PHILADELPHIA – Automotive repairs can be costly. Consumers might try to save a few bucks by buying cheaper parts online or by hiring a mechanic who offers to do the repair work at less than market value. But that decision could be even more costly if the auto parts fail because they are knockoffs.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized a Philadelphia-bound shipment of counterfeit auto parts on Monday that consisted of 177 pieces, including air bag covers, aluminum hoods, front fenders and bumpers, and badges bearing trademarked logos of Chevrolet, Buick, and Dodge. The counterfeit auto parts were valued at $196,035 manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), had they been authentic.
The shipment initially arrived from China on March 2 and officers detained them after they suspected the auto parts to be counterfeit. CBP officers also submitted documentation and photographs to CBP’s trade experts at the Electronics Centers of Excellence and Expertise and to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
On March 13, NHTSA advised CBP that the auto parts did not comply with Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
On Monday, CBP’s trade experts determined that the auto parts were not authentic and that they bore infringing trademarks that had been recorded with CBP through the e-Recordation program (https://iprr.cbp.gov/s/).
CBP officers seized the shipment on Monday. No one has been criminally charged. An investigation continues.
CBP officers earlier seized 192 headlamps and 40 brake hoses on February 28 for failing to comply with DOT and NHTSA safety standards. The headlamps and brake hoses were shipped from Taiwan to an address near Los Angeles and were valued at about $2,500.
“Consumers in need of auto repairs should be wary of unscrupulous repair shops and greedy internet vendors that prioritize profits over the safety of their customers,” said Joseph Martella, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia. “Consumer safety is a top priority to Customs and Border Protection and CBP officers will continue to seize counterfeit goods that threaten the health and safety of American consumers.”
CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program. The international trade in counterfeit consumer goods is illegal. It steals revenues from trademark holders, steals tax revenues from the government, funds transnational criminal organizations, and the unregulated products potentially threaten the health and safety of American consumers. Counterfeit consumer goods may also be sourced or manufactured in facilities that employ forced labor.
During fiscal year 2022, CBP officers and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents seized nearly 21,000 shipments containing goods that violated IPR, which equates to nearly 25 million counterfeit goods. The total estimated MSRP of the seized goods, had they been genuine, was over $2.98 billion (USD), or an average of over $8 million every day.
Additionally, HSI special agents arrested 255 individuals in 2022, obtained 192 indictments, and received 95 convictions related to intellectual property crimes. To learn more at HSI’s role in combatting counterfeiting, visit the National IPR Coordination Center.
Media can mine additional enforcement details by viewing CBP’s IPR webpage or by viewing previous years’ annual counterfeit goods seizure reports.
To report suspected counterfeits, visit CBP’s online e-Allegations portal or call 1-800-BE-ALERT. More information about counterfeit goods is available on CBP’s Truth Behind Counterfeits website and StopFakes.gov.
CBP’s border security mission is led at our nation’s Ports of Entry by CBP officers and agriculture specialists from the Office of Field Operations. CBP screens international travelers and cargo and searches for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, invasive weeds and pests, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality.
See what CBP accomplished during “A Typical Day” in 2022. Learn more at www.CBP.gov.
Follow the Director of CBP’s Baltimore Field Office on Twitter at @DFOBaltimore for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos, and CBP’s Office of Field Operations on Instagram at @cbpfieldops.