Counterfeit goods and stolen intellectual property are huge concerns in the supply chain market as e-commerce continues to expand at a breakneck pace. Because of these concerns, President Trump signed an executive order January 31st to crack down on counterfeit goods and intellectual property theft by implementing a set of criteria for customs brokers to follow. Reinforcing these laws and rights by the US works to strengthen measures to protect small businesses and shippers while punishing those who infringe.
The new criteria that President Trump proposed also requires DHS to initiate rules to assist in identifying companies that have been suspended from importing into the United States and tried to continue importing despite those suspensions. US CBP will develop new criteria for determining importer of record numbers and consequences for customs brokers that assist importers with falsifying or evading those criteria. Any customs brokers working with importers who have been deemed ineligible and then try to assist by circumventing that ineligibility by changing the name, address or other identifying information will be limited in their participation in trusted trader programs and could have their licenses revoked.
The burden of stopping counterfeiters is spread across all facets of e-commerce as distributors such as Walmart, Amazon and eBay other online sellers work to keep counterfeit goods off platforms. Because of the easy means to open an online shop, access to the massive customer base of the distributor and low set-up costs, these businesses can be opened and closed fast, making them difficult to track down but the USTR believes a great deal of counterfeit cargo is coming from China. Because it can be so easy to sell counterfeit merchandise online, the approach to stopping them will need assistance from shippers, carriers and customs working together. Another option listed in the order is a review of fees and costs to determine that the US has funds necessary for a closer inspection of cargo that might be counterfeit.
Counterfeiting has been in the news for months as ports find containers stuffed with goods and fake IDs. In November, customs agents in Louisville, KY seized $95 million in illegal items and fake IDs. Dubai recently destroyed and recycled 48,000 counterfeit items which included 42,184 counterfeit Apple products. During the fiscal year that ended in September 2019 Customs and Border Protection seized 27,599 shipments that violated intellectual property rights, a retail value in excess of $1.5 billion.
We at Everglory Logistics are committed to working with our customers and US Customs & Border Protection to prevent counterfeiting and intellectual property theft. If you have questions or concerns and would like to view the Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods report, you can find it here.