CBP Publishes Fiscal Year 2011 Seizure Statistics O
Intellectual Property Rights Imports

April 24, 2012

CBP has published statistics on its website illustrating that CBP continues to focus its enforcement efforts on imports that infringe intellectual property rights (“IPR”). For the last few years, IPR enforcement has been given a very high priority, not only by CBP but also by other government agencies. Some of the highlights for 2011 include the following: 

  • The number of IPR seizures increased by 24% to 24,792 in FY 2011 from 19,959 in FY 2010.
  • The number of high-volume but low-value seizures including express-courier and consolidated shipments, increased significantly.
  • The value of consumer safety and critical-technology seizures soared to more than $60 million due to an increase in pharmaceutical and perfume seizures.
  • The total number of IPR seizures in FY 2011 increased by 24% compared to FY 2010 which is a 325% increase over the past decade.
  • The number of low-value (under $1,000) IPR seizures in FY 2011 increased by 3,872 over FY 2010. This increase in low-value seizures accounted for 80% of the overall increase in seizures for FY 2011.
  • Consumer electronics was the top commodity seized in FY 2011, with the value of seizures increasing by 16% from FY 2010.  Approximately one-third of the seized goods were infringing cellular phones.
  • FY 2011 is the first year that the category of handbags/wallets/backpacks did not make the “top commodities seized” list.

These statistics clearly reflect the growing trend of CBP to be more vigorous in its enforcement of infringing merchandise being imported into the United States. Companies should review their procedures to verify that their products being imported do not contain infringing trademarks, trade names, or copyrights.

If you have any questions about this or other customs issues, please contact Steve Spraitzar at steve.spraitzar@tuttlelaw.com or at (415) 288‑0427.

Stephen S. Spraitzar is an attorney with the Law Offices of George R. Tuttle in San Francisco.


The information in this article is general in nature, and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship with respect to any event or occurrence, and may not be considered as such.

Copyright © 2012 by Tuttle Law Offices. 

All rights reserved.  Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable.  However, because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by our offices or by others, we do not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any information and are not responsible for any errors, omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of such information.


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