Border officials in International Falls seized hundreds of fake Apple AirPods.
According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) news release on Monday, officers targeted a rail container destined for Ranier, Minnesota, on Oct. 12.
Inside, they found 5,088 pairs of counterfeit Apple AirPods and 384 counterfeit Apple AirPods charges with an estimated retail price of $813,216 had they been authentic. The AirPods were in violation of intellectual property rights regulations, the release says.
“CBP is focused on identifying and intercepting counterfeit merchandise and products. The enforcement of trade laws at U.S. ports of entry remains a high priority for us,” Anthony Jackson, International Falls Port Director, said in a statement. “Counterfeiting adversely affects the ability of lawful copyright holders to profit from their original ideas.
"Counterfeiting also harms consumers because manufacturers of forged products have little motivation to use safe, high-quality materials in their products," Jackson added.
CBP says illicit goods like these fake AirPods are a priority issue for officers because importing fake merchandise can harm the economy and "threaten the health and safety" of Americans.
Every year, CBP seizes millions of fake goods. In 2020, the agency seized 26,503 shipments containing goods that violated intellectual property rights. The total estimated value of the seized goods, had they been genuine, was nearly $1.3 billion.
Note: A previous version of the story incorrectly stated the number of AirPods seized but the CBP has since updated its figures.