International Falls, Minnesota - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations officers working at the International Falls Port of Entry targeted a rail container destined to arrive in Ranier.  In May, CBP officers inspected the rail container and discovered merchandise in violation of intellectual property rights (IPR) regulations.

The merchandise consisted of 60,180 mermaid and fashion dolls. Examination of the dolls revealed copyright protected markings. As a result, CBP seized those items earlier in June. The counterfeit merchandise has an aggregate manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $601,198.

“CBP is focused on identifying and intercepting counterfeit merchandise and products. The enforcement of trade laws at U.S. ports of entry remains a high priority for us,” said Anthony Jackson, International Falls Port Director. “Counterfeiting adversely affects the ability of lawful copyright holders to profit from their original ideas. Counterfeiting also harms consumers because manufacturers of forged products have little motivation to use safe, high-quality materials in their products.”

Stopping the flow of illicit goods is a priority trade issue for CBP. The importation of counterfeit merchandise can damage the U.S. economy and threaten the health and safety of the American people. For more information on CBP’s IPR priority trade issue visit: CBP Trade and IPR.

With the growth of foreign trade, unscrupulous companies have profited billions of dollars from the sale of counterfeit and pirated goods. To combat the illicit trade of merchandise violating laws relating to IPR, trademark and copyright holders may register with CBP through an online system. Such registration assists CBP officers and import specialists in identifying merchandise that violate U.S. law.

CBP’s IPR enforcement strategy is multi-layered and includes seizing illegal merchandise at our borders, pushing the border “outward” through audits of suspect importers, cooperating with our international trading partners, and collaborating with industry and governmental agencies to enhance these efforts.