CBP and Otter Products form partnership to prevent importation of counterfeit phone cases.

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On June 27th, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced a partnership with Otter Products, makers of the OtterBox and Lifeproof brand phone cases. OtterBox will provide phone cases to CBP under the “Donations Acceptance Program” (DAP) previously discussed on my blog here.

The donated cell phone cases will be for CBP’s use in verifying and comparing the authenticity of suspected counterfeit items.

The Donations Acceptance Program allows CBP to accept donations of real and personal property, money and non-personal services from the public and private sector entities in support of CBP operations. Authorized uses for donations include entry construction, alterations, operations and maintenance activities. More information can be found at: www.CBP.gov/DAP.

Not sure why someone would want to purchase OtterBox or OtterBox counterfeits – other cell phone case brands such as “Spigen”, “Caseology” and “Sup Case” make highly rated cases that are sold on Amazon and offer the same protection as an Otterbox.

What is the Customs and Border Protection “Donations Acceptance Program”?

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Short answer – a change to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 allowed CBP and the US General Services Administration to accept real and personal property, money and non-personal services from the private and public sectors. Accepted donations may be used for port of entry construction, alternations, operations and maintenance activities.

According to a February 15, 2018 Customs media release, Proctor and Gamble (P&G) will donate testing devices to CBP officers and trade specialists to assist in determining the legitimacy of the P&G product in an attempt to reduce counterfeit goods entering the US marketplace.

The media release did not specify the type of testing device; however, the testing devices may be related to a 2014 patent filed by P&G for a chemical test kit to test for the presence of active components and qualities of the product that may be missing from counterfeits.

The DAP from P&G may be related to last year’s counterfeit Tide laundry detergent being sold in Austin, Texas at a price far below retail value. The low cost of the product and packaging written in Vietnamese may have been indications of the counterfeit nature of the Tide detergent.

If your imported P&G products have been seized by Customs, contact your experienced customs seizure attorney, David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.