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IPR goods seized by the CBP

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2024 | International Trade Litigation |

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) works to protect Americans from harmful goods. Additionally, the department protects the intellectual property rights (IPRs) of American businesses. Illegitimate/counterfeited goods result in unfair competition. Further, they are typically associated with smuggling and other criminal activities. Thus, CBP is strict about IPR.

Here is what to know about this matter:

The industry with the highest number of IPR seizures

Any business may deal with IPR-related seizures, but statistics show those importing wearing apparel/accessories make up the highest number. According to CBP, in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, 26,400 seizure lines of wearing apparel/accessories were seized. This represented 26.0% of all IPR seizures. Examples of products seized included watches/jewelry, handbags/wallets, t-shirts, jeans, belts, jerseys, footwear and so on.

Thus, if your business is in this industry, you may experience a seizure.

What does the CBP do after a seizure?

After seizing goods, the CBP will forward the case to the respective supervisor within 24 hours. Upon approval, the supervisor will forward the case to the Fines, Penalties and Forfeitures (FP&F) office within three working days. The FP &F officer will send you and any other interested party a Notice of Seizure letter.

Your case will be handled by the FP& F office at the port of entry where your goods were seized. You will provide the office with the seizure number given to you by the officer who sent you the Notice of Seizure.

If your goods are subject to forfeiture, visit the Department of Justice website for more information.

An IPR seizure can easily result in heavy fines and a business’s reputational damage. If your goods are seized on the grounds that they are counterfeited, obtain adequate information to avoid costly mistakes.