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Joint Statement from CBP and ICE in Support of the Second Joint Strategic Plan for Intellectual Property Enforcement

Release Date: 
June 24, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) are excited to implement the action items in the 2013 Joint Strategic Plan for Intellectual Property Enforcement, announced today. Working with the Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC), CBP and HSI have improved efforts to disrupt counterfeit networks, reduce the incidence of intellectual property offenses, and increase coordination with other countries to encourage enforcement of IPR.

Since the 2010 Joint Strategic Plan, CBP and HSI, working with other partners at the National IPR Coordination Center (IPR Center), have achieved notable successes. The HSI-led IPR Center now boasts 21 partners including foreign partners Interpol, Europol, Mexico and Canada. Coordination among these partners has streamlined operations, making better use of the government's resources while enabling federal, state and local law enforcement to more effectively work together on intellectual property issues.

CBP will continue collaborating, including through a new IPEC working group, with the private sector to identify innovative technologies to identify shipments of authentic goods without inspection. To enforce rights abroad, CBP will continue work with the State Department and the World Customs Organization to develop a Cargo Targeting System that can be integrated into systems maintained by partner foreign governments.

Since FY 2009, CBP and HSI have increased seizures of counterfeit goods by 53%, arrests of those trafficking in counterfeit by 159%, investigations of criminal organizations involved in the domestic and international manufacture, distribution and sale of counterfeit by 71% and convictions of traffickers and smugglers by 103%.

Criminal networks have used the internet to fuel explosive increases in the trafficking of counterfeit goods while increasing the fraud against American consumers and businesses. HSI and CBP are also combating this international illegal trade, which threatens international supply chain security, shutting down websites selling counterfeit products through "Operation In Our Sites." Since the program's inception in 2010 HSI, has seized 2,075 domain names and CBP has forfeited 1624 of those thus far.

CBP and HSI have increased specific IPR enforcement actions, such as the CBP-led Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) operation and the HSI coordinated Project "Bitter Pill," which in cooperation with Interpol's "Operation Pangea," targeted the sale of counterfeit pharmaceuticals worldwide. CBP will build upon APEC successes to expand enforcement efforts against counterfeit pharmaceuticals and electronic components shipped through express carriers and international mail. Additionally, CBP and French Customs recently completed "Operation Core Systems," targeting fake electronic components resulting in the seizure of 480 shipments of potentially harmful counterfeit electronic components and preventing them from entering the U.S. supply chain.

CBP is leveraging new data and technology to target suspect shipments, and working with the private sector to identify innovative technologies to identify shipments of authentic goods without inspection. HSI leads an initiative called "Operation Chain Reaction" that targets counterfeit products like circuit cards that have entered the government's supply chain. CBP and HSI continue to run enforcement actions such as "Operation Safeguard," which targets counterfeit pharmaceuticals, and to collaborate with foreign customs and law enforcement to combat transnational IP crime. These initiatives, many of which are ongoing, are key to CBP's and HSI's commitment to implementing the action items in the 2013 Joint Strategic Plan.