Toy Association’s Rebecca Mond Testifies on Enforcement Against Counterfeit and Unsafe Toys Entering U.S.

March 5, 2019 | The Toy Association’s Rebecca Mond, vice president of federal government affairs, recently spoke in front of key government agencies in support of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) enforcement efforts against the upsurge in knockoff, counterfeit, and otherwise illicit toys being sold via online marketplaces.

The March 1 meeting, “21st Century Customs Framework,” was held to aid CBP in its efforts to modernize and adapt its mission in response to changing supply chains.

Mond spoke in front of Congressional staff and representatives from CBP, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Treasury, and the U.S. International Trade Commission.

“CBP and CPSC are important partners in the fight against knockoffs and other illicit toys that do not meet strict U.S. safety standards,” said Mond. “Many toy companies have used CBP tools, like registering their IP with the CBP IPR database, and have successfully stopped many knockoff toys from getting into the hands of our children. We appreciate CBP’s ongoing efforts in this area, though more must be done, and a holistic approach must be taken to address this issue.”

Mond’s comments highlighted The Toy Association’s recently published white paper, “The Real Threat of Fake Toys: The Increase in Knockoff and Counterfeit Toys Sold Online & How to Fight Back,” which discusses potential solutions for three main factors contributing to the problem: insufficient vetting by marketplaces of sellers and products sold online; a burden of enforcement that is disproportionately placed on IP rights holders (brand owners); and consumers who are largely unaware of the scope of the problem and unknowingly purchase these products thinking they are held to the same high standards as toys sold by legitimate companies.

The Toy Association supports initiatives currently underway by CBP and the CPSC to improve targeting of low value shipments, as well as CBP’s work with customs authorities around the world to share and exchange best practices to improve enforcement. The Association plans to continue its work with CBP to educate toy companies on how to protect their brands and inform toy consumers on how to protect their children from unsafe, knockoff toys.