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Low Country CBP Officers Seize $1.6M in Counterfeit and Potentially Dangerous Hoverboards

Release Date: 
February 9, 2016

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The holiday season may have passed, but not the importation of popular items that consumers are eager to buy. It is U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) border security responsibility to ensure that these imports comply with all applicable U.S. laws, including consumer safety standards. When imports don’t, CBP removes them from circulation.

Recently, CBP’s Port of Charleston, S.C. did just that when officers seized two shipments containing 2,380 counterfeit hoverboards because they violated trademark protections, and because they posed a potential health risk to U.S. consumers.

If authentic, the hoverboards, which were manufactured in China, would have a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $1,666,000.

“Enforcing product safety laws and protecting intellectual property rights is a top priority for Customs and Border Protection,” said Anthony Acrey, CBP’s Acting Area Port Director for the Port of Charleston. “By seizing untested and potentially hazardous products at our nation's borders, CBP officers protect the American consumer and contribute to keeping our communities safe beyond the holiday season."

CBP recently seized $1.6 million in counterfeit hoverboards in Charleston, S.C., for possessing counterfeit labels and potentially dangerous ion lithium batteries.

CBP recently seized $1.6 million in counterfeit hoverboards in Charleston, S.C., for possessing counterfeit labels and potentially dangerous ion lithium batteries.

Hoverboards—self-balancing, two-wheeled, motorized platforms—are one of this year’s most popular items. However, major safety concerns have surfaced following reports of fires possibly caused by substandard and counterfeit lithium ion batteries within some hoverboards.

The swell of ccounterfeit hoverboards arriving at U.S. ports continue to be a concern for CBP.

CBP in Chicago recently announced a record seizure of more than 16,000 potentially unsafe hoverboards. Nationally, more than 50,000 potentially unsafe boards, with an estimated MSRP approaching $20 million, have been seized.

Counterfeit and pirated products threaten our economic security and undermine legitimate businesses that invest significant resources into manufacturing safe, quality products. Even worse, these products often pose serious health and safety hazards to the people who buy and use them.

CBP’s vigilant enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights protects America’s businesses against the threat of unfair and illicit competition from foreign companies, and prevents goods that may be dangerous to consumers or national security from entering the United States.

If you are aware of or suspect a company or individual of infringing your trademark or copyright, please report the trade violation to CBP at e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System. Trade violations can also be reported by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT.

For more information on CBP’s efforts involving counterfeit goods, visit IPR enforcement program.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017