INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations officers working at the International Falls Port of Entry (POE) recently targeted a rail container destined for the Ranier POE. In early August, CBP officers inspected the container and discovered merchandise that violated multiple laws and regulations. The merchandise consisted of 36,000 toy airplanes. Examination of the merchandise led officers to further investigate licenses and trademarks required. Upon discussion with the trademark holders, it was determined that neither the importer, nor the manufacturer were licensed to display trademarks or manufacture the merchandise in question. As a result, CBP seized those items. The counterfeit merchandise had an aggregate manufacturer’s suggested retail price of more than $575,000.
“CBP remains focused on enforcing the importation of counterfeit products while facilitating the lawful importation of merchandise,” said Anthony “Tony” Jackson, the port director in International Falls.
Stopping the flow of illicit goods is a priority trade issue for CBP. The importation of counterfeit merchandise can damage the U.S. economy and threaten the health and safety of the American people. For more information on CBP’s Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) priority trade issue visit: CBP Trade and IPR.
With the growth of foreign trade, unscrupulous companies have profited billions of dollars from the sale of counterfeit and pirated goods. To combat the illicit trade of merchandise violating laws relating to IPR, trademark and copyright holders may register with CBP through an online system. Such registration assists CBP officers and import specialists in identifying merchandise that violate U.S. law.
CBP’s IPR enforcement strategy is multi-layered and includes seizing illegal merchandise at our borders, pushing the border “outward” through audits of suspect importers, cooperating with our international trading partners, and collaborating with industry and governmental agencies to enhance these efforts.