US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep CBP.gov current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

Pittsburgh CBP Seizes More Counterfeit Streaming Service Remotes and Apple Airpods

Release Date: 
June 3, 2020

PITTSBURGH – Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized more than 4,700 counterfeit streaming system remote controllers, nearly 120 Apple AirPods and Lightning charging cables Sunday, which if authentic, would have had a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of nearly $112,000.

Customs and Border Protection officers seized numerous shipments of counterfeit streaming TV remotes and AirPods in Pittsburgh May 31, 2020.
Counterfeit Roku remote

All counterfeit products arrived from Hong Kong in nine shipments between April 27 and May 4. Officers suspected the remotes and Apple products to be counterfeit and worked with the trademark holders to confirm the products as fakes.

The shipments, which were destined to addresses in Butler County, Pa., included 4,212 Roku remotes and 500 Hisense remotes (for Amazon) worth $91,354, if authentic, and 97 counterfeit Apple AirPods and AirPod Pros and 20 counterfeit Lightning charging cables worth an MSRP of $20,565, if authentic.

This is the second significant counterfeit Roku seizure by Pittsburgh CBP officers in two months. On April 19, officers seized 1,600 fake Roku remotes worth an MSRP of about $80,000.

Counterfeit remote controllers are constructed using substandard materials that could easily break, and they may not offer a full inventory of options or commands that an authentic remote offers.

“Customs and Border Protection officers remain committed to protecting the intellectual property rights of businesses while protecting consumers against potentially harmful counterfeit products,” said Casey Durst, CBP’s Director of Field Operations in Baltimore. “Consumers should be aware that counterfeit goods pose a health and safety threat and should protect their families 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.

Customs and Border Protection officers seized numerous shipments of counterfeit streaming TV remotes and AirPods in Pittsburgh May 31, 2020.
Counterfeit Apple AirPods

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: 
February 3, 2021