CBP seizes over 50,000 Apple AirPods and Nintendo game consoles

HOUSTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Seaport of Houston seized Apple AirPods and Nintendo video game consoles in early December for intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement.

CBP seized 50,000 counterfeit apples
AirPods in Houston.

This shipment of counterfeit electronics would have a domestic value of over $2.6 million and a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of over $6.5 million had they been genuine.

CBP officers selected a shipment of goods from China for inspection. When they opened the shipment, they discovered packages of Apple AirPods. After carefully examining the products, CBP officers noted that the goods appeared to be illegitimate and sent them to import specialists for examination.

“Throughout the year, our officers carefully inspect incoming international goods to ensure they are not counterfeit or harmful to consumers,” said Roderick W. Hudson, port manager. of the Houston/Galveston area. “One of our agency’s missions is to prevent the entry of illicit goods that could negatively impact our economy while supporting legitimate trade.”

Fake AirPods
Counterfeit Apple AirPods like these
were seized and were not allowed to reach
unsuspecting consumers.

Import specialists at CBP’s Electronics Center for Expertise and Excellence determined that the electronics were counterfeit, and on December 8, CBP officers seized the shipment containing 50,000 fake Apple AirPods and 920 counterfeit Nintendo video game consoles for IPR and trademark infringement.

The dangers of counterfeit products are real. Creating counterfeit products may involve forced labor, human trafficking, or supporting other criminal enterprises. Many counterfeit products are of poor quality and can cause injury or even death when used. Counterfeiters can use fake reviews to gain an unfair advantage over legitimate businesses, tricking you into buying counterfeit, faulty, or unsafe products.

In fiscal year 2020, CBP officers seized more than 3,000 consumer electronics devices with an MSRP value of over $162 million. The trade in illegitimate goods is associated with smuggling and other criminal activities, and often funds criminal enterprises.

Consumers can report suspected infringements through CBP’s e-Allegations online reporting system or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT.

The shipment was turned over to CBP’s Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Branch for disposal.

Comments are closed.