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Counterfeit Pokemon Action Figurines Can’t Go Past Harrisburg CBP

Release Date: 
May 15, 2020

HARRISBURG – “Gotta catch ‘em all!” U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Harrisburg, Pa., agreed with the Pokemon slogan after seizing more than 86,000 counterfeit Pokemon action figurines Wednesday. If authentic, the figurines would have had a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of nearly $604,000.

CBP officers seized more than 86,000 counterfeit Pokemon action figures in Harrisburg, Pa., May 13, 2020.
The Pokemon figurines are counterfeit
and a potential choking hazard.

While inspecting international parcels May 4, CBP officers examined a shipment manifested as “plastic furnishing articles” that arrived from Hong Kong. The shipment contained 15 boxes that contained a combined 86,400 Pokemon toy action figures.

Working with the trademark holder, CBP confirmed that the figurines were counterfeit. CBP import specialists appraised the shipment at $603,936. Officers seized the shipment for violating U.S. intellectual property rights. The parcel was destined to an address in Snyder County, Pa.

The figurines are small and pose a potential choking hazard to your children. Additionally, counterfeit toys tend to be coated in excessive levels of lead paint. No lead testing was conducted on these toys.

“In addition to protecting the trademark holder’s intellectual property rights, Customs and Border Protection’s primary concern with counterfeit consumer goods is the potential harm they can cause to American consumers, such as the choking hazard these figurines pose to children,” said Michelle Stover, CBP’s Port Director for the Port of Harrisburg. “CBP officers remain committed to working with our consumer safety partners to protect American consumers by seizing dangerous counterfeit goods at our nation’s ports of entry.”

CBP officers seized more than 86,000 counterfeit Pokemon action figures in Harrisburg, Pa., May 13, 2020.
Some of the more than 86,000
counterfeit Pokemon figurines.

CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program. Importation of counterfeit merchandise can cause significant revenue loss, damage the U.S. economy, and threaten the health and safety of the American people.

On a typical day in 2019, CBP officers seized $4.3 million worth of products with Intellectual Property Rights violations. Learn more about what CBP did during "A Typical Day" in 2019.

CBP officers and Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents seized 27,599 shipments containing counterfeit goods in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. The decrease from 33,810 seizures in FY 2018 can be attributed to the challenges at the Southern border and the one-month government shutdown. However, the total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the seized goods, had they been genuine, increased to over $1.5 billion from nearly $1.4 billion in FY 2018.

E- Commerce sales have contributed to large volumes of low-value packages imported into the United States. In FY 2019, there were 144 million express shipments and 463 million international mail shipments. Over 90 percent of all intellectual property seizures occur in the international mail and express environments

The People’s Republic of China (mainland China and Hong Kong) remained the primary source economy for seized counterfeit and pirated goods, accounting for 83 percent of all IPR seizures and 92 percent of the estimated MSRP value of all IPR seizures.

Read CBP’s Intellectual Property Seizure Report for Fiscal Year 2019 for more IPR stats and analysis.

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 www.CBP.gov.

Follow the Director of CBP’s Baltimore Field Office on Twitter at @DFOBaltimore and on Instagram at @dfobaltimore for breaking news, current events, human-interest stories and photos.

Last modified: 
May 15, 2020