Friday, June 3, 2011

CBP Seizes Karaoke Machines In LA/LB With Bogus Memory Chips

Members of the United States Customs and Border Protection assigned to the Long Beach/Los Angeles port complex discovered and seized 1,932 karaoke machines worth nearly $1 million loaded with counterfeit memory chips.

CBP officers seized the karaoke machines on May 16, after CBP import specialists confirmed with the trademark holder that the memory cards bearing the SD (San Disk) logo were counterfeit. The shipment, with an estimated domestic value of $852,368 and an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $964,068, arrived via a cargo container originating in China. The karaoke machines were destroyed after San Disk confirmed the chips were counterfeit.

It is routine for CBP, citing privacy reasons, to not identify the specific terminal or facility within the port complex where a seizure occurs.

“CBP enforcement actions at Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport continue to yield outstanding results. We have an ongoing commitment that is focused towards intercepting shipments containing merchandise in violation of protected trademarks before they reach the consumer,” CBP Acting Director of Los Angeles Field Operations Carlos Martel said in a statement.

The importation of merchandise with counterfeit trademarks is prohibited, said the CBP statement. Importers violating these laws may be subject to civil penalties and/or criminal prosecution. CBP said it maintains "a vigilant stance in intercepting illegal shipments that introduce infringing merchandise into the country."

CBP’s strategic approach to intellectual property rights enforcement is multi-layered and includes seizing fake goods at ports of entry, pushing the border outward through audits of infringing importers and cooperation with international trading partners, and partnering with industry and other government agencies to enhance these efforts.

In fiscal year 2010, CBP at the Long Beach/Los Angeles port complex set a record-breaking pace with 863 trade seizures with an aggregate domestic value exceeding $34 million. This is a 42 percent increase in the number of seizures from fiscal year 2009.