United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers recently intercepted more than 1,000 pairs of fake AirPods Pro 2 devices from Washington Dulles International Airport in March. The CBP announced the seizure, along with 50 counterfeit Apple Watches, all of which were bound for Fairfax County, Virginia.
The CBP revealed that the four shipments containing the fake products were inspected on March 15, and all of them came from China. The knockoff AirPods and fake Apple Watches could have made counterfeiters over $290,000 if sold at Apple’s suggested retail price. However, due to the CBP’s intervention, the products never made it to market.
The counterfeit Apple products were seized on March 29, but no charges have been filed yet in the case. The CBP says that unscrupulous manufacturers and vendors profit illegally by selling substandard counterfeit products that put American consumers’ health and wallets at risk.
“Customs and Border Protection urges consumers to protect themselves by buying authentic consumer goods from reputable or authorized vendors”, said Christine Waugh, CBP’s Acting Area Port Director for the Area Port of Washington, D.C.
This recent seizure is just one example of the CBP’s ongoing efforts to crack down on counterfeit goods. During fiscal 2022, the CBP seized almost 21,000 shipments that violated the U.S. Intellectual Property Rights enforcement program. These seizures included counterfeit products ranging from electronics and apparel to pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
The sale of counterfeit goods not only undermines legitimate businesses and deprives them of revenue, but it also poses a serious risk to public safety. Counterfeit products often fail to meet safety standards and can even be harmful to consumers. As such, the CBP’s ongoing efforts to prevent counterfeit goods from entering the market are crucial to protecting both consumers and businesses.
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The recent seizure of the fake AirPods and Apple Watches is a reminder to consumers to be cautious when buying products online, especially from third-party sellers. To ensure that they are buying authentic products, consumers should purchase items from authorized retailers or directly from the manufacturers themselves.