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More Than 156,000 Hazardous Toys and 15,000 Counterfeit Knives Seized by CBP Baltimore

Release Date: 
February 6, 2015

BALTIMORE — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and import specialists at the Port of Baltimore seized over 156,000 hazardous toys and over 15,000 counterfeit folding knives in two different shipments during the months of September and December 2014.  The toys were found to contain hazardous substances and the knives were in violation of protected trademarks.

Working closely with U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) compliance investigators, CBP officials seized a shipment of 156,565 toys from China on September 10, 2014.  The toys were seized after CPSC determined that the toys contained lead and a regulated phthalates both in excess of the limit which may be harmful to the health and safety of children.

Baltimore U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Consumer Product Safety Commission seized a shipment of 156,565 toys with excessive lead paint September 10, 2014, that were shipped from from China.

Baltimore U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Consumer Product Safety Commission seized a shipment of 156,565 toys with excessive lead paint September 10, 2014, that were shipped from from China.

Children's products, including toys, which are designed or intended primarily for use by children 12 years of age or younger, must not contain a concentration of lead greater than 0.009 percent (90 parts per million) in paint or any similar surface coatings.  (The concentration is based on the weight in the non-volatile portion of the dried paint film.)

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) (Public Law 110-314) lowered the concentration of lead in paint that is permissible-from 0.06 percent (600 ppm)-to the new limit of 0.009 percent (90 ppm).

You can find the law in section 101 of the CPSIA and 16 CFR part 1303.

Phthalates are a group of chemicals (oily, colorless liquids) that are used, among other things, to make vinyl and other plastics soft and flexible.  CPSC regulation prohibits the sale, distribution or importation into the United States of any children’s toy or child care article that contains concentrations of more than 0.1 percent of di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), or benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP).

“This seizure reflects the level of collaboration between CBP and CPSC professionals,” said Dianna Bowman CBP Area Port Director for the Port of Baltimore. “CBP incorporates CPSC expertise directly in identifying potentially unsafe products arriving in international shipments.”

Import safety is a priority trade issue for CBP.  The agency works with CPSC as well as nearly 50 other government agencies to enforce U.S. import regulations and to stop unsafe and illicit goods from entering the country.

Working with CPSC, CBP staff inspected thousands of consumer products that were either in violation of U.S. standards or otherwise unsafe and stopped them from ever reaching store shelves. The hard work of CBP and CPSC staff in fiscal years 2010 through 2013 (10/01/09 – 9/30/13) resulted in more than 23.8 million items across thousands of different children's products being stopped at our nation's ports, due to safety concerns or the failure to meet federal safety standards.  [As reported by www.CPSC.gov]

Consumers can view the CPSC website for a complete list of products violating CPSC safety requirements.

Baltimore U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Consumer Product Safety Commission seized 15,004 knives from China on December 10, 2014 after determining that some knives violated U.S. Marine Corps and Batman trademarks.

Baltimore U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Consumer Product Safety Commission seized 15,004 knives from China on December 10, 2014 after determining that some knives violated U.S. Marine Corps and Batman trademarks.

CBP officials seized a shipment of 15,004 knives from China on December 10, 2014 after determining that some of the knives were in violation of the U.S. Marine Corps protected trademark and some were in violation of the Batman protected trademark.  The shipment of knives had a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $187,962 if genuine.“CBP officers and import specialists are trained to identify and interdict counterfeit goods, and this is a great example of how their training and expertise are employed every day in the Port of Baltimore,” said Bowman.  “These counterfeiters are not only cheating the legitimate designers and manufacturers of protected trademark merchandise, but also the public and the U.S. government.”

Violations of trade laws, including violations of intellectual property rights laws can be reported to CBP online here.

For more on CBP’s trade enforcement mission please visit CBP Trade.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017