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The American Free Trade Association (AFTA) has provided a voice to the secondary marketplace for over 30 years.  AFTA works with industry, legislative leaders, regulatory officials and coalition members to ensure that genuine, branded consumer products are lawfully distributed across borders, providing American consumers with greater access to cost-effective, safe and authentic merchandise.

Final Rule on CBP IPR Disclosure

On September 18, 2015, Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) published its Final Rule for Disclosure of  Information for Certain Intellectual Property Rights Enforced at the Border.  The Rule finalizes and amends certain of the Interim Regulations for IPR disclosure published in April of 2012.  A copy of the Final Rule can be found here:  finalrulescbpiprdisclosure

Highlights of the Final Rule include:

Detention Period

*CBP can detain any merchandise for 30 days if the Agency suspects the goods may include a counterfeit trademark.

*The detention period of 30 days cannot be extended.  Any goods not released after this 30 day period will be excluded from entry into the U.S.

Notice to Importer

*Within 5 days of the goods being detained, CBP will provide a written notice of detention to the importer, who will then have 7 days to convince CBP the goods are authentic.  The notification from CBP will also advise the importer that the trademark owner may have already received certain limited information about the importation.

*Upon request, CBP will provide unredacted product images and/or samples to the importer at any time for the importer’s examination and/or testing.

Information Automatically Disclosed to Trademark Owner

*At any time after the goods are presented for entry and in all cases by no later than the date of the notice of detention, CBP will disclose the following information to the trademark owner: date of importation, port of entry, merchandise description, quantity, country of origin and/or redacted product images or samples.

Information that May Be Disclosed to Trademark Owner Prior to Seizure

*CBP may provide unredacted product samples and images to the trademark owner prior to seizure if the importer fails to prove product authenticity within 7 days after notification of detention.  The trademark owner  will be advised by CBP that the information provided may only be used to verify that the goods do not include a counterfeit mark.  The importer will be notified that such a disclosure has been made.


*CBP can seize merchandise at any time (even if there has been no notice of detention and even during the 30 day period of detention) when/if it determines the goods include a counterfeit trademark.

*Upon seizure, CBP will disclose to the trademark owner information revealing the date of importation, port of entry, merchandise description, quantity, country of origin, name/address of manufacturer, name/address of exporter, and name/address of importer.

For further information about the Final Rule and how it may impact your import operations, please contact AFTA directly at afta@aftaus.com or toll-free at 1-844-3 -AFTAUS.

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