Imports of counterfeit goods bought and sold online could be subject to increased enforcement actions under an Oct. 13 memorandum from President Trump to the Department of Homeland Security.

The memo directs U.S. Customs and Border Protection to consider (1) seizing counterfeit goods imported in connection with a transaction on an e-commerce platform and (2) imposing the maximum allowable fines and civil penalties on any e-commerce platform that directs, assists with, or is in any way concerned in the importation of counterfeit goods. The memo also directs DHS to develop within four months a proposal for legislation that would strengthen the executive branch’s authority and increase its resources to deter and address the trafficking of counterfeit goods through e-commerce.

E-commerce platforms are defined as any web-based platform that includes features primarily designed for arranging the sale, purchase, payment, or shipping of goods, or that enables sellers not directly affiliated with an operator of a web-based platform to sell goods through the web to consumers in the U.S. The memo asserts that such platforms “serve as key contributors to counterfeit trafficking by acting as intermediaries and providing marketplaces that match up buyers and sellers.”

For more information, please contact Lee Sandler at (305) 894-1000.

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