PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized a shipment of 1,440 counterfeit Oral-B toothbrush heads recently in Philadelphia that were destined to an address in Joliet, Illinois. If genuine, the toothbrush heads would have had a manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of $12,274.
This is CBP’s second Oral-B toothbrush heads seizure five months. In November, Philadelphia CBP officers seized 20,400 counterfeit Oral-B toothbrush heads shipped from China.
In the most recent seizure, CBP officers initially examined the express delivery shipment from Turkey on February 14 and discovered 1,440 Oral-B toothbrush heads that consisted of 260 four-packs and 200 two-packs. Officers detained the shipment as suspected counterfeit consumer goods due to poor packaging and questionable quality.
CBP officers then worked with CBP’s Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Centers for Excellence and Expertise, the agency’s trade experts and verified through the trademark holder that the products were counterfeit. Officers seized the shipment on February 24.
Counterfeit toothbrush heads pose a serious health threat to consumers, as do all counterfeit healthcare products. Counterfeit brush heads are manufactured in unsanitary facilities with substandard materials that may sicken users or cause bleeding to a user’s gums or mouth, and structural defects may cause the brush head to detach and potentially choke users.
“Customs and Border Protection will continue to work with our trade and consumer safety partners to identify and seize counterfeit consumer goods that threaten American shoppers, such as these potentially dangerous tooth brush heads,” said Anne Maricich, CBP’s Acting Director of Field Operations, Baltimore Field Office. “CBP urges consumers to protect themselves and their families by purchasing authentic health and hygiene products from reputable vendors.”
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 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents seized 27,599 shipments containing counterfeit goods in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. 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.
Additionally, HSI arrested 256 individuals, obtained 197 indictments, and received 157 convictions related to intellectual property crimes during FY 2019.
The People’s Republic of China remained the primary source economy for seized counterfeit and pirated goods, accounting for a total estimated MSRP value of over $1 billion or 66 percent of the estimated MSRP value of all IPR seizures.
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.