Trademark

What Can An Importer Do If Trademark Goods Are Seized By CBP?

A seizure notice will be issued to the importer, who may petition for administrative relief or elect to bring suit in federal district court to recover the merchandise. Goods that are seized and forfeited as bearing a mark that is a counterfeit of a registered trademark, piratical of a registered copyright or imported in violation of distribution rights agreements are routinely destroyed, unless the owner of the trademark/copyright gives permission for other disposition, such as charitable donations. Significant monetary penalties may also be assessed for violations involving the importation of goods bearing counterfeit marks.

The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer that seized the property should have forwarded the case to the appropriate supervisor for approval within 24 hours. The case is then referred to the Fines, Penalties and Forfeitures (FP&F) office within three working days. FP&F Officers will send the suspected violator or all other interested parties a notice of seizure. Any questions or concerns regarding a case should be addressed to the FP&F at the port of entry where the property was seized. If you have a seizure number, please provide it when you call.

Effective March 1, 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) will use the Department of Justice website http://www.forfeiture.gov as the primary method to notify the public that property was seized and is subject to forfeiture.  This site will post property for 30 days from date of publication. The Department of Homeland Security authorized this action in accordance with 19CFR Part 162, as published in the January 29, 2013, Federal Register.

We have 25 years of experience in filing petitions with US Customs to seek the return of  seized merchandise for alleged counterfeit trademark violations.  We also will help file petitions to remit any additional penalties which may be assessed in this situation. We may be able to offer you an attorney fee arrangement based partially on a fixed initial retainer and partially on a contingency basis.

The Law Offices of R. H. Robbins assists companies and individuals with international trade matters. Please contact us by telephone at: (954) 946-8130 OR by email to rose at roserobbins.com  OR by submitting the simple form below to set up a free confidential consultation to see if we may be of assistance to you in the return of your merchandise or the remission of any assessed penalty.