January 2010

Yes, You May Legally Import Counterfeit Merchandise into the United States

My friends tell me one of their favorite activities in China is to buy counterfeit items such as Gucci handbags or Montblanc pens. My friends do worry about U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. Customs) officers looking through their luggage upon arrival at an airport in the United States, seizing the counterfeit items, and fining them.  The truth is that U.S. Customs allows the importation of counterfeit merchandise, but closely follow the rules as I explain them to you now.

First, know that it is generally illegal to import counterfeit merchandise into the United States.  The word “counterfeit” is defined in the Lanham Act at 15 U.S.C. 1124, and the U.S. Customs applicable law allowing for the seizure of counterfeit merchandise is 19 U.S.C. 1526.  That law gives your friendly U.S. Customs officers who are waiting for you at the airport the authority to look through your luggage, and seize counterfeit merchandise from you.  The U.S. Customs regulations at 19 CFR Part 133 give more specific guidelines to travelers interested in this topic.

What the readers of this blog, and even many U.S. Customs officers, do not know is that it is perfectly legal for a person who visits China, or any other foreign country, to buy counterfeit merchandise there, including one counterfeit Gucci bag and one counterfeit Montblanc pen, declare it on the U.S. Customs declaration form, pass through U.S. Customs, and enjoy using the counterfeit items in the United States.   Of course, you generally get what you pay for, so the $2,000 Gucci bag […]

By |2015-12-28T14:14:47-05:00January 24, 2010|Counterfeits, Import|0 Comments

OWIT-South Florida – Get to Know this Group

On January 27, 2010 you will have the opportunity to meet the new Board of Directors for the Organization of Women in International Trade’s South Florida Chapter– don’t miss this networking opportunity.   OWIT-South Florida is a networking and educational organization that promotes women and men in international trade and commerce.

As the incoming President to this group, I’ll admit I’m biased, but, I do have say, this is a great group to get to know.  We have representation on our Board from Adobe, C.H. Robinson, Kroll, Robertson Forwarding, UPS, and Mastercard to name a few.  Meet us personally at my firm, Becker & Poliakoff’s Coral Gables office on January 27th, from 6-8 p.m., you’ll be glad you did.

Upcoming must attend events:

  • February 17, 2010 – Are You “Women Certified?” Delia Passi, founder of Broward-based Women Certified, talks about her firm’s mission to teach companies, especially sales people, how to sell to and retain female consumers.
  • March 24, 2010 – Crisis? What Crisis? If your firm faces a reputational tsunami, call the “trouble valet.”  Judy Miller, CEO, JM Advisory and former Pulitzer-prize winning investigative journalist, explains how she helps companies in stressful situations avoid reputational meltdown.
  • November 2, 2010 – Hear Donna Shalala speak at our annual International Business Women of the Year (IBWOY) awards.

Get Involved!  Join one of our several committees.  Reach out to our Committee Chairs to learn more. […]

By |2010-01-18T14:00:00-05:00January 18, 2010|OWIT-South Florida|0 Comments

Upcoming OWIT-South Florida Networking Opportunity You Must Attend

owit-logo1On January 27, 2010 you will have the opportunity to meet the new Board of Directors for the Organization of Women in International Trade’s South Florida Chapter.   OWIT-South Florida is a networking and educational organization that promotes women and men in international trade and commerce.

As the incoming President to this group of distinguished professionals in international business, I’ll admit I’m biased, but, I do have say, this is a great group to get to know.  We have representation on our Board from Adobe, C.H. Robinson, Kroll, Robertson Forwarding, UPS, and Mastercard, to name a few.  Meet us personally at my law firm, Becker & Poliakoff’s Coral Gables office at 121 Alhambra Plaza, 10th Floor, on January 27th, from 6-8 p.m. You will be glad you did.

Put on your calendar these must attend events:

  • February 17, 2010 – Are You “Women Certified?” Delia Passi, founder of Broward-based Women Certified, talks about her company’s mission to teach companies, especially sales people, how to sell to and retain female consumers.
  • March 24, 2010 – Crisis? What Crisis? If your firm faces a reputational tsunami, call the “trouble valet.”  Judy Miller, CEO, JM Advisory and former Pulitzer-prize winning investigative journalist, explains how she helps companies in stressful situations avoid reputational meltdown.
  • November 2, 2010 – Hear Donna Shalala, President, University of Miami,  former Secretary of Health and Human Services under the Clinton Administration, speak at our annual International Business Women of the Year (IBWOY) awards.

Get Involved!  Join one of our several committees.  Reach out […]

By |2015-11-30T19:49:27-05:00January 13, 2010|Events|0 Comments

You Ready for 100% Cargo Screening by the TSA?

In my October 5, 2009 post entitled “TSA’s New Air Cargo Screening Rules Have A Serious Flaw,” I commented on the Air Cargo Screening Interim Final Rule, which created the certified cargo screening program (CCSP).   CCSP authorizes companies other than airlines to be approved by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA ) to screen cargo before it is delivered to an airline at the airport to be put in the belly of a passenger plane. As of February 3, 2009, U.S. airlines and foreign air carriers must have screened at least 50% of its cargo transported on passenger aircraft. That number goes up to 100% as of August 3, 2010.  The problem is that even as August 3, 2010 quickly approaches, the TSA, the International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), and other prominent organizations have warned that the air cargo industry needs to do more to be ready.

On February 8-9, 2010, in Miami, Florida, The National Cargo Security Association (www.TNCSA.org) is hosting a Florida Cargo Security Conference. Speakers include managers of TSA’ Air Cargo Division from its national headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, and TSA managers in Florida, the Director of the Air Forwarders Association, nationally renowned security and legal experts, and an FAA Senior Special Agent who enforces dangerous goods compliance.

Be advised that the air cargo screening rule only applies to (1) air cargo, (2) loaded on board an aircraft in the United States. The Rule also does not apply to all-cargo aircraft (freighters).  However,one of the primary differences between now […]

By |2015-11-30T19:48:43-05:00January 11, 2010|TSA|0 Comments

Intellectual Property Rights are High Priority for CBP

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) takes Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement very seriously, in fact, its a priority.  Shipments not destined for the U.S., that are merely in transit (for example from China for a brief stop in Miami to the ultimate destination in Latin America), are no exception.  The fact that CBP enforces IPR rights for in transit merchandise surprises many — but lets face it, if CBP is to protect IPR rights, why should it stop at products solely destined for the U.S.?  If you took the time to register your trademark or copyright with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and then took the extra step to record that trademark or copyright with CBP, wouldn’t you want CBP to stop infringers, even if they are just passing through for a brief moment?  Check to see if a company has taken that extra step to record their IPR here.

CBP publishes IPR statistics yearly.  The statistics for 2009 were recently published in December of 2009.  There were 14,841 seizures from IPR violations.  Of no surprise, China was the top trading partner for IPR seizures in FY 2009 with a domestic value of $204.7 million in counterfeit merchandise, accounting for 79% of the total value seized.  Footwear was the top commodity seized in FY 2009 with a domestic value of
$99.7 million, which accounted for 38% of the entire value of infringing goods.  Consumer electronics was a distant second at $31.7 million, […]

Title

Go to Top