Los Angeles - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport complex seized 151 life-size decorative lights of Santa Claus, a snowman and a polar bear with electrical adaptors containing counterfeit Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) markings.
UL is an independent product safety certification organization that rigorously tests and evaluates products for potential risk of fire, shock, and personal injury. Products are not certified until they meet established standards.
Products bearing counterfeit UL certification marks have not undergone this rigorous testing and certification process, and can present potential safety hazards to the end-user.
The holiday figurines were seized on Nov. 23 and 25. CBP officers discovered the infringing merchandise in two shipments arriving from China. The estimated manufacturer's suggested retail price for the 151 units is $173,000 with an estimated domestic value of $110,000.
These potentially dangerous holiday lights were identified by the Import Safety Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center in Washington, D.C., as part of a joint national operation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
"Enforcing product safety laws is a top priority for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. By seizing untested and potentially hazardous products at our nation's largest seaport, CBP officers not only protect the American consumer but contribute to a safe holiday season," said Todd C. Owen, CBP director of field operations in Los Angeles.
In fiscal year 2010, electrical articles presenting potential safety or security risks, with an estimated domestic value of $7.9 million, represented 19 percent of all commodities seized by CBP.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.