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CBP Memphis seizes $6M+ in fake championship rings

Release Date: 
December 18, 2019

MEMPHIS — As the end of the NFL season nears, more and more teams are showing playoff implications. For some fans, excitement to see their team move closer to the Super Bowl may lead them to purchase a replica of their favorite team’s championship ring.

championship rings
An authentic championship ring can cost
anywhere from $10,000 to more than
$35,000.

However, buyers must be careful where they purchase these keepsakes. Counterfeit Super Bowl rings continue to rise, and, if intercepted, may be seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

     In this fiscal year alone, CBP trade enforcement officers in Memphis seized three different shipments of fake NFL, MLB, and NHL rings. Altogether, 631 rings were seized, which, had they been real, would have been worth a total of more than $6,300,000.

     The packages had been shipped from China, and were headed for various addresses in the United States. The merchandise was targeted due to poor craftsmanship and packaging, and was later confirmed to be fake.

     “One of CBP’s responsibilities is to protect Intellectual Property Rights. Our officers do a great job of detecting and seizing counterfeit goods,” said Michael Neipert, Port Director for CBP Memphis, which is assigned to CBP’s New Orleans Field Office. “If a deal on a trademarked item appears too good to be true, it probably is.”

championshp rings
CBP trade enforcement officers in Memphis
seized three different shipments of fake
NFL, MLB, and NHL rings.

     Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement is a Priority Trade Issue. Importation of counterfeit merchandise can cause significant revenue loss, damage the U.S. economy, and threaten the health and safety of American people. In Fiscal Year 2018, CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)-Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) seized 33,810 shipments containing goods that violated IPR. In New Orleans alone, CBP and HSI more than 33,000 counterfeit items valued at more than $8 million, as part of their annual Operation Safety Claus. Learn more about IPR seizures in 2018 on the CBP website.

     The Area Port of Memphis is one of three area ports assigned to the CBP New Orleans Office of Field Operations. CBP New Orleans also has area ports in Mobile, Ala., and New Orleans, covering Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Alabama.

     If you have information concerning counterfeit merchandise illegally imported into the United States, CBP encourages you to submit an anonymous report through e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System. Border security crimes, including narcotic and contraband smuggling, human trafficking, currency smuggling, terrorism, immigration, trade, and agriculture violations in the CBP New Orleans five-state area can also be reported by calling 1-866-237-3468. 

Last modified: 
December 18, 2019