CBP seizes mislabeled shipment filled with counterfeit goods.

Image of counterfeit sandals, source: CBP.gov

In late June, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers Kentucky detained and seized a shipment containing over 300 counterfeit items shipped from Hong Kong.

While the outside packing list indicated the contents were belts, CBP officers instead found watches from “Rolex”, “Cartier” and “Panerai Luminor”. The shipment also contained sandals from Tory Burch, earrings from Chanel, Gucci sandals bracelets, LV scarves, Gucci scarves, Chanel Scares and many more luxury branded goods. CBP indicated the shipment contained over $371,365 worth of goods – if authentic.

Author’s note: in general, CBP will detain goods suspected of being counterfeit and then send images or samples of the goods to the trademark holder. If the trademark holder tells Customs the goods are not authentic – CBP will seize them and issue the importer of record a seizure notice.

Also – in addition to seizing the goods for being counterfeit, CBP can also seize any goods that are included in the shipment, but not properly declared or mis-declared on the packing list and entry paperwork.

In general – it is easy to run into Customs problems – before you import, or before you export, contact David Hsu by phone/text anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com for a free consultation.

Birmingham CBP seizes unapproved thermometers.

Image of seized thermometers, source: CBP.gov

CBP officers in Birmmingham seized 500 unregistered non-contact and infrared thermometers with country of origin as Malaysia or China. If genuine articles, the value of the shipment would have totaled $21,400.

The thermometers did contain the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) markings on the packaging and the devices, but the shipment was still seized as the shipping company was not registered with the FDA when the thermometers were imported. The registration of the shipping company is required as part of the pre-market notification process under section 510(k) of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

According to CBP, so far this year they have seized 107,000 illegal COVID-19 test kits, 11,000 doses of chloroquine and more than 750,000 counterfeit masks. Given the current increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, CBP will likely be seizing more thermometers, face masks and chloroquine in the near future.

If you have had your goods seized by Customs, contact seizure attorney David Hsu to discuss your options anytime by mobile phone at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Counterfeit purses, headphones, sunglasses and even coolers seized by Customs.

Seized “Gucci” sunglasses, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Dallas Fort Worth International Airport seized counterfeit purses, headphones, sunglasses and Yeti collers valued at over $108,000 if authentic. This seized shipment originated from Hong Kong – where 9 out of 10 seizure cases reported by Customs indicate as the source of the counterfeit goods. I believe the tech goods are likely made across the border in Shenzhen and the fashion items are also made cheaply across the border in Guangzhou.

The exact counterfeit items included Tiffany & Company rings, six Louis Vuitton handbags, seven pairs of Chanel and Guicci sunglasses, Beats headphones, seven Apple AirPod Pros and two Yeti coolers.

My guess is the Yeti coolers are made by one of the vendors on Aliexpress that sells same or similar type coolers, not sure why they would risk a seizure by using the Yeti name.

CBP officers intercepted a shipment and after reviewing the information in the shipping documents, selected it for examination. During the examination, officers discovered three Tiffany & Co rings, six Louis Vuitton handbags, seven pairs of Chanel and Gucci sunglasses, Powerbeats Beats by Dre headphones, seven Apple AirPod Pros and two Yeti coolers.

In general, seized goods suspected of being counterfeit will have samples sent to the CBP’s Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Center of Excellence and Expertise’s import specialists to determine their authenticity. At this CEE, the staff will examine the goods and discuss the items with the trademark owners. After examining the goods, import specialists determined the goods were counterfeit and seized the shipment.

If you receive a Notice of Seizure from Customs, you have 30 days to respond. Contact David Hsu for all your customs seizure needs at 832-896-6288, or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

$400,000 in counterfeit merchandise seized by CBP.

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Image of seized goods containing unregistered Bluetooth marks, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Detroit seized electronic goods and licensed merchandise imported from China. The seized goods contained bluetooth marks (unregistered with Bluetooth) on the headphones, smart bands, and various speakers. In addition to the electronic devices, included counterfeit hats bearing copyrighted Star Wars images. If authentic, the value of all goods would retail for about $325,000.

If you have had your goods seized by Customs, contact David Hsu for a no cost consultation on what you need to do to protect yourself – call anytime by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Counterfeit Pokemon, gotta catch ’em all!

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Seized Pokemon, source: CBP.gov

Pennsylvania U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers didn’t catch them all, but they did catch 86,000 of them. The seized shipment from Hong Kong was described as “plastic furnishing articles” but instead contained counterfeit Pokemon figurines in 15 boxes.

The figurines were seized for violations of violating U.S. intellectual property rights along with being a potential choking hazard. The estimated value of the shipment, if authentic is approximately $603,936. CBP usually tests counterfeit toys for lead levels, but did not do so in this instance.

If your goods have been seized by Customs, contact David Hsu by phone/text for a no cost or obligation consultation at 832-896-6288, or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Counterfeit Super Bowl rings seized.

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Image of seized rings, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers at O’Hare’s International Mail Facility seized a package of 35 counterfeit NFL Championship rings from China. The April shipment was held for further inspection due to x-ray images showing inconsistencies. The shipment was declared as ring and valued at $10 each. However, upon opening the packages, CBP officers found 35 counterfeit NFL Championship rings. CBP determined the rings to be counterfeit due to poor quality, poor packaging and low value. The approximate MSRP of the rings, if real, would have been $350,000.

According to the Customs media release:

The parcel contained fake Superbowl rings for the NY Jets (1) and Giants (4), Pittsburgh Steelers (6), San Francisco 49ers (5), Dallas Cowboys (5), Washington Redskins (5), Green Bay Packers (6) and Denver Broncos (3).

If you have had your shipment seized for IPR violations, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

CBP officers seize counterfeit televisions.

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Image of seized television, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers at Minneosta’s International Falls Port of Entry inspected a rail container and found 440 televisions that violated intellectual property rights (IPR) regulations. If genuine, the MSRP of the goods would retail for approximately $175,560.

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The CBP media release did not specify what IPR violations occurred. Judging by the photo above provided by Customs, I suspect there may be two issues:

(1) The USB logo is used, however, the manufacturer of this TV may not have been qualified to display the certified USB logo.

(2) I think the main reason is the use of the “HDMI” logo on the box. The HDMI logo, and High-Definition Multimedia Interface are trademarks or registered trademarks to HDMI Licensing, LLC.

Based on what’s on the press release, there are several options for the importer of record. If you have had any goods seized by Customs, contact customs seizure attorney David Hsu anytime by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Fake Roku streaming devices seized by Customs.

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Image of seized Roku remotes, source: CBP.gov

With shelter in place taking effect over larger parts of the US, people are streaming more than ever. Perhaps to capitalize upon this, one importer in Philadelphia had a shipment of 1,600 Roku remotes seized by CBP in late April.

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers in Pittsburgh seized 1,600 counterfeit Roku remotes last week. If authentic, the remotes would have an approximate MSRP of $80,000. The media release claimed the remotes were made from “substandard materials that could easily break” and lacked the “full inventory of options or commands that an authentic remote offers”.

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Were these remotes really counterfeit? I’ve handled many cases from my clients who have had their goods seized. Especially my clients in the refurbishment business. Used or returned goods to a retailer are liquidated in bulk to wholesalers or other private companies who will repair the goods (refurbish) and then resell as used in various condition. Retailers frequently liquidate returned goods such as phones and other personal electronics.

As refurbishment costs are high in the United States, it is more economical to send the damaged goods overseas (typically to China) for repair and then sent back. The problem is upon shipment back to the US, CBP will detain the goods on suspicion of an IPR violation. CBP suspects the goods are counterfeit because (1) the repair process makes the goods appear new, and (2) the goods are shipped in non-oem packaging – typically in bubble wrap and bundled together to save on freight charges. In the photo above from CBP, you can see the remotes in bubble wrap and shipped without the typical Roku packaging. When CBP sees items such as these remotes, or typically repaired iphones or Samsung phones, they believe the goods are counterfeit even though the items were shipped to China for repair.

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What happens during a customs seizure? If you are an importer, CBP may detain your shipment first. While your shipment is detained, CBP sends a photo of the item to the intellectual property right (IPR) holder. The IPR holder will more likely than not tell CBP the goods are counterfeit. If so, CBP will seize the goods and issue a seizure notice.

You will be mailed a seizure notice by certified mail, return receipt requested (CMRRR). If you receive the notice, make a note of the letter date and add 30 days – write down the 30 days and be sure you respond before 30 days has expired.

If you receive a notice of seizure, do not ignore the seizure notice. If so, CBP may forfeit your goods and issue you a penalty. Contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone or text anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

$51k in counterfeit electronics, Apple Air Pods, Jordans and purses seized.

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Counterfeit Apple charger.

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Counterfeit “Gucci” purse.

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers in Pittsburgh seized counterfeit consumer goods that included electronics, air pods, sneakers and designer brand purses. If authentic, the value of the seized goods would be more than $51,000. The two above photos are from the CBP media release.

It is obvious the purse is a counterfeit, however, I don’t believe the importers of the AC adapter should have their adapters seized – there is no way an importer or manufacturer would use an image of a red apple and believe someone would think that is a real Apple product.

The counterfeit goods were shipped in 23 separate boxes, of which 19 boxes were from Hong Kong, 2 from China, and 1 each from Singapore and Taiwan. The media release further itemizes the seized goods: 264 flawless shavers (no idea what these are), 235 Apple chargers (which wouldn’t confuse anyone as to their authenticity), 120 “Apple” ear pods, 60 HDMI switches, 21 fully-loaded Nintendo-like gaming systems (probably the emulators running Nestopia?), 20 pairs of Air Jordans and counterfeit purses featuring brand names such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, Fendi and Gucci.

If you have had your good seized and you received a seizure notice from Customs, contact experienced customs seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.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.