International News Was Made Just By Shipping A Huawei Phone Through FedEx

It’s not often that you discover a co-worker at a relative publication has made national news. Over the weekend, everyone was downright startled to see PCMag and FedEx popping up in headlines declaring the packaging company was declining to deliver Huawei products as a result of the embargo levied against that company by the Trump Administration.

 PCMag (a relative publication of ExtremeTech, also owned by Ziff Davis) attempted to ship an already-purchased Huawei P30 from the United Kingdom to the US for extra examination. The Huawei P30 is an already-released device from Huawei. The parcel arrived in the United States, went to Indianapolis, IN (a major FedEx distribution hub) and was then passed to the UK.

It is not illegal to own a Huawei product in either the United States or the United Kingdom, and it is not illegal for private citizens to ship Huawei devices to each other. The fact that US companies are prohibited from doing business with Huawei does not mean it is illegal for a shipping company to carry a Huawei phone in a box to another private person. If carrying a package in a box developed having a business relationship with a company, then FedEx would literally have a “business relationship” with every company that ever shipped a product through its service.

According to FedEx, the answer to this question is so unclear it has accused the Trump administration, alleging that the current situation “essentially deputize[s] FedEx to police the contents of the millions of packages it ships daily even though doing so is a virtually impossible task, logistically, economically, and in many cases, legally.” FedEx further claims that the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) refusals: “violate common carriers’ rights to due process under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as they unreasonably hold common carriers strictly liable for shipments that may violate the EAR without requiring evidence that the carriers had knowledge of any violations.”