Michael Drumm
/ Categories: 2020

3-A SSI China Trademark Attorneys Issue Advisory Against Counterfeits

McLean, VA – 3-A Sanitary Standards, Inc. announces the publication of a special advisory by King & Wood Mallesons, the trademark attorneys of 3-A SSI in China, to caution counterfeiters against violating the new General Exclusion Order of the U. S. International Trade Commission to block the imports of falsely advertised food processing equipment.

The new advisory, published in English and Chinese, aims to stop Chinese companies that are falsely advertising themselves as being 3-A SSI authorized from marketing or sending such products to the U.S. The GEO issued by the USITC became effective on August 15 and prohibits the unauthorized importation of falsely advertised food processing equipment.  Implementation of the GEO means that Chinese companies may no longer falsely assert that they are 3-A SSI licensees if they are not licensees and import their products into the United States. The complete advisory is available at: https://www.3-a.org/Portals/93/News Releases/KWM Advisory_USITC GEO.pdf?ver=2020-09-14-162551-020.

KWM notes that some Chinese companies have exported food processing equipment and packaging materials that are falsely advertised through the unauthorized use of the registered marks of 3-A SSI, including the 3-A Symbol design mark and the 3A word mark. In order to stop this unfair trade practice, 3-A SSI filed a complaint alleging violations of Section 337 of Tariff Act of 1930. In June, the USITC issued a GEO prohibiting the unlicensed importation of food processing equipment and packaging materials from China that are falsely advertised through the unlicensed use of the 3-A Symbol or ‘3A’ claim. The order institutes a bond of 100 percent of entered value for the imported items subject to the GEO, effective immediately. The U.S Customs Service is now completing details to enforce GEO.

3-A SSI has requested authorities in China to publicize the KWM advisory to help avert the improper use of the trademarks and protect the integrity of the 3-A SSI marks. “Counterfeit equipment from China has been a wide-ranging and persistent problem,” according to 3-A SSI Executive Director Tim Rugh.  “This advisory is intended to inform companies about the legitimate use of our marks and how they can prevent disruption in marketing unlicensed items.”

U.S. regulatory sanitarians, including USDA, FDA, and state authorities, rely on the 3-A Symbol program to support the inspections of equipment and processing systems around the U.S. and other processing facilities of foods imported into the U.S. The 3-A Symbol is a registered mark used since 1956 to identify equipment that meets 3-A Sanitary Standards for design and fabrication. Voluntary use of the 3-A Symbol on dairy and food equipment conveys assurance that equipment meets sanitary standards, provides accepted criteria to equipment manufacturers for sanitary design, and establishes guidelines for uniform evaluation and compliance by sanitarians.

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