May 5, 2021
If you’re doing any last-minute Mother’s Day shopping, make sure you’re buying the real thing. According to a release, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized two large shipments of fake merchandise that arrived at the Port of Cincinnati on April 30.
CINCINNATI, Ohio — If you’re doing any last-minute Mother’s Day shopping, make sure you’re buying the real thing. According to a release, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized two large shipments of fake merchandise that arrived at the Port of Cincinnati on April 30. One shipment contained 10,000 earbuds while the second shipment held 1,386 items of fake Cartier and Hermes jewelry. Both shipments came off a flight from China.
Import specialists deemed the earbuds in violation of CBP trademark and copyright codes because of their configuration, which was identical to those of Apple Airpods. Apple has configuration trademarks on their brands and has recorded those trademarks with CBP. All of the counterfeit bracelets displayed the protected Cartier and Hermes trademarks.
If the Airpods and jewelry had been real, they would have been worth $1,990,000 and $9,757,620, respectively, for a cumulative Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $11,747,620.
“Buying counterfeit goods damages our economy and your bank account,” said Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie. “Supporting counterfeiting enterprises also supports criminal activities such as money laundering and drug trafficking, and leaves the consumer with an inferior, if not dangerous, product. Our officers work hard every day to stop the flow of fake goods from entering U.S. commerce.”
In the release, CBP said that in Fiscal Year 2020, it seized more than 26,500 shipments containing counterfeit goods that would have been worth nearly $1.3 billion had they been genuine.
Other recent seizures at the Port of Cincinnati include:
$4.26 million of counterfeit jewelry bearing multiple protected trademarks.
Nearly $3.6 million worth of counterfeit Cartier bracelets.
1,196 fake keys, fobs, and decals worth $103,101.
Two shipments containing nearly $3.2 million counterfeit Cartier and Hermes jewelry.
CBP said its data indicates that handbags, wallets, wearing apparel, footwear, watches, jewelry and consumer electronics are at higher risk of being counterfeited.
“In addition to posing potential health and safety hazards, counterfeit goods are often of inferior quality,” said the release. “Peeling labels, low-quality ink or printing errors on the packaging, and loosely packed items in the box can be signs that the product you purchased may not be legitimate. Counterfeit apparel and handbags may feature poor or uneven stitching and improperly sized or designed logos. The performance of counterfeit electronics is often marked by short battery life and regular overheating.”
There are some steps consumers can take to protect themselves, according to CBP:
Review CBP’s E-Commerce Counterfeit Awareness Guide for Consumers
Purchase goods directly from the trademark holder or from authorized retailers.
When shopping online, read seller reviews and check for a working U.S. phone number and an address that can be used to contact the seller.
If the price of a product seems too good to be true, it probably is.