On November 18, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New York hosted a joint media event highlighting counterfeit goods. Just in time for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the rest of the holiday shopping madness, HSI and CBP offered a presentation about counterfeit goods and how consumers can protect themselves from purchasing “knockoffs” of brand-name items.
“CBP’s primary mission is to protect our nation while facilitating legitimate travel and trade. This includes protecting consumers from unsafe goods. We execute this mission by partnering with industry, HSI, other federal agencies and foreign governments to detect and intercept cross-border trade in these harmful and dangerous illicit goods,” said Frank Russo, Director of CBP’s New York Field Office. “The risks associated with purchasing counterfeit good are sizable. The lower prices you pay may come with a high cost to you and your family.”
“Shoppers this holiday season need to be on the lookout for potentially hazardous products while hunting for an online deal. Besides the potential danger of faulty electronics or tainted personal care products, you will also be wasting your hard-earned money on fake branding. Buying from dubious websites can also put your personal and financial information at risk,” said Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York, Deputy Special Agent in Charge Erik Rosenblatt. “HSI is engaged globally to dismantle the transnational criminal organizations that exploit the legitimate online market, and in the end, endanger our communities.”
CBP and HSI protect businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program, and IPR enforcement remains a CBP Priority Trade Issue.
Every year, CBP seizes a wide variety of counterfeit products from all over the world. In FY 2020, CBP seized over 26,000 shipments of counterfeit goods that violated IPR worth over $1.3 billion, had the goods been genuine.
The theft of intellectual property and the trade in substandard and often dangerous goods threaten America’s economy, stifle innovation and are a danger to consumer health and safety. Further, these illicit activities fund criminal activities and support trans-national organized crime. CBP has established the Truth Behind Counterfeits educational campaign to raise consumer awareness about the health and safety, legal and economic consequences of purchasing counterfeit goods. For more information, visit www.cbp.gov/fakegoodsrealdangers.
If you have any information regarding suspected fraud or illegal trade activity, please contact CBP through the e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT. IPR violations can also be reported to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center at https://www.iprcenter.gov/referral/ or by telephone at 1-866-IPR-2060.