From MEMA Washington Insider
MEMA signed an industry letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) urging quick passage of the Foreign Counterfeit Prevention Act (H.R. 4216). The legislation gives Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the authority to show samples of potentially counterfeit goods to intellectual property rights (IPR) holders, allowing them to assist in determining whether the goods are legitimate. The bill was slated to be considered by the House Judiciary Committee last week, but the markup was postponed due to timing considerations.
The legislation may be voted on in committee early this week. A “Managers Amendment,” or the chairman’s version of the bill, is expected to be offered during the markup and includes a provision giving priority to “critical merchandise,” the definition of which includes “motor vehicle equipment.”
For suspect goods under this definition, CBP would be required to share samples or images of suspect imports with the IPR owner to determine its authenticity. Given the few remaining days of this Congress and efforts to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” it is uncertain the full House would vote on the bill should the Judiciary Committee pass it. Committee passage would be helpful to secure support for the bill in a customs reauthorization bill expected to be considered by Congress next year. MEMA will continue to work with Congress and stakeholders to ensure CBP and IPR owners collaborate effectively in combating counterfeits at our borders.