On September 13, 2017 the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) issued Customs Notice 17-27, confirming the CBSA’s Border Watch Line accepts information on shipments of dangerous counterfeit or pirated goods destined for Canada. “Dangerous” goods are those that represent a health, safety, or security threat. The Border Watch Line is a confidential tip line that is monitored 24/7 by the CBSA. It is operated in both of Canada’s official languages (English and French). Calls (and called-in information) are confidential and are not recorded, although the CBSA may share the information collected about the shipment with other national, international, or foreign law enforcement bodies.

Those with information about such dangerous counterfeit or pirated goods are encouraged to provide the following information:

  • A description of the goods and their intended use;
  • The reason the goods are dangerous (including documentary evidence);
  • The countries of origin and export;
  • The names and addresses of the exporter, shipper, importer, and consignee; and
  • The mode of transport, expected date of arrival, and port of entry.

This announcement is a welcome development for intellectual property rights holders who deal in goods that could, in the wrong hands, pose health, safety, or security concerns to Canadians. It is likely to help intellectual property rights holders who receive urgent intelligence about a shipment of dangerous counterfeit or pirated goods into Canada. It is hoped this development will supplement the CBSA’s “Request for Assistance” program, which allows owners of registered trademarks and of copyrights to record their intellectual property rights with the CBSA to help stop counterfeit and pirated goods (including non-dangerous goods) at the Canadian border.