By R. Mitchell –
PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers recently seized a combined 4,449 counterfeit LG and ASUS smartphones in Philadelphia, that, if authentic, would have had a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $941,450.
CBP officers seized the first shipment of 2,043 counterfeit LG phones on July 26 and seized the second shipment of 1,926 LG and 480 ASUS counterfeit smartphones on August 9. Each shipment, if authentic, would have had an MSRP of $508,707 and $432,743, respectively.
Both shipments transited from China through the Dominican Republic to Philadelphia and were manifested as “cell phones used.” The phones will be destroyed.
During both seizures, CBP officers inspected the shipment and submitted samples to CBP’s Electronics Centers for Excellence and Expertise, the agency’s trade experts, to determine authenticity of trademarks.
Consumer safety and trademark protection is one of Customs and Border Protection’s top trade enforcement priorities.
“In addition to substantial theft suffered by the lawful trademark holders, these counterfeit smartphones may also pose a financial security and health threat to American consumers due to the installation of identity theft software on the phones or the potential for counterfeit batteries to overheat and burn consumers,” said Casey Durst, CBP Director of Field Operations in Baltimore. “Customs and Border Protection officers will continue to work closely with our trade and consumer safety partners to identify and seize imported counterfeit merchandise, especially those products that pose potential harm to American consumers.”
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 2018, CBP officers seized $3.7 million worth of products with IPR violations. Learn more about what CBP did during “A Typical Day” in 2018.
In fiscal year (FY) 2018, the number of IPR seizures decreased by 333 seizures to 33,810 from 34,143 in FY 2017. The total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the seized goods, had they been genuine, increased to nearly $1.4 billion from over $1.2 billion in FY 2017. Read more 2018 IPR Enforcement Statistics.
As a result of CBP enforcement efforts, ICE Homeland Security Investigations agents arrested 381 individuals, obtained 296 indictments, and received 260 convictions related to intellectual property crimes in 2017.
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