INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations officers working at the International Falls Port of Entry recently targeted a rail container destined to arrive in Ranier. In October, CBP officers inspected the rail container and discovered merchandise in violation of intellectual property rights (IPR) regulations.
The merchandise consisted of 355 home theater speaker systems. Examination of the speaker systems revealed counterfeit markings. As a result, CBP seized those items. The counterfeit merchandise has an aggregate manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $990,415.
“Counterfeiting adversely affects lawful rights holders of their original ideas and the ability to make a profit from them,” said Anthony Jackson, International Falls Port Director. “Counterfeiting also harms consumers because manufacturers of forged products have little motivation to use safe, high-quality materials in their products.”
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. For more information on CBP’s IPR priority trade issue visit: CBP Trade and IPR.
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 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.
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.