Border patrol officers seized thousands of counterfeit hand massagers worth more than $500,000 at the International Falls Port of Entry over the weekend.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection says its officers on Saturday targeted a rail container bound for Ranier, Minnesota, where they discovered 5,220 electric hand massagers that were in violation of intellectual property rights regulations.
The retail price for all these hand massagers, had they been genuine, was $521,843.
“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.”
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.