Customs and Border Protection accused of wrongly blocking trimmer components

A Canadian manufacturing company that makes agricultural equipment for the marijuana and hemp industries is accusing U.S. Customs and Border Protection of wrongly blocking imports needed by its Washington state subsidiary to build a hemp-trimming machine.

Keirton USA says that Customs agents seized last month in Blaine, Washington, calling the equipment “drug paraphernalia.” The seizure took components the company needed to make vacuums and trimmers.

The company says its Washington state location imports components from Canada, China, Taiwan and Japan.

Keirton filed suit Tuesday, seeking the return of its equipment, plus a court order requiring Customs to allow Keirton’s shipments.

“Keirton has taken appropriate steps to ensure that its merchandise is used only for lawful purposes,” the company said in its lawsuit.

Keirton USA also sued Customs last year, resulting in a settlement. Keirton says the agency broke that agreement in continuing to seize imports.

Keirton is based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Its subsidiary Keirton USA is based in Ferndale, Washington.

Law360 first reported the Keirton lawsuit.