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CBP Stops Millions in Unsafe Counterfeits

Release Date: 
July 20, 2016

Operation Silver Snake sets San Juan IPR seizure record

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) San Juan Field Operations announced today that approximately 268 seizures where made of counterfeit products, valued at $2.4 million, which were illegally imported into Puerto Rico via international mail.  This is a record number of counterfeits seized by CBP in Puerto Rico during a single week.

A wide range of counterfeited products were seized during the week long enforcement effort, called Operation Silver Snake, to include: consumer products, apparel, footwear, textiles, pharmaceuticals, and more. 

International Mail packages are inspected by CBP to verify compliance with US laws
International Mail packages are inspected
by CBP to verify compliance with US laws

This is the second iteration of a week-long operation carried out in San Juan this year by the Mobile Intellectual Property Enforcement Team (MIPET), with the support of CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEEs), IPR-National Targeting & Analysis Group (NTAG), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).

“Our dedicated CBP officers, Import Specialist, International Trade Specialists and Seized Property Specialists were key ingredients to this successful enforcement effort to protect the U.S. economy and consumers from counterfeit products,” said Edward Ryan, Assistant Director of Trade for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. “We are looking forward to conducting follow-up operations with our partners to further protect legitimate businesses and consumers from intellectual property thieves.” said Ryan.

Various international mail packages inspected by CBP officers at the San Juan International Mail Branch revealed products that infringed intellectual property rights.  The products were shipped from vendors in China.

CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive IPR enforcement program.  CBP targets and seizes imports of counterfeit and pirated goods, and enforces exclusion orders on patent-infringing and other IPR goods.

CBO Officers label counterfeit products seized during the operation.
CBP Officers label counterfeit products
seized during the operation.

To effectively enforce intellectual property rights, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) relies heavily on the cooperation of the owners of these rights. If your intellectual property is registered with the Patent and Trademark Office, the Copyright Office or the subject of a United States International Trade Commission exclusion order, you will want to inform CBP.

If you have information about counterfeit merchandise being illegally imported into the United States, CBP encourages you to submit an E-Allegation.  The e-Allegation provides a means for the public to anonymously report to CBP any suspected violations of trade laws or regulations related to the importation of goods into the U.S. 

These types of violations include misclassification of merchandise, false country of origin markings, health and safety issues, valuation issues, and intellectual property rights.  To submit your trade allegation, please visit E-Allegation.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017