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Illegal piñatas turn up on border, but not in San Luis
Illegal piñatas in the likeness of Walt Disney characters have been seized at at least one border crossing on their way from Mexico to the United States.
The piñatas so far haven't turned up at the U.S. Port of Entry in San Luis, Ariz., according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, although recent years have seen CBP officers assigned to that crossing make repeated seizures of counterfeit toys destined for Mexico.
The piñatas, apparently produced in Mexico, were illegal because they were made without the Disney corporation's permission and thus violated its intellectual property rights, CBP said.
In all, 108 piñatas in the likeness of Disney characters were seized from a tractor-trailer that pulled up earlier this month to the port of entry at Douglas, Ariz. The cargo was on its way to Thornton, Colo., CBP said.
Teresa Small, CBP supervisor at San Luis, said as of this week, no such piñatas had been found by CBP officers at San Luis. Whether the illegal pinatas will become a borderwide trend is a matter of speculation, she said.
San Luis, however, has had the distinction of being one of main routes for counterfeit toys being smuggled to Mexico.
From January 2008 to the present, CBP agents at all ports of entry on the Arizona-Sonora border have made more than 50 seizures of counterfeited toys and various other reproduced items, Small said, and more than half of those confiscations took place at San Luis.
The toys were illegal reproductions of Mattel toys such as Barbie dolls and of playthings made by other U.S. manufacturers. The counterfeits had been made in Asian countries and were to be smuggled to Mexico by way of the United States, CBP said previously.
As is the case with the pinatas, the reproduction infringed on the trademarks of the true manufacturer, potentially costing those companies sales, Small explained.