Importer to Forfeit $1.8 Million in Lamps with Counterfeit Safety Labels
According to a press release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a Missouri company will forfeit 5,585 lamps valued at about $1.8 million that were imported from China with counterfeit safety certification labels. The company will also forfeit $43,786 in cost bonds (essentially a form of insurance required in case an importer defaults on debts to the government) and receive five years’ probation after pleading guilty in federal court to the felony offense of trafficking in goods with counterfeit marks.
ICE states that under its plea agreement the company maintains that none of its agents or employees had personal knowledge that they violated U.S. laws by importing the lamps. However, the company accepts responsibility for the knowledge and actions of the employees and agents of a Hong Kong-based trading company and a Chinese manufacturer, both of which were its wholly-owned subsidiaries. Among other things, personnel at the Hong Kong company knew that the Chinese factory was not UL-certified. The Missouri company also acknowledged that it did not inspect lamps coming from China to ascertain the authenticity of the certification marks placed upon them and that if it had done so it would have seen the counterfeit marks.