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CBP, Traders Still Working to Find Way to Indicate IPR Compliance of Imports

Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Customs and industry representatives said recently that they are still working to find a viable way to ensure that imported goods aren’t unnecessarily held up at U.S. borders due to concerns about intellectual property rights infringement. The two sides have abandoned efforts to use the Global Shipment Identification Number and are instead examining the use of CBP’s Document Imaging System.

The Intellectual Property Rights Working Group within the Trade Enforcement and Revenue Collection Subcommittee of the Commercial Operations Advisory Committee reported at a Nov. 15 COAC meeting that based on costs to the trade and CBP, challenges with measuring return on investment and the current level of trade adoption of GS1 standards, both CBP and the working group have concluded that the idea of using the GSIN as an indicator of the IPR compliance of imported shipments is ahead of its time and that work in this direction should be suspended. The GSIN is used to identify a grouping of logistics units that comprise a shipment from one consignor to one consignee.

As an alternate way forward, CBP and the working group are focusing on use of the DIS. Importers would voluntarily submit documentation regarding the authenticity of shipments via DIS for evaluation by CBP in determining whether to place a shipment on hold, and to assist infringement determination if the shipment is examined. Licensing agreements and other documents would be provided to verify authentic shipments at the time of filing entry summaries. Although a more manual approach than using the GSIN, DIS offers the advantage of already being in use, allowing quicker progress toward testing. Further discussions will take place on whether this method can be used without unduly burdening trade or CBP resources.

The working group is also considering a simplified seizure process for small shipments of counterfeit goods in the express environment. These types of shipments are more frequently used to ship counterfeit items and CBP says it wants to make clear that using low-volume shipments will not facilitate violations.

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