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36,000 alleged pirated toy airplanes seized at Minnesota-Canada border

INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn.-Federal border officials say they have seized $575,000 worth of counterfeit toy airplanes in International Falls, Minn.U.S. Customs and Border Protection didn't say what led them to question the 36,000 toy airplanes ear...

Customs and Border Protection officers at the Minnesota-Canada border in International Falls say these seized toys violate trademark laws. (Courtesy of CPB)
Customs and Border Protection officers at the Minnesota-Canada border in International Falls say these seized toys violate trademark laws. (Courtesy of CPB)

INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn.-Federal border officials say they have seized $575,000 worth of counterfeit toy airplanes in International Falls, Minn.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection didn't say what led them to question the 36,000 toy airplanes early this month, but further investigation determined that the importer and manufacturer lacked licenses to display the trademark or make the toys. The toys filled a rail container.

The toys' packaging claims the airplanes are of die-cast metal with "pull-back action" and are safe for children age 3 and older.

Inspectors allege that the merchandise, destined for the Canadian port of entry in Ranier, Minn., violated "multiple laws and regulations."

"CBP remains focused on enforcing the importation of counterfeit products while facilitating the lawful importation of merchandise," said Anthony Jackson, director of the agency's International Falls Port of Entry.

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Unscrupulous companies have profited billions of dollars from the sale of counterfeit and pirated goods and stopping the flow of illicit goods is a priority trade issue for CBP, a branch of the U.S. Homeland Security Department.

The importation of counterfeit merchandise can damage the American economy and threaten the health and safety of the American people, CPB says.

The agency says it takes a multi-pronged strategy, seizing illegal merchandise at borders, "pushing the border 'outward' through audits of suspect importers, and working with international trading partners and industry and governmental agencies."

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