The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a press release announcing a new multi-agency task force, The Global Trade Task Force (GTTF), which is designed to protect national security and combat counterfeit goods. The multi-agency task force was launched recently in Detroit. DHS believes the task force could serve as a national model for related investigations.
DHS developed the GTTF in “effort[s] to mitigate vulnerabilities within the commerce stream that threaten the nation’s consumers and to protect national security”. GTTF is led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and combines the investigative, interdiction, regulatory, and licensing capabilities of a variety of agencies. Including HSI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), and the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA).
The weeklong pilot program held in Detroit resulted in HSI and CBP seizing over $1 million MSRP in counterfeit goods. The seizures included counterfeit products and prescription drugs, such as transceiver network modules, electronic cigarettes, watches and smartphones. For more information related to seizure cases visit our blog discussing “The ABC’S of Customs Seizures – PLUS Top 10 Tips to Ensure Import Compliance”.
GTTF’s primary mission, include:
Targeting the Trafficking of counterfeit, substandard, or tainted goods, that can put at risk public’s health or safety. (Automotive, aerospace, rail, and heavy industry products; and environmental crimes)
Halting financial frauds that deprive the U.S. government of revenue, companies or rights holders.
Preventing illegal export of U.S. military products, sensitive dual-use technology. Weapons of mass destruction; or chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear materials
The press release describes GTTF as a “robust import and export controls and investigative authorities to combat illicit commercial activities”. We can only anticipate the amount of seizures to quickly grow from those reported by CBP in 2018 now that other agencies will be involved.