Be careful what you purchase online on sites such as eBay, Kijiji, Craigslist, etc.  If the goods that are shipped to you by a vendor outside North America are counterfeit, you may receive a letter from Customs and Border Protection (“USCBP”) or the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) notifying you that your NEXUS membership has been cancelled.

Both the United States and Canada have programs whereby a rights holder may inform the border agency that counterfeit goods are entering the country and to keep a look-out for the goods and seize the goods.  So, both border agencies have long lists of clothing (Nike shoes), fashion accessories (e.g., Louis Vuitton purses, Ray-Ban sunglasses), electronics (Sony LED televisions) and accessories (Apple chargers and ear buds), toys, music CDs, videos, auto parts, etc.

We have had three files in the last year where an individual purchased an item online and it was seized as counterfeit at the border.  The items were priced low and the individual should have asked whether the goods were counterfeit. The counterfeit goods were being imported by a courier company or the mail, but the packages were addressed to the buyer and the paperwork was completed for the buyer as “importer of record”.  The border agency stopped the packages after reviewing the ACI data provided by the courier company about the shipments.  After examining the contents of the packages, they were seized by the border agency. These three individuals later received a letter notifying them that their NEXUS membership was cancelled.

We had one file where an individual purchased an item on Craigslist in Canada and USCBP determined that the goods were counterfeit at the border.  USCBP confiscated the person’s NEXUS card at the border along with the goods.

We had one file where an individual returning from China had a number of counterfeit purses in her luggage.  She had gone to the Pearl Market in Beijing and another market where counterfeit items are sold.  When the CBSA examined her luggage, they found the counterfeit purses.  At first the CBSA thought the goods were genuine and had not been declared.  The CBSA then realized (after being informed by the traveler) that the purses were counterfeit. The CBSA seized the purses and confiscated the individual’s NEXUS card.

In all of the cases, the individual was out the money they paid on the counterfeit goods, they no longer had the counterfeit goods because they were seized and they lost their NEXUS cards.

We had one file where the individual was unknowingly importing counterfeit money, which is a prohibited importation in Canada.  The person had sold a motorcycle in the United States and was paid with counterfeit US currency. The counterfeit money was seized and their NEXUS membership was cancelled.

Some of our clients filed successful appeals of the NEXUS cancellation and their NEXUS memberships were reinstated.  If your NEXUS card is confiscated for any reason, you may ask for a review.  We have written many articles on the subject of seeking a review, such as How Can I Get My NEXUS Card Back When It is Cancelled/ Confiscated By The CBSA?, What Can I Do If My NEXUS Card Is Confiscated By The CBSA?, Can US Customs Take My NEXUS Card at Toronto Pearson International Airport?, Can I get my NEXUS Card back in less than six years?

For more information, please contact Cyndee Todgham Cherniak at 416-307-4168 or at