American Shipper

Senate asks for data from shippers on counterfeits

The top Republican and Democrat on the committee sent letters to shippers, online retailers, payment processors and rights holder trade associations on Wednesday “to help inform a public report.”

   Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., on Wednesday sent letters to shipping companies, online retailers and others to share information that would help the committee disseminate the dangers of counterfeits and combat the illegal online sale of counterfeits, the committee announced.
   The letter asks respondents what data they collect on “likely counterfeiters” both in the U.S. and in foreign countries and from what sources; whether they coordinate with e-commerce platforms to reduce the risk of consumers unknowingly buying counterfeits; whether they offer tools to rights holders to enforce and protect intellectual property rights; and to describe their cooperation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and other federal authorities in combating counterfeits in international shipments bound for the U.S.
   The letter follows a March 6 committee hearing that hosted CBP Office of Trade Executive Assistant Commissioner Brenda Smith and focused on combatting shipments containing counterfeits.
   Respondents to the letter were also asked to explain the biggest difficulties in targeting counterfeiters and removing counterfeits from the global stream of commerce, any tools that they provide to consumers to “verify, return, destroy, complain about, or seek recourse against counterfeits or their manufacturers,” as well as the extent to which they have the authority to remove of block counterfeits from the stream of commerce into or within the U.S., among other things.
   The letter says that information received by the committee will “be used to help inform a public report.”