U.S. Customs and Border Protection services for trademark owners

Some imported goods bear trademarks that are counterfeits or infringing versions of federally registered trademarks. The importation of such goods threatens the U.S. economy, the competitiveness of our businesses, and in some cases, the health and safety of consumers. 

Recording your trademark registration

If your business’s products are likely targets for international counterfeiters (e.g., popular or high-demand products), consider applying to record your trademark registration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Recording your trademark registration helps CBP detain and seize imported goods if they violate your recorded trademark. The recordation process is a critical tool in CBP’s efforts to protect intellectual property rights at the border. 

To record with CBP, you must: 

  • Own a federally registered trademark. Your trademark must be on the Principal Register. It must be registered for use on goods. 
  • Apply for recordation. You can apply electronically or on paper. Apply electronically using CBP’s Intellectual Property Rights Recordation system.
  • Pay the application fee. There is a fee for recording your trademark registration with CBP.
  • Periodically apply to renew. To maintain your recordation, you must apply for renewal and pay renewal fees at regular intervals that correspond to your trademark registration renewal at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Trademark owners who record with CBP often provide information to CBP about authorized manufacturers and importers as well as potential unauthorized shipments to aid in CBP’s efforts to detain and seize infringing goods before they enter the U.S. market. 

Checking for unauthorized recordation

To ensure your registration hasn't been recorded by an unauthorized party, check the Intellectual Property Rights Search system for your trademark.

Contact CBP’s Intellectual Property Rights Branch at iprrquestions@cbp.dhs.gov or 202-325-0020 for assistance. 

Learn more about CBP’s role in protecting intellectual property rights on the CBP website