U.S. Customs and Border Protection has established the E-Commerce and Small Business Branch within its Office of Trade to address the risks associated with an increase in e-commerce sales, which are expected to exceed $4 trillion worldwide by 2020. A CBP press release indicates that this office will be particularly focused on identifying inferior and unsafe goods and preventing them from entering global commerce, noting that the benefits afforded by online platforms also elevate the risk and opportunity for criminal trade.

As e-commerce sales spike amid the ongoing holiday shopping season, CBP is also warning consumers to beware of goods with prices that are too good to be true, websites that do not provide legitimate phones numbers or addresses, and sellers that do not have good customer feedback.

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