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CBP Seizes $360k Shipment of Counterfeit Earbuds near Washington Dulles

Release Date: 
May 26, 2017

STERLING, Va. – In one of the larger counterfeit seizures in air cargo at Washington Dulles International Airport, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently seized 60,000 counterfeit Samsung earbuds that, if genuine, held an MSRP value of about $360,000.

A box of counterfeit earbuds CBP officers seized.
Some of the 60,000 counterfeit
earbuds CBP officers seized in air cargo
near Washington Dulles Intl Airport.

CBP officers examined the shipment of 120 boxes, which arrived from China manifested as headsets, on April 18.  Officers discovered that each box contained 500 earbuds bearing the Samsung brand.  Officers detained the shipment and submitted documentation to import specialists from CBP’s Electronics Center of Excellence and Expertise.  Import specialists determined the earbuds to be counterfeit.

The shipment was in transit to Brazil.

“Customs and Border Protection will continue to work closely with our trade and consumer safety partners to identify and seize counterfeit and inferior merchandise, especially those products that pose potential harm to American consumers,” said Wayne Biondi, CBP Port Director for the Port of Washington Dulles. 

CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program, and has made IPR enforcement a CBP Priority Trade Issue

CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized a record number of 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 agents arrested 451 individuals, obtained 304 indictments, and received 272 convictions related to intellectual property crimes in FY2016.

CBP officers seized 120 cases of counterfeit earbuds worth an estimated $360,000 MSRP if authentic.
CBP officers seized 120 cases of
counterfeit earbuds worth an estimated
$360,000 MSRP if authentic.

“The theft of intellectual property and the trade in substandard and often dangerous goods threatens America’s innovation economy and consumer health and safety, and it generates proceeds that fund criminal activities and organized crime,” said Casey Owen Durst, CBP’s Field Operations Director in Baltimore, the agency’s operational commander in the Mid-Atlantic region.  “Intellectual property rights enforcement is a Customs and Border Protection priority trade issue, and a mission that we take seriously.”

On a typical day in 2016, CBP officers seized $3.8 million worth of products with IPR violations.

If you have information about counterfeit merchandise being illegally imported into the United States, CBP encourages you to submit an anonymous report through e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System.

CBP’s Office of Field Operations

Almost a million times each day, CBP officers welcome international travelers into the U.S.  In screening both foreign visitors and returning U.S. citizens, CBP uses a variety of techniques to intercept narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products, and to assure that global tourism remains safe and strong.  Learn more about what CBP did during "A Typical Day" in 2016.

CBP's border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations.  Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders.

Learn more about CBP at CBP.gov.

Last modified: 
June 8, 2017