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Knock-off Barbie dolls seized at border

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Friday that they had seized 5,460 knock-off Barbie dolls at the Ranier, Minn. railroad port of entry. Courtesy of Customs and Border Protection.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials on Friday said their officers seized what appear to be 5,460 knock-off Barbie dolls in a railroad car entering the U.S. at Ranier, just outside International Falls.

The dolls were seized Monday after an earlier inspection discovered merchandise was in violation of intellectual property rights regulations.

Customs and Border Protection officials said the counterfeit merchandise has a total manufacturer's suggested retail price of $139,145.

"CBP is focused on identifying and intercepting counterfeit merchandise and products. The enforcement of trade laws at U.S. ports of entry remains a high priority for us," said Anthony Jackson, International Falls Port Director for the federal agency, in a statement.

The Ranier rail crossing from Canada into the U.S. is one of the busiest in the country, with many of the trains carrying container cars full of manufactured goods. Much of the merchandise originates in Asia, comes across the Pacific by ocean freighter and is unloaded in British Columbia. It then moves across Canada on the CN Rail line and moves into the U.S. at Ranier before continuing on to Chicago and the U.S. heartland.

With the growth of foreign trade, unscrupulous companies have generated billions of dollars in profit from the sale of counterfeit and pirated goods, the federal agency said. To combat the illicit trade of merchandise violating laws relating to property rights, trademark and copyright holders may register with CBP through an online system. Such registration assists CBP officers and import specialists in identifying merchandise that violate U.S. law.