PORTAL, N.D. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers recently targeted a rail container at the port of Portal, North Dakota. In February 2014, CBP officers inspected the rail container and discovered merchandise that violated multiple laws and regulations. The merchandise consisted of approximately 300 counterfeit Wii remote controllers, 400 counterfeit USB converters and 200 small motorcycle engines that were not certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
CBP determined that the trademark was counterfeit on the Wii remote controllers and USB converters. As a result, CBP seized those items. The counterfeit merchandise had a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $20,800. In addition, CBP seized the small engines that were found not to be certified, as required by the EPA. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the engines was $16,400.
“CBP continues to play a key role in Intellectual Property Rights enforcement,” said Brent Beeter, the Port Director in Portal. “CBP continues to stay focused on combating the illegitimate trade in counterfeit products."
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.
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 intellectual property rights (IPR), trademark and copyright holders may register with CBP through an online system. Such registration assists CBP officers and import specialists in identifying violative merchandise.
CBP’s IPR enforcement strategy is multi-layered and includes seizing violative 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.