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CBP officers in Tacoma seize shipments in violation of trade laws

Release Date: 
March 13, 2017

TACOMA, Wash. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection import specialists and officers at the Port of Tacoma seized three shipments of goods from China in February that were in violation of various laws or regulations.

Headlights seized at teh Port of Tacoma, Washington.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers
at the Port of Tacoma seized headlights in February
that violated federal government safety standards.

“CBP remains focused on enforcing the importation of counterfeit products and products that violate other regulations while facilitating the lawful importation of merchandise,” said Mark Wilkerson, director of the Area Port of Seattle. “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.”

One of the seizures included a shipment of nearly 120 pieces of furniture with a retail value of nearly $720,000 that was in violation of trademark laws. During inspection of the shipment, a CBP import specialist conferred with representatives from the trademark holders and determined the furniture infringed upon trademarks and was subject to seizure.

Another seizure included a shipment of 950 microphones and cables with a value of more than $25,000. While examining the cargo, a CBP officer discovered that the packaging the items were in said, “Made & Manufactured in the U.S.A.,” whereas the he cartons the items were shipped in had “Made in China” on the outside of them. Additionally, the invoice and packing list had the country of origin declared as China. The items were seized under 19 USC 1595A(c) for violation of 15 USC 1124 and 15 USC 1125, which is the law regarding false designation of origin.

Finally, CBP officers seized a shipment of 950 automotive head lamps with a value of nearly $80,000. The head lamps were found to be in violation of standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

CBP is responsible for enforcing nearly 500 U.S. trade laws and regulations on behalf of 47 federal agencies, facilitating legitimate trade, collecting revenue, and protecting the U.S. economy and its consumers from harmful imports and unfair trade practices.

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 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.

For more information on CBP’s Intellectual Property Rights priority trade issue visit: CBP Trade and IPR.

Last modified: 
March 13, 2017