BALTIMORE – To borrow from the 1960’s rock band The Standells, I want to tell you a story about what Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers found down by the Patapsco River, and if allowed to pass through to store shelves, could have led to consumers not loving the Dirty Water.
CBP officers seized more than 29,000 counterfeit refrigerator water purifier filters in Baltimore on Thursday. The filters would have been valued at more than $439,000, if authentic.
CBP officers initially inspected the shipment on January 24 after it arrived by ship from China. The shipment, which was destined to Walnut, Calif., consisted of 936 cartons, or 29,056 GlacialPure brand water filters. Officers detained the shipment as a potential intellectual property rights (IPR) violation.
CBP officers then contacted import specialists at CBP’s Machinery Center of Excellence and Expertise, the agency’s trade experts, and attorneys representing the GlacialPure company.
On February 7, CBP import specialists confirmed that the filter packaging displays a counterfeit Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) certification mark, which falsely claims that the filters were certified by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) the accredited plumbing and mechanical product industry certification agency.
CBP officers seized the counterfeit water purifier filters on Thursday. CBP import specialists appraised the counterfeit shipment at $439,156 manufacturer’s suggested retail price, if the filters were authentic.
To cut costs and maximize profits, counterfeit products are often made of inferior materials, are manufactured under uncontrolled and unsanitary conditions, and are labeled with false product information. CBP encourages consumers to protect themselves and their families by always purchasing safe, authentic goods from reputable vendors.
“These water filters displayed a counterfeit safety certification, which means that they cannot be trusted to provide clean drinking water and that poses a potentially serious health threat to American consumers,” said Marc Calixte, CBP’s Acting Area Port Director in Baltimore. “CBP remains committed to protecting consumers by intercepting potentially harmful goods, and by shining a light on the dangers posed by counterfeit and pirated products.”
CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program. During fiscal year 2020, CBP reported 26,503 counterfeit goods seizures worth an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of over $1.3 billion, in the goods were authentic. That comes out to about $3.6 million in counterfeit goods seizures every day. Read CBP’s Intellectual Property Seizure Report for more Fiscal Year 2020 IPR stats and analysis.
CBP's border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo and search for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality. Learn what CBP accomplished during "A Typical Day" in 2021.
Follow the Director of CBP’s Baltimore Field Office on Twitter at @DFOBaltimore for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos, and CBP’s Office of Field Operations on Instagram at @cbpfieldops.