San Juan, Puerto Rico - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) continues to find counterfeit and pirated goods that were purchased online by consumers.
CBP San Juan Field Operations seized numerous courier packages sent from Hong Kong containing counterfeit electronic cables, adapters, Apple Air Pods as well as copies of Cartier bracelets and other high-end jewelry brands.
“Consumers and small resellers purchase these products knowing the intrinsic value that these brands represent,” indicated Leida Colon, Assistant Director of Field Operations for Trade. “Consumers are tricked into believing they are buying an original product at a significant discount.”
If these items had been genuine, the seized merchandise would have had an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of over 530,000 US dollars.
CBP officers discovered the counterfeit goods while conducting enforcement examinations on courier packages at the Air Cargo Facility located at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport.
In Fiscal Year 2020, the CBP San Juan Field Office seized 2,443 shipments containing goods that violate intellectual property rights with an MSRP value of 46 million US dollars.
The majority of the counterfeit items seized in the San Juan Field Office are illegitimate goods in the jewelry, handbags, electronics, footwear, clothing and prescription drugs product categories. The source countries for most of these items are Hong Kong and China.
There are several steps that consumers can take to protect themselves when shopping online. Purchase goods only from reputable retailers and be wary of third party vendors. Check seller reviews and verify there is a working phone number and address for the seller, in case you have questions about the legitimacy of a product.
CBP has also established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers associated with purchasing counterfeit and pirated goods online or in stores. More information about that initiative is available at www.cbp.gov/fakegoodsrealdangers.
If you have any information regarding suspected fraud or illegal trade activity, please contact CBP through the e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT. Intellectual property rights violations can also be reported to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center at https://www.iprcenter.gov/referral/ or by telephone at 1-866-IPR-2060.