Puerto Rico seizes counterfeit goods and currency.

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Counterfeit Nike shoe, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP Officers and Import Specialist seized over 130 shipments of counterfeit goods in January – including stacks of counterfeit currency.

As usual, the counterfeit goods included watches, jewelry, bags, clothing and sunglasses featuring brands such as Nike, Pandora, LV, Gucci, D&G, Rolex, Adidas and Cartier. If authentic, the total value of the entire seized shipments is $4.2 million. An image of the seized counterfeit Nike shoes is pictured above.

The currency seizure involved a  mail package from China labeled as “cards”, but upon inspection, CBP officers found the package contained counterfeit $100 bills.

If you are an importer and have had your shipments seized, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Trump administration focusing on stopping online sale of counterfeit goods.

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Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

According to a report released by the Department of Homeland Security last week, the Trump administration is taking “immediate action” against the sale of counterfeit goods by fining and issuing other penalties to online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon.

Click here for the full report of the “Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods – Report to the President of the United States“.

Other parts of the plan include suspending repeat offenders, issuing civil fines and penalties and investigating and prosecuting intellectual property violations throughout the supply chain. While the goal of the new plan was in the report, details of actual new measures to be taken were not.

The recently issued report is a result of President Trump’s call to action for the Department of Homeland Security to look at slowing the sale of counterfeit goods on third-party websites like eBay and Amazon.

Last year, the US government seized over 28,000 shipments containing counterfeit goods valued at about $1.5 billion dollars.

If you were the importer of record and received a seizure notice for importing goods that were determined to be counterfeit by Customs – contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Counterfeit Goods Seizure Act of 2019.

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Photo by Florian Köppen on Pexels.com

In early December 2019, the Counterfeit Goods Seizure Act of 2019 was introduced in the U.S. Senate to allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to enforce design patents at the border.

Currently, Customs has the power to enforce only copyrights and trademarks that have been previously recorded with Customs under Section 1595a(c)(2)(C) of Title 19 of the U.S. Code.

The new bill amends amending 19 U.S.C. § 1595a(c)(2)(C) to allow Customs discretionary power to seize and detain imported goods that infringe upon a recorded U.S. design patent.

The reason for this bill is because counterfeiters are capable of producing nearly 1 to 1 replicas of goods that avoid seizure by Customs because the counterfeit goods do not include the infringing trademark.

For example, in 2018, counterfeiters imported over $70 million in fake Nike shoes similar to the Air Jordan line and avoided customs by not including the trademarked logos – not surprisingly, Nike is one prominent supporter of the new bill.

If the bill passes, future counterfeit Air Jordan shoes omitting any trademarked labels would be subject to seizure as Customs would now be able to enforce design patents.

If you have had a seizure for suspected violations of intellectual property or trademarks, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP seizes $90,000 in counterfeit goods from Hong Kong.

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Image of seized goods. Source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, officers seized two shipments of counterfeit products arriving at Pittsburgh International Airport.

The first shipment’s manifest indicated the package contained men’s casual shoes. Upon inspection, CBP found a Rolex watch, LV bracelet, Christian Loubouton shoes, par of Amiri jeans, Gucci jacket and a LV sweatshirt. If authentic, the merchandise would have a manufacturer suggested retail price of $90,798.

In the second shipment, the packing list indicated phones cases – but instead contained designer brand charms and jewelry.

As is the case in most counterfeit seizures, poor quality of items and lack of authentic packaging were common indications of counterfeit merchandise.

CEE?
In all counterfeit seizure cases, CBP typically sends the counterfeited items to the Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Centers for Excellence and Expertise (CEE for short). The CEE center is sort of a misnomer, as the CEE offices are located throughout the US and not in a centralized location. The CEE center then verifies the authenticity of the goods with the trademark holders. In all cases, the trademark holder will claim the seized goods are counterfeit.

So what happens after a seizure?
The importer of record (person who will receive the package) will receive a seizure notice by certified mail, return receipt requested. The importer of recorder can then either abandon the items, file a petition, offer in compromise or refer to court action.

If you have had a shipment seized by Customs for alleged counterfeit violations or if you have received a notice of seizure, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Customs agents in Puerto Rico seize counterfeit goods valued over $5.3 million.

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Images of seized goods in Puerto Rico, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, agents in Puerto Rico seized over 289 shipments of counterfeit goods destined for addresses in Puerto Rico.

A composite photo of a sampling of seized goods include counterfeit LV, Gucci, Apple and Supreme. If authentic, Customs valued the shipments of seized goods totaling over $5.3 million. Other seized goods include watches, jewelry, bags, clothing and sunglasses featuring brands such as Hublot, Pandora, Nike, and Rolex.

If you or someone you know has received a notice of seizure for counterfeit goods, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP seizes counterfeit Louis Vuitton handbags.

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Image of seized handbags, source: CBP.gov

As reported by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), officers in Philadelphia seized 37 counterfeit LV handbags from Hong Kong with a suggested retail proce of $130,610 if authentic. 

According to the media release, the box contents were described as “Lady Bag Sample.” Upon inspection by CBP and with the CEE for Consumer Products and Mass Merchandise Center and the trademark holder – determined the bags were counterfeit.

If you receive a seizure notice for violation of trademarks or other intellectual property, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com – there are somethings you can do to protect yourself from potential civil and criminal penalties – but you need to take action within a certain time limit. For immediate assistance, call/text 832-896-6288.

Trump Administration may place overseas Amazon.com websites on the counterfeit goods list.

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Photo by Fabian Hurnaus on Pexels.com

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Trump Administration may place several of Amazon.com’s international websites on the “Notorious Markets” list.

The “Notorious Markets” list is an annual publication by the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) Office of global marketplaces known to sell counterfeit goods.

In response, Amazon claims they “strictly prohibit” counterfeit products on their online platforms and take many efforts to prevent customers from buying counterfeit goods.

In the past, the Notorious Markets list has included Taobao (China’s largest e-commerce platform owned by the Alibaba Group).

Currently, the USTR has been asked by the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) to include domains owned and operated by Amazon on the list.

If you have any questions about the Notorious Markets List, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Counterfeit Juul pods seized by CBP.

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– Image of counterfeit Juul pods, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection media release, CBP officers at the port of St. Louis seized 2,379 counterfeit Juul pods. The counterfeit Juul pods were shipped from Hong Kong to an address in Missouri. If authentic, the approximate value of the seized pods were approximately $38,040.

Due to the recent media attention of vaping deaths, the United States Food and Drug Administration (and through CBP) is very concerned about harmful products that may cause illnesses and death to people who vape.

One other giveaway is the importation of Juul pods, as Juul pods are produced in the US according to US government standards.

If you have had your goods seized, and want to discuss your options. Contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by cell/phone at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP seizes 20,000 counterfeit Oral-B brush heads from China.

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Image of seized counterfeit brush heads, source: CBP.gov

According to a  U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized 20,400 counterfeit Oral-B toothbrush. CBP officers noticed the poor packaging and lack of quality control while branded with the Oral-B brand name.

As is the case with all suspected counterfeit goods, the CBP Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Centers for Excellence and Expertise verified with Oral-B the goods were not authentic. Customs estimated if authentic, the seized goods have an MSRP of $95,600.

CBP claims the counterfeit goods “pose a serious health threat to consumers, as do all counterfeit healthcare products. Counterfeit brush heads are manufactured in unsanitary facilities with substandard materials that may sicken users or cause bleeding to a user’s gums or mouth, and structural defects may cause the brush head to detach and potentially choke users.”

This is one of the few instances where I believe the counterfeit goods should be avoided – definitely not worth buying the counterfeit goods as they risk harm to your dental health.

If you are caught importing counterfeit goods, you may be hit with a civil penalty at a later date – contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu immediately for help – 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Louisville CBP seizes over $95 million in counterfeit goods over 3 month period.

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Image of seized counterfeit watches, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection media release,  CBP officers in Louisville, Kentucky seized 164 shipments containing counterfeit goods with an estimated MSRP of $95 million. This figure represents an increase of 75% over the same period last year.

The seized items include counterfeit designer bags, jewelry, shoes, sunglasses and more. While CBP handles the seizures, CBP officers work along with the CBP Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Centeres for Excellence and Expertise (CEE) to verify authenticity of trademarks. As a side note, I have never had a trademark holder agree that the goods were not counterfeit – I don’t believe any trademark holder will agree their goods are authentic.

The rest of the media release talks about why buying counterfeit goods are bad (poor quality control, maybe contains hazardous materials, funds criminal activity, etc.).

If you have had your good seized, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com. There may be something we can do to get your seized goods back.