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Operation Guardian

Quick Facts:

Purpose: To combat the importation of substandard tainted, and counterfeit products that pose health and safety risks to consumers

Start: Nov 30, 2007

End: Ongoing

Agency Involvement: ICE‐HSI,CBP, FDA, DOJ‐ Computer Crime & IP, FBI, USPIS, CPSC

The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), based in Virginia and managed by ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), is leading the government's response to intellectual property theft (IP theft), a crime that costs American industries lost revenue and jobs every year. Operation Guardian (Guardian) is a multi-agency effort to combat the increasing importation of substandard, tainted and counterfeit products that pose a health and safety risk to consumers. The identification of these commodities has led to the successful detention and seizure of numerous containers of hazardous products.

On July 18, 2007, President Bush issued an executive order establishing an interagency working group on import safety (working group) to address the dangers found in imported apparel, pet food ingredients, toys, seafood, and other consumer products. To address the goals and objectives identified by the working group, ICE developed and implemented Guardian, which combines the specific areas expertise of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Justice Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Guardian is one of several programs overseen by the IPR Center that is aimed at stopping predatory and unfair trade practices that threaten our economic stability, restrict the competitiveness of U.S. industry in world markets and place the public health and safety of the American people at risk.

The collaborative work of Guardian has led to the seizure of commodities such as aircraft and automobile parts, pharmaceuticals, electrical devices, toys, and food products.

For more information about the IPR Center's Operation Guardian, please contact the Outreach & Training Unit by phone at 1-866-IPR-2060, by email at, or by U.S. mail at National IPR Coordination Center, 2451 Crystal Drive Stop 5105, Arlington, VA 20598-5105 attn: Outreach & Training Unit Chief.

Updated: 01/07/2021