US Customs has named another 52 Hong Kong companies it says have been involved in transshipping or using other illegal shipping techniques. This brings the total named to 239, including companies which have been convicted of multiple violations. At an industry conference in New York last week, Customs official Janet Labuda tried to squash industry rumours that customs was circulating a so-called secret list of suspect companies and then seizing incoming shipments as they crossed US borders. 'There is no secret list,' Ms Labuda, director of international trade at the customs' Office of Strategic Trade in Washington, was quoted as saying by a Journal of Commerce report. She said the names of Hong Kong companies were being released intermittently as customs officials in Hong Kong were working through the court system to obtain the identities of offending operators. The agency claims it tries to publish the list 48 hours after receiving the information. US investigators have access to the files of Hong Kong Government agencies under a co-operation agreement which was reached between Hong Kong and US textile trade officials in September. US Customs also is trying to obtain a co-operation agreement with Macau and is similarly trying to work with officials in Taiwan and Jamaica to obtain more information about transshipments activities in those countries. Customs agents have been focusing their energies on Hong Kong and Macau over the past few years to try to stem illegal transshipments from the mainland.