CINCINNATI— Tuesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati seized a 211 pound shipment full of fake iPhones coming from Japan. The phones were headed to an electronics store in Miami, Florida.
The total Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the phones was $143,135, had they been genuine. All of the items were deemed counterfeit by CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise.
American consumers spend more than $100 billion every year on intellectual property rights (IPR) infringing goods, falling victim to approximately 20% of all counterfeits illegally sold worldwide.
Counterfeit electronics can be a serious health and safety hazard because of the increased probability of malfunction or fire hazard. Electronics can come with pre-installed malware, which can affect the security of users’ information. Counterfeits pose criminal, financial, and consumer safety risks for the United States and its citizens.
“E-commerce is a growing segment of the U.S. economy, driven by high-volume, low-value shipments entering our ports of entry,” said Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie. “Our officers are committed to protecting our citizens and enforcing U.S. laws to make sure legal trade continues but illicit shipments like this one do not reach unsuspecting consumers.”
IPR protection is a priority trade issue for CBP, and the agency has established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers associated with the purchase of counterfeit and pirated goods. Information about the Truth Behind Counterfeits public awareness campaign can be found at https://www.cbp.gov/FakeGoodsRealDangers.
If you have information about counterfeit merchandise being illegally imported into the U.S., CBP encourages you to submit an e-Allegation. The e-Allegation provides a means for the public to anonymously report to CBP any suspected violations of trade laws or regulations related to the importation of goods into the U.S.