USA: Customs Grants Entry of Remanufactured Ink and Toner Cartridges

Green Project Inc., a company specialized in recycling ink and toner cartridges, is pleased that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has sided with the company in favor of its challenge to CBP‘s seizure of ink and toner cartridges last year.

In letters dated February 21 and April 21, the Chief of CBP‘s Intellectual Property Branch said the Green Project cartridges in question had been “permissibly repaired“ and should not be excluded from entry into the United States, the company with offices based in China, Europe and the United States reported. Maintaining that its imported cartridges were legitimately remanufactured, Green Project protested CBP‘s seizure of shipments, which occurred at California ports in November and December 2016. “Agents were acting on four general exclusion orders issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in the 337-TA-565, 337-TA-691, 337-TA-723, and 337-TA-946 investigations,” the international supplier gave account. “The orders limit the importation of certain third-party inkjet cartridges presumed to violate Epson and HP patents. To prove its remanufactured cartridges did not infringe, Green Project presented CBP with the identity of the retailer that first sold the OEM cartridges in the United States and then later collected the spent cartridges from its customers. Green Project also documented for the authorities how these cores were gathered, shipped to China and remanufactured, and then returned to be marketed in the United States.” After reviewing Green Project‘s claims, CBP held in favor of the firm. It found that the cartridges in question were “originally purchased within the United States“ and that the processes used to remanufacture the cartridges fell “under permissible repair.“ As a result, the cartridges involved in the seizures would be outside of the ITC exclusion orders. The shipments were released to Green Project.

Photo: Adrien SAFKO /

GR 22017