HOUSTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Houston seaport intercepted over 70,000 various counterfeit Apple and JBL electronics with a combined Manufactured Suggested Retail Price over $4M.
The items were shipped from China and were seized because of intellectual property rights violations.
“Transnational criminal organizations are relentless in their effort to fund their illegal activities by manufacturing poor imitations of authentic designer brands,” said Houston CBP Port Director Roderick Hudson. “Many consumers are unaware that these types of illegal activities can involve forced labor and human trafficking. This seizure illustrates our commitment to protecting our nation’s economy and consumers from those intent on defrauding businesses and consumers alike.”
When the shipment arrived to Houston, CBP officers examined it and discovered various Apple products including Air Pod Pros, Apple Watches, Lightning Cables, protective cases and JBL speakers. Images of the items were sent to the trademark holders who confirmed the items were counterfeit. While the domestic value of these items is $1,624,479.67, had these items been genuine, the MSRP would have reached $4,061,224.66.
Hudson added that counterfeiters can multiply illegal profits when these types of illegitimate items are made available on websites, sold in flea markets or unauthorized outlets. He added that consumers are deceived into believing that they are buying an original product at a significant discount but instead are purchasing counterfeit items that do not hold a manufacturer’s warranty or similar protections.
CBP officers work tirelessly to intercept and disrupt criminal activity. In fiscal year 2020, CBP processed $2.4 trillion in imports, the end of the fiscal year 2019, CBP recorded more than 23,700 seizures of counterfeit goods, with an estimated value of $1.2 billion.
CBP has established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers associated with purchasing counterfeit and pirated goods online or in stores. To report suspected fraud or illegal trade activity, please contact CBP through the e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT.
Intellectual property rights violations can also be reported to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center or by telephone at 1-866-IPR-2060.