72,000 counterfeit vaping pods seized.

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Photo by Wildan Zainul Faki on Pexels.com

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protections (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized over 72,000 counterfeit disposable flavored pods from Hong Kong mimicking the “Pop” brand Blue Razz Disposable Vaping Devices. If authentic, the value of the pod packets would be valued over $1.1 million.

No surprise on this seizure of vaping pods given the prior deaths of young individuals from vaping. The FDA is working to lower the number of illnesses and deaths related to vaping and no surprise Customs would seize these goods. CBP and FDA believe counterfeit pod vaping ingredients may not meet the stringent regulations set by the US FDA, resulting in a further increase in illnesses and death.

If you have had your good seized by Customs and you have received a seizure notice, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu to discuss your options. Contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Second shipment of prohibited coronavirus test kits seized.

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Images of seized test kits, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release on Thursday, CBP officers at O’Hare International Airport, International Mail Facility (IMF) seized packages containing medical drug kits from the United Kingdom. These test kits were to test for viruses and diseases such as meningitis, IVF, MRSA, apple, salmonella and COVID-19.

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) prohibits the importation or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce, or the causing thereof, of any food, drug, device, tobacco product, or cosmetic that is adulterated or misbranded.

CBP says coronavirus testing should occur in laboratories and the public should be aware of counterfeit home testing kits sold online.

If you have had your good seized by CBP, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Corona virus related counterfeit seizure?

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Pallets of counterfeit cleaning products, source: CBP.gov

According to a CBP media release, CBP officers working at the Bridge of the Americas in El Paso inspected a large shipment of cleaning supplies from Mexico in early March. Upon inspection, CBP officers noticed the cleaning supplies lacked appropriate safety seals. The officers opened the bottles and noticed products labeled containing bleach did not have a bleach scent. After testing of the other products, CBP found almost all the other cleaners contained only water instead of the contents specified on the label.

According to the media release, the shipment contained Clorox Bleach, Pinol Cleaner, Fabuloso Cleaner, Clorox Cleaner and Adorable brand toilet paper. The entire shipment was seized and pending investigation from Customs. The products were likely tampered with and filled with water instead of any actual cleaning chemicals.

I’ve only been practicing law for about 12 years, but this is the first time I’ve seen a seizure with someone going through a lot of work to counterfeit cleaning products. I suspect the shipment was for sale to those looking to disinfect due to the ongoing corona virus pandemic facing the US.

Counterfeit designer bags seized from Turkey.

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Image of seized purses, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers in Philadelphia seized a shipment of 32 counterfeit designer brand purses from Turkey. If authentic, the handbags would have a retail price of $113,683.

This is the second significant shipment of designer brand handbags that CBP officers recently seized in Philadelphia, following the $317,080 in counterfeit designer brand products officers seized February 24.

According to the media release, CBP suspected the goods were counterfeit because of the poor quality and packaging.

What happens next?
The importer of record in Atlanta will receive a seizure notice (Notice of Seizure). The IOR can then petition for release, refer to court, abandon the goods or offer in compromise.

If you have been suspected of importing counterfeit goods, don’t risk the civil penalty by Customs, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP seizes $850k in counterfeit goods.

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Counterfeit “Gucci” wallet, source: cbp.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, overnight CBP officers in Kentucky seized six packages containing goods that violated Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) violations. In other words, the DHL hub for air shipments from China contained a lot of fake goods.

According to the media release, CBP officers found fake Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Pokemon toys and Rolex watches. If authentic, the value of the goods totaled approximately $859,010.

If you have had your shipment seized for suspicion of counterfeit goods, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP seizes $317k in counterfeit goods.

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) press release, CBP officers counterfeit consumer goods near the Philadelphia International Airport. If authentic, the merchandise would have had a manufacturer suggested retail price of $317,080.

The shipment from Turkey was shipped to an address to Delaware County, PA and contained wallets, sneakers, shoes, handbags, hats and belts with designer labels from brands such as: Burberry, Channel, Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Moschino and Versace. CBP Officers detained the shipment due to poor quality and packaging of the merchandise.

While not mentioned in the press release – luxury goods from a country other than where they are made is also a strong indication the goods are counterfeit. The media release does mention the packaging many counterfeit products are contained in plastics bags.

While these shipments were from Turkey, the press release did mention China was still the source for counterfeit and pirated goods, about 66% of the estimated MSRP value of all counterfeit seizures.

 

Counterfeit Oral-B toothbrush heads seized.

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Image of seized brushheads, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized a shipment of 1,440 counterfeit Oral-B toothbrush heads from a shipment from Turkey. If authentic, the brush heads have a MSRP of $12,274.

Besdies this current shipment, CBP officers in Philadelphia also seized a shipment of over 20,400 counterfeit Oral-B heads from China.

For trademarked goods, CBP sends a sample of a suspected counterfeit goods shipment to the CBP Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Centers for Excellence and Expertise. The CEE function is to verify the authenticity of trademarks.

Counterfeit seizures usually then result in CBP issuing a seizure notice to the importer of record. The importer of record has the option to file a petition, refer to court action, offer in compromise or abandon the goods.

If you have had your good 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.

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.