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CBP Officers Seize Fake Apple EarPods At Peace Bridge

Release Date: 
March 22, 2017

BUFFALO, N.Y. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Peace Bridge seized 500 counterfeit Apple EarPods and 150 counterfeit adapters valued at just over $15,000 on March 20.  

Counterfeit Apple ear pods and adapters
Counterfeit Apple ear pods and adapters

CBP officers working at the Peace Bridge warehouse selected a shipment labeled “Earphones” for further examination on February 17. Officers discovered EarPods and adapters bearing the Apple logo on close inspection of the shipment - package printing and product quality inconsistent with Apple products.

Import specialists from CBP’s Electronics Center of Excellence and Expertise detained the shipment for further inspection. The import specialists determined the ear pods and adapters were counterfeit.

Counterfeit merchandise is often made of inferior materials, manufactured under uncontrolled and unsanitary conditions and labeled with false information, potentially threatening the health and safety of buyers and users.

“Our officers and import specialists have done an excellent job targeting shipments and identifying counterfeit items,” said Acting Port Director Cary Frieling. “CBP protects businesses and consumers every day with an aggressive intellectual property rights enforcement program.”

CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized a record number of shipments containing goods that violated Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in FY2016. The number of IPR seizures increased 9 percent in FY2016 to more than 31,560. The total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the seized goods, had they been genuine, increased to more than $1.38 billion. As a result of enforcement efforts, ICE Homeland Security Investigations arrested 451 individuals, obtained 304 indictments, and received 272 convictions related to intellectual property crimes in FY2016.

In February 2016, The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 was signed into law which highlighted IPR as a priority trade initiative.

Products that infringe on U.S. trademarks, copyrights, and patents threaten the health and safety of American consumers, the economy, and national security. CBP and Homeland Security Investigations continue IPR enforcement against illicit imports.

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.

Violations may include misclassification of merchandise, false country-of-origin markings, health and safety issues, valuation issues, and intellectual property rights. To submit your trade allegation, please visit E-Allegation.

Last modified: 
March 22, 2017