July 14, 2021
More people are getting caught breaking the law by trying to smuggle counterfeit items into Guam.
Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency gave the media a look at the thousands of knockoff designer items that have been seized and are locked away at the Customs facility in Tiyan.
On Tuesday, the agency announced that 23,600 counterfeit items were seized in recent months.
“A lot of these items are coming from areas throughout the Pacific rim,” said Ike Peredo, CQA director.
He confirmed that the items are known to originate from the Philippines, Korea, China and Singapore.
“For now, we are confiscating the item, documenting it and sending it to the (Office of the Attorney General) with the recommendation for prosecuting them for violating the trademark act,” he said. “Once these items are adjudicated through the AG, the recommendation will come down then the final disposition will be made. If a case is deemed that the individual violated the law, then we will take responsibility and dispose of the items.”
He said the items are kept as evidence, adding that they will destroy them and toss them into the landfill.
No time frame was given as to how long that process could take, but Customs stated that they currently have 19 intellectual property rights cases awaiting the attorney general’s disposition.
“We are concerned about resale,” he said. “For you to sell a product that is registered, you would need to get authorization from the rightful owner.”
He said anyone caught trying to bring these items into the island could face fines or worse, criminal charges.
“I want the public to understand that bringing counterfeit items into Guam is a violation of the Trademark Counterfeiting Act. Customs officers will seize all these items,” he said.
Additionally, the bulk of the items seized include designer printed face masks, which he said have been a trend during the pandemic.
“A lot of these masks are in demand. What we are seeing is that they using the logos of registered products,” he said. “You need permission from the rightful owner to import those items. If not, then you are violating the law.”