent handled the parcel. Smith said in a television interview that the US Department of Commerce is increasingly restricting exports, which has brought FedEx an "unbearable burden".

Neither FedEx or Parcelforce has issued an official comment/response to this incident, but should that happen, we'll update this article accordingly.

In response to a Reuters inquiry, FedEx on Sunday said it "can accept and transport all Huawei products except for any shipments to listed Huawei entities on the U.S. Entity List". It also lands in the wake of FedEx's misdelivery of two Huawei shipments, an incident that underscored the business risks facing FedEx and other logistics companies if the trade conflict escalates. However, FedEx says, most of its packages are sealed before shipment.

Smith expressed the hope that the United States can get along with a solution and not let FedEx become the police of import and export control.

A FedEx customer service agent told PCMag the same thing when being asked for more information on why the phone was returned to London.

A U.S. Commerce Department spokesman responded that, "We have not yet reviewed the complaint, but nevertheless look forward to defending Commerce's role in protecting U.S. national security". But FedEx has become embroiled in the dispute between the USA and China over trade and Huawei, and China is reportedly investigating FedEx over misdelivered Huawei packages.

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