Otay Mesa, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and import specialists at the Otay Mesa cargo port of entry identified and seized 13,843 counterfeit toys that violated intellectual property rights in the months leading up to the December holiday season.
Beginning with a shipment during the last week of October, and ending with a shipment stopped at the beginning of December, import specialists identified 5,472 counterfeit Barbie dolls, 24 counterfeit Cinderella dolls, 12 counterfeit Bratz dolls, 4,692 counterfeit Barbie medical playsets, 1,600 counterfeit hand-held Tetris electronic games, 36 counterfeit Lego blocks sets, 20 Chargers Bolt masks, 10 Superman mask/cape combinations, nine Spiderman mask/cape combinations, 816 toy cell phones with counterfeit Barbie, Mickey Mouse, and Winnie the Pooh images, and 1,152 counterfeit Disney's 101 Dalmatians toy dogs.
Together, the toys had an estimated domestic value of about $26,700, the value of the toy to the company, and a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $198,000, the approximate price of what the toys would sell for to consumers in the United States.
The toys arrived on nine different shipments from various companies. Most of the shipments were exports, heading into Mexico. However, the shipment containing the counterfeit Chargers Bolt masks and Superman and Spiderman mask/cape combinations were imports, destined for markets in the United States before they were stopped at the border.
In each instance, CBP officers discovered the potentially counterfeit merchandise, and turned samples over to CBP import specialists for review. In each case, the import specialist determined that the toys were counterfeit, violating existing copyrights and trademarks. The import specialist also determined that the toys were of poor quality, and lacked any of the required licensing information.
CBP seized all of the counterfeit toys.
An important part of the CBP mission remains the facilitation of legitimate trade. In addition to its own regulations, CBP enforces more than 400 laws on behalf of more than 40 other U.S. government agencies. A large number of these import restrictions and requirements are designed to protect the American people from dangerous and illegal goods, and protect the U.S. economy, which is based on the premises of fair trade.
CBP has designated intellectual property rights enforcement as a priority trade issue. The strategic approach to IPR enforcement 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 partnering with industry and other government agencies to enhance these efforts.