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Dulles CBP Seizes $101k in Counterfeit Designer Brand Smartphone Cases

Release Date: 
May 31, 2019

STERLING, Virginia – Consumers are likely to spend $1,000 or more to purchase the newest smartphone model. That’s a hefty price for an essential tool in today’s culture. But then why protect it with a counterfeit smartphone case constructed with substandard materials that could break the first time the phone is dropped?

CBP officers seized these 240 counterfeit phone cases in air cargo at Washington Dulles International Airport May 29, 2019.
Counterfeit designer brand phone
cases worth an MSRP of about
$101,139, if authentic.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized 209 counterfeit designer brand phone cases Wednesday that arrived in air cargo at Washington Dulles International Airport from Hong Kong. If authentic, the phone cases would have a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $101,139.

The shipment, which arrived April 29, was destined to an address in Fredericksburg, Va. CBP officers inspected the shipment and discovered phone cases that displayed designer brand names, such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, MCM, Nike and others.

Officers suspected the shipment to be counterfeit and contacted CBP’s Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Centers for Excellence and Expertise, the agency’s trade experts, who confirmed with trademark holders that the merchandise was counterfeit.

Consumer safety and trademark protection is one of Customs and Border Protection’s top trade enforcement priorities.

“In addition to the phone cases consisting of substandard materials and poor construction, these counterfeit phone cases may possess excessive levels of lead paint that may pose health threats to consumers,” said Casey Durst, CBP Director of Field Operations in Baltimore. “Customs and Border Protection officers and import specialists will continue to work closely with our trade and consumer safety partners to identify and seize counterfeit merchandise, especially those products that pose potential harm to American consumers.”

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 American people.

On a typical day in 2018, CBP officers seized $3.7 million worth of products with IPR violations. Learn more about what CBP did during "A Typical Day" in 2018.

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, the number of IPR seizures increased 8 percent to 34,143 from 31,560 in FY 2016.  The total estimated MSRP of the seized goods, had they been genuine, decreased to $1.2 billion from $1.38 billion in FY 2016. Read more 2017 IPR Enforcement Statistics.

As a result of CBP enforcement efforts, ICE Homeland Security Investigations agents arrested 457 individuals, obtained 288 indictments, and received 242 convictions related to intellectual property crimes in 2017.

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 3, 2019