Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Customs and Border Protecton Targets Phoney Goods

From our Friends at A. N. Derringer:

What’s the Hold Up?
CBP Targets Phony Goods

In addition to individuals who become victim to credit fraud, identity theft applies to companies, products, and importers’ identities. Counterfeit cargo has grown increasingly prevalent over the last few years. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) signed an ACE-ITDS memorandum of understanding with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to share ACE data and other information in an effort to better target counterfeit cargo. Stronger inter-agency cooperation with focus from CBP, FMC, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and other agencies signifies the government’s increased vigilance toward preventing intellectual property rights (IPR) violations.

Most counterfeit cargo is at the very least an infringement of IPR, which is the illegal use of trademarked or copyrighted names, symbols, or designs. Counterfeit goods and IPR violations pose a financial, health and safety threat to US consumers and the economy. Top commodities targeted for counterfeiting include handbags, watches, apparel, consumer electronics, footwear, and pharmaceuticals. However, corporate identity theft often extends beyond the importers of these commodities. IPR thieves use many tactics including falsifying cargo information, delivery addresses, and manifest information. Over 20,000 IPR seizures, equating to more than a billion dollars MSRP, were made in 2012.
Importers must be vigilant in reviewing their import information and accompanying documentation. Any suspicious paperwork or information should be reviewed immediately and reported to government authorities. For example, it can be a red flag when a major corporation’s email address is provided by a free email service, such as hotmail or yahoo, instead of using an email address that includes the company name, often found as the domain name.

The key to avoiding IPR violations is paying attention. If something looks wrong, it is likely wrong. If you have questions in regard to corporate identity theft or counterfeit cargo, please contact a local Deringer representative. For more information about IPR, please read CBP’s report “Intellectual Property Rights, Fiscal Year 2012 Seizure Statistics".