PITTSBURGH – You wouldn’t feed your family dog or cat cheap animal food, so would you protect them with cheap, counterfeit flea collars?
During the past two weeks, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Port of Pittsburgh have seized 13 international parcels that consisted of a combined 31 cat and 27 dog flea collars under the Bayer Seresto brand name. The collars were counterfeit.
Veterinarians warn pet owners against purchasing counterfeit flea collars because the fake collars may not protect your pet, they may consist of harmful ingredients that may sicken your pet, or they may cause chemical burns or hair loss.
CBP officers began detaining the shipments in mid-April and then confirmed with the trademark holder that the products were counterfeit. The last of the 13 parcels were seized through Sunday. The shipments, which arrived from China and Hong Kong, were destined to addresses in Allegheny, Beaver, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland Counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.
If genuine, the flea collars would have had a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of more than $3,500.
“Caveat emptor; buyer beware. If the price seems to be too good, then the product likely isn’t too good, and it can be downright harmful,” said Kathleen Killian Schafer, CBP’s Acting Port Director for the Port of Pittsburgh. “Consumers should be aware that counterfeit goods pose a serious health and safety threat and should protect their families and their pets by purchasing safe, authentic goods 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 Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents seized 27,599 shipments containing counterfeit goods in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. The decrease from 33,810 seizures in FY 2018 can be attributed to the challenges at the Southern border and the one-month government shutdown. 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.