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Pittsburgh CBP Officers Seize Counterfeit and Potentially Harmful Child Pacifiers

Release Date: 
September 16, 2020

PITTSBURGH – Whether you call it a binky, pluggy or wubby, pacifiers have been used to sooth crying babies for decades. It has become an invaluable parenting tool, and because they are going in your infant’s mouth, parents want to make sure they are using the safest of products. Buying a pacifier from a reputable dealer should assure confidence in its safety.

Customs and Border Protection officers seized counterfeit and potentially harmful baby pacifiers in Pittsburgh on September 9, 2020.
CBP seized counterfeit children's pacifiers
with Chanel  and Mercedes Benz branding.

However, disreputable sellers sometimes turn to counterfeit products to increase profit margins, but counterfeit pacifiers may expose children to unsafe levels of lead paint or they could be constructed of inferior materials that may break and potentially choke a child.

Customs and Border Protection officers in Pittsburgh seized a shipment of 25 counterfeit pacifiers from Hong Kong on September 9 that bore bejeweled Chanel and Mercedes Benz logos, and metallic link chains and clips.

Officers inspected and detained the shipment, which arrived in express consignment on August 28. It was destined to an address in Allegheny County, Pa. Working with the trademark holders, CBP determined the pacifiers to be counterfeit and seized the shipment.

Had they been authentic, the pacifiers would have had a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of about $1,300.

“Counterfeit consumer goods, such as these baby pacifiers, are manufactured in unregulated facilities with substandard materials and may be coated in excessive levels of lead paint that could threaten the health and safety of vulnerable young children,” said Casey Durst, CBP’s Director of Field Operations in Baltimore. “Customs and Border Protection urges consumers to protect themselves and their families by always purchasing safe, authentic goods from reputable vendors.”

Customs and Border Protection officers seized counterfeit and potentially harmful baby pacifiers in Pittsburgh on September 9, 2020.
Shipment consisted of 25 counterfeit pacifiers
with an MSRP of about $1,300.

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, down from 33,810 seizures in FY 2018. 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: 
September 16, 2020