Toy Association Applauds Senate Report Citing Association Concerns of Counterfeit Toys

November 12, 2019 | The Senate Finance Committee released a bipartisan report last week,  "The Fight Against Fakes: How Statutory and Regulatory Barriers Prevent The Sharing of Information on Counterfeits," incorporating input and concerns from The Toy Association’s comments and white paper on fake toys.

The report, which recommends improved information sharing between U.S. Customs and Border Protection and its private sector partners to help identify and curb the sale of counterfeit imports, underscores the challenges rights holders have in enforcing their intellectual property online and many of the health and safety risks of counterfeits – such as toys – sold online.

The Senate report notes as more parents turn to e-commerce for toy buying, many are unaware of the harmful chemicals and choking hazards that come with purchasing counterfeit toys online, which do not meet federal safety standards and regulations for toys. This is backed by The Toy Association’s own findings in a national survey of U.S. parents, which shows one in three toy-purchasing parents falsely believe counterfeit toys are not sold in major online marketplaces.

"We appreciate that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) continue to work on and raise awareness of this critical issue," said Rebecca Mond, vice president of federal government affairs at The Toy Association. "Not only do these fake products skirt around the 100+ toy safety regulations, tests, and requirements put in place to protect the health and safety of our nation’s children, but they also directly damage the financial health and reputation of our member companies, who work diligently to ensure the safety of their products. We look forward to continuing to work with the Senate Finance Committee on protecting rights holders’ intellectual property and ensuring only safe, compliant toys get into the hands of children."

In its ongoing advocacy and education efforts surrounding the harmful impact of counterfeits on the toy community, The Toy Association released "The Real Threat of Fake Toys" white paper in January 2019, which analyzes factors contributing to the rise in counterfeit goods sold online and outlines potential solutions through collaborative work among stakeholders.

The Toy Association continues to educate and engage lawmakers, consumers, and online platforms on this issue. Earlier this month, The Toy Association released the results of its survey on toy safety and shopping online, providing helpful tips to consumers to recognize the hidden dangers of counterfeits sold online. The Toy Association’s Mond has also testified before Congress on the toy industry’s concerns regarding the prevalence of counterfeit toys sold on e-commerce platforms and engaged with White House officials in a roundtable discussion on IP protection. The Toy Association continues to collaborate with government officials on the topic and engage marketplaces year-round to improve brand protection and safety of toys sold through ecommerce marketplaces.

Questions and comments on counterfeits and IP protection may be directed to Rebecca Mond.