BALTIMORE – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized 2,990 stainless steel sinks, that if authentic would have an MSRP of more than $1 million, for displaying a counterfeit UPC shield design Wednesday in Baltimore.
The shipment of sinks arrived from Malaysia and was destined to an address in Maryland. CBP examined the shipment for Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties enforcement. During that examination, CBP officers discovered the UPC shield logo.
CBP officers and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) specialists verified the authenticity of the UPC shield logo with the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, the registered trademark holder, who determined the use of the logo to be unauthorized.
CBP seized the entire shipment of sinks as counterfeit for using registered markings without trademark holder’s authorization (19 CFR 133.21).
If authentic, the stainless steel sinks would have had a manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of about $1.1 million.
“Customs and Border Protection will continue to work closely with our trade and consumer safety partners to seize counterfeit and inferior merchandise, especially those products that pose potential harm to American consumers, negatively impact legitimate business brand reputations, and potentially steal jobs from U.S. workers,” said Dianna Bowman, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Baltimore.
CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program, and has made IPR enforcement a CBP Priority Trade Issue.
CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized a record number of goods that violated Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in FY2016.
The number of IPR seizures increased 9 percent in FY2016 to more than 31,560. The total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the seized goods, had they been genuine, increased to more than $1.38 billion. As a result of CBP enforcement efforts, ICE Homeland Security Investigations agents arrested 451 individuals, obtained 304 indictments, and received 272 convictions related to intellectual property crimes in FY2016.
On a typical day in 2016, CBP officers seized $3.8 million worth of products with IPR violations.
“The theft of intellectual property and the trade in substandard and often dangerous goods threatens America’s innovation economy and consumer health and safety, and it generates proceeds that fund criminal activities and organized crime,” said Casey Owen Durst, CBP’s Field Operations Director in Baltimore, the agency’s operational commander in the Mid-Atlantic region. “Intellectual property rights enforcement is a Customs and Border Protection priority trade issue, and a mission that we take seriously.”
CBP launched the “Truth Behind Counterfeits” campaign to raise consumer awareness to the growing impacts of purchasing counterfeit and pirated goods, including health and safety concerns, the loss of American jobs, and the support of criminal activity.
If you have information about counterfeit merchandise being illegally imported into the United States, CBP encourages you to submit an anonymous report through e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System.
CBP’s Office of Field Operations
Almost a million times each day, CBP officers welcome international travelers into the U.S. In screening both foreign visitors and returning U.S. citizens, CBP uses a variety of techniques to intercept narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products, and to assure that global tourism remains safe and strong.
CBP's border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders.