Border patrol officers in Minneapolis seized counterfeit cellphone accessories that would be worth more than $41,500 if they had been legitimate.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Monday said officers in Minneapolis held a shipment on Nov. 5 to inspect it to make sure the items inside were in accordance with CBP regulations.
The shipment, which was manifested as phone cases and was sent from Hong Kong to "one recipient in Minnesota," contained merchandise that was labeled as Samsung phone cases, iPhone phone cases, iPhone adapters, and iPhone cases, the release said.
But the items were of poor quality and had incorrect packaging as well as other inconsistencies, which led an import specialist to determine they were counterfeit, the release says. Had they been real, the items would have been worth $41,500.
“Substandard and illegal products harm the U.S. economy and the health and safety of consumers, in particular, the adapters can be exceptionally dangerous,” Augustine Moore, Area Port Director-Minneapolis, said in a statement. “Once again our CBP officers at the Port of Minnesota have demonstrated their exceptional skill and superior commodity expertise.”
Enforcing intellectual property rights takes a multi-layered approach, CBP says, which includes seizing illegal merchandise at the border, pushing the border "outward" through audits of suspect importers, cooperating with international trading partners and collaborating with industry and government agencies to enhance their efforts.
In 2019, CBP and its partner agencies seized 27,559 shipments containing goods that violated intellectual property rights, totaling $1.5 billion if the goods had been legitimate, CBP's website says. Watches and jewelry were the most common items seized last year.