Member News

Toy Association Raises Concerns about Intellectual Property & Toy Safety in Washington, DC

Toy Association staff and members gathered in Washington, DC June 14 to discuss industry concerns about IP infringement and toy safety on online platforms. 

Meetings were held with executives from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Senate Finance Committee staff, and representatives from e-commerce platforms Alibaba and Amazon. Participating toy companies spoke about their experiences tackling infringing toys sold online and discussed possible solutions to improve toy safety and IP protection on e-commerce platforms.

The productive discussions resulted in some developments, including:

    • CPB expressed interest in holding future training sessions with Toy Association members to learn more about the industry so that they can better identify counterfeit and violative products entering the country. Toy Association staff discussed creating a guide to help agents spot non-compliant toys. The guide would also include top IP violation trends in different toy product categories.
    • CPSC’s director of import surveillance said that the volume of e-commerce packages, lack of data, and enforcement procedures designed for ocean containers (not de minimis shipments) have collectively resulted in numerous challenges in tackling e-commerce shipments. The Toy Association suggested that the CPSC pursue a working group of interested stakeholders to address the problem of unsafe products sold online.
    • The Toy Association and e-commerce platforms Alibaba and Amazon began discussing possible solutions to help the retailers further verify the safety and legitimacy of the products offered for sale on their platforms. These solutions will be discussed in greater detail in a forthcoming Toy Association white paper. Both platforms were receptive to the toy industry’s concerns and proposed solutions.

The Toy Association will continue to follow up on the discussions held last week and will keep members apprised of developments. Questions related to this issue may be directed to Rebecca Mond, senior director of federal government affairs.

Compliments by the Toy Association, a member of the EACCNY