Avoiding Seizure of Goods by U.S. Customs

The Issue

A client that regularly imported goods from overseas was informed by U.S. Customs that the agency had imposed “detention” of a large shipment on the grounds the goods were counterfeit and infringed existing copyrights and trademarks. Seizure of the goods by the government appeared imminent.

The Strategy

We determined to move quickly to prevent the legal issue shifting from detention to seizure, which could lead to months of delay before the client was able to retrieve its goods. We used the 30-day detention period to provide evidence satisfying the government that the goods in question were not, in fact, counterfeit and did not infringe any copyrights or trademarks.

The Impact

The client avoided a seizure of its imported goods by U.S. Customs which could have led to significant financial losses and damage to the client’s reputation in the business community. As a result of the unexpected detention of goods, the client adopted additional internal safeguards and procedures for import compliance to ensure it could quickly verify that the goods it imported were entirely genuine and not counterfeit.

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