Pittsburgh CBP Seizes Counterfeit and Potentially Harmful Cat and Dog Flea Collars

You wouldn’t feed your family dog or cat cheap animal food, so would you protect them with cheap, counterfeit flea collars?

During the past two weeks, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Port of Pittsburgh have seized 13 international parcels that consisted of a combined 31 cat and 27 dog flea collars under the Bayer Seresto brand name.

The collars were counterfeit.

Veterinarians warn pet owners against purchasing counterfeit flea collars because the fake collars may not protect your pet, they may consist of harmful ingredients that may sicken your pet, or they may cause chemical burns or hair loss.

CBP officers began detaining the shipments in mid-April and then confirmed with the trademark holder that the products were counterfeit. The last of the 13 parcels were seized through Sunday. The shipments, which arrived from China and Hong Kong, were destined to addresses in Allegheny, Beaver, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland Counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.

If genuine, the flea collars would have had a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of more than $3,500.

“Caveat emptor; buyer beware. If the price seems to be too good, then the product likely isn’t too good, and it can be downright harmful,” said Kathleen Killian Schafer, CBP’s Acting Port Director for the Port of Pittsburgh. “Consumers should be aware that counterfeit goods pose a serious health and safety threat and should protect their families and their pets by purchasing safe, authentic goods from reputable vendors.”

CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program.

Importation of counterfeit merchandise can cause significant revenue loss, damage the U.S. economy, and threaten the health and safety of the American people.

On a typical day in 2019, CBP officers seized $4.3 million worth of products with Intellectual Property Rights violations.

Learn more about what CBP did during “A Typical Day” in 2019.

CBP officers and Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents seized 27,599 shipments containing counterfeit goods in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. The decrease from 33,810 seizures in FY 2018 can be attributed to the challenges at the Southern border and the one-month government shutdown.

However, the total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the seized goods, had they been genuine, increased to over $1.5 billion from nearly $1.4 billion in FY 2018.

E- Commerce sales have contributed to large volumes of low-value packages imported into the United States. In FY 2019, there were 144 million express shipments and 463 million international mail shipments. Over 90 percent of all intellectual property seizures occur in the international mail and express environments

The People’s Republic of China (mainland China and Hong Kong) remained the primary source economy for seized counterfeit and pirated goods, accounting for 83 percent of all IPR seizures and 92 percent of the estimated MSRP value of all IPR seizures.

Read CBP’s Intellectual Property Seizure Report for Fiscal Year 2019 for more IPR stats and analysis.

CBP’s border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations.  Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders. Learn more about CBP at www.CBP.gov.

Follow the Director of CBP’s Baltimore Field Office on Twitter at @DFOBaltimore and on Instagram at @dfobaltimore for breaking news, current events, human-interest stories and photos.

CBP.gov (May 2020) Pittsburgh CBP Seizes Counterfeit and Potentially Harmful Cat and Dog Flea Collars

CBP officers seize counterfeit televisions at International Falls Port of Entry

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations officers at the International Falls, Minnesota, Port of Entry targeted a rail container destined to arrive in Ranier.  

CBP officers inspected the rail container and discovered televisions in violation of intellectual property rights (IPR) regulations.  CBP seized 440 televisions with an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $175,560 if the goods had been genuine.  

“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,” said Anthony Jackson, International Falls Port Director. “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.”

Stopping the flow of illicit goods is a priority trade issue for CBP. The importation of counterfeit merchandise can damage the U.S. economy and threaten the health and safety of the American people. For more information on CBP’s IPR priority trade issue visit: CBP Trade and IPR.

With the growth of foreign trade, unscrupulous companies have profited billions of dollars from the sale of counterfeit and pirated goods.

To combat the illicit trade of merchandise violating laws relating to IPR, trademark and copyright holders may register with CBP through an online system. Such registration assists CBP officers and import specialists in identifying merchandise that violates U.S. law.

CBP’s IPR enforcement strategy is multi-layered and includes seizing illegal merchandise at our borders, pushing the border “outward” through audits of suspect importers, cooperating with our international trading partners, and collaborating with industry and governmental agencies to enhance these efforts.

CBP has established an educational initiative at U.S. international airports and online to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers that can be associated with the purchase of counterfeit and pirated goods.

These include the loss of American jobs, support of criminal activity, significant risks to consumer health and safety, and the impacts of unknowingly purchasing counterfeits online.  For more information, see 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. 

IPR 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.

CBP.gov (May 2020) CBP officers seize counterfeit televisions at International Falls Port of Entry