This article will deal with the responsibilities of US Customs and how they have become their own brand of BEANIE EXPERTS!
Ty, Inc has experienced an ongoing fight with trademark violations and counterfeit Beanie Babies.
US Customs major responsibility is to administer the Tariff Act of 1930.
Customs and International Trade Laws involve a field of law concerned with government procedures and regulations affecting the importation and exportation of goods into the United States.
Customs also deals with smuggling and fraud issues and enforces the regulations of Federal agencies.
Customs US territories consist of 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Every state has many ports with the exception of Arkansas, District of Columbia, Kansas, Nebraska and Utah.
The Federal Government agency that implements the laws is known as "Customs Service of the Treasury Department".
Congress, the President and Executive Branch now regulate foreign commerce. Other agencies administer statutes affecting imports and exports with the cooperation of Customs. Some of these agencies include but are not limited to the following. Food and Drug Administration, Federal Communications Commission and Fish and Wildlife Services.
If you are interested in learning more about Customs and their regulations for information about traveling abroad, contact an U.S. Customs attaché.
Entry of goods into
The importer or his agent must enter all goods entering the United States.
The first requirement to enter goods into the United States is filling of documents. The filling of these documents allows customs to verify the value and classification of the merchandise. Some of the information that is included in filing of the documents is as follows.
Customs Form # 7533
- Entry Manifest
1. Evidence to make entry.
3. Packing list
Customs recommends that you prepare your invoices carefully. They also recommend that you leave a space between lines for easier reading. Being detailed in your description and properly marking your items will insure faster clearance.
All goods must be properly marked before customs releases the shipment.
Exclusion of Merchandise
Customs inspects all packages to determine if it could pose a health hazard to the general public. Customs is allowed five days to inspect the merchandise after it has been presented to them. They then are allowed an addition five days to decide if they need to issue a detention notice.
Some of the items,
which are examined closely, are as follows:
1. Motor vehicles to determine if they meet the proper emission and safety requirements.
2. Food items which may not meet US standards.
3. Endangered species and other items that may be dangerous to our county.
Trademarks, Trade Names
Companies may protect their products from counterfeits or similar marks by filling an U.S. Trademark Registration form with Customs.
It is unlawful to import goods with someone else's Trademark without their knowledge or permission. A "counterfeit trademark" is defended as a spurious trademark or product, which has identical or similar markings.
Items that are seized by customs as being in violation of a Registered Trademark are either, turned over to the government, given to charitable organizations or destroyed.
Ty, Inc ongoing fight
with trademark violations and counterfeit Beanie Babies.
Ty, Inc out of Oakbrook, Ill has had to protect and lawfully defend their copyright trademarks.
Alarming reports of fake Beanie Babies started appearing in late 1997. The first reports were generated with information of fakes arriving from Asia.
October 1997 Beijing markets flooded with Beanies sold at $4.99 or less.
Beanies, which were manufactured for Ty, Inc. out of Oakbrook, Ill were now being sold on the Beijing market for a fraction of their cost in the US.
Market venders claim to sell approx. 500 too 600 of the cute stuffed toys. Collectors, secondary markets, and bean bag lovers of all kinds purchase several at the drop of a hat.
Quackers the wingless duck and Peanut the royal blue elephant was among the most popular Beanies to be found in Beijing.
In February 1998 Customs added Beanie Babies too their list of products to monitor crossing the border. This restraint is not unusually, Customs considers Beanie Babies to be a gray market. The term for Gray Market is when the same product is made in more than one country. Products can be made in different countries but some of the items may be limited to be sold only in that country.
Americans were allowed to cross the border with one Beanie Baby per trip.
Early July 1998 Charlene Barshefsky, a representative for US Trade mistakenly tried to cross with what was believed to be counterfeit Beanie Babies.
Ms. Barshefsky was unaware of the new ruling that only allowed (one) Beanie Baby per family. After returning too work and verifying the information, she voluntarily turned over her purchases to Customs.
Mid July 1998 Ty, Inc. and Customs lift the ban on the limit of Beanies allowed too cross the border. The rules new for allowing Beanies to enter the country have changed and now include up too 30 Beanies per person.
July 1998 approx. 18,000
Beanies Babies meet their maker.
After an inspection from Customs, it was determined that entry papers were not in order and Beanies that landed in Texas would be destroyed. Some of the fakes that were destroyed were Spooky and Valentino. The fakes displayed words spelt incorrectly and tag errors.
One thousand Beanies
were obtained by Ty, Inc and were donated to Chicago Children's
Beanie Babies should be for personal use only and can only include three of the same style.
August 1998, Legal eagles snuggle Beanies over the boarder.
Reports indicate that approx. 8,100 Beanies have been confiscated from the Blaine crossing since February 1998.
November 1998 $500,000 Beanie Babies seized in England. http://www2.nando.net/newsroom/ntn/biz/112098/biz11_18145_noframes.html
Princess and Britannia
fake bears have been unmasked. In order to protect collectors
from fraud and honor the Princess Memorial Fund, authorities seized
6,000 sought after Beanie Babies.
February 1999 Customs agents deal in routine, not glamour.
Its' important to protect yourself and your Beanie Baby collection. Become familiar with their markings and be suspicious of any Beanie Baby purchased from China, South Korea and Indonesia, these countries are not licensed distributors of Beanie Babies and their products are more than likely fakes.