Portal, N.D. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers recently targeted a rail container at the port of Portal, North Dakota. On November 16, CBP officers inspected the container and discovered headphones, manufactured in China, bearing the trademark “Beats.” CBP determined that the trademark was counterfeit, and seized 24,660 items with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $10,776,420.
“Our CBP officers are working diligently at our ports of entry to protect businesses and consumers every day by combating the trade in counterfeit and pirated goods,” said Barbara Hassler, CBP assistant port director for Trade. “These seizures represent the commitment by CBP to protect the American consumer from receiving fraudulent, inferior and in many cases potentially dangerous products.”
CBP is a key player in the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR). 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 IPR trade, trademark and copyright holders may register with CBP through an online system that assists CBP officers and import specialists to identify fake merchandise.
CBP’s IPR enforcement strategy is multi-layered and includes seizing fake goods at our borders, pushing the border outward through audits of infringing importers and cooperation with our international trading partners, and collaborating with industry and other government agencies to enhance these efforts.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.