CHICAGO — With sporting events returning to the main stage and football season right around the corner, criminals are appealing to their fan base sending shipments of counterfeit memorabilia hoping to cash at the expense of collectors and fans.
On Aug. 2, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Chicago seized a shipment from Shanghai, China that contained 62 counterfeit championship rings. The shipment was destined for a store in Aurora.
The parcel was held for inspection related to the admissibility of its contents in accordance with CBP regulations. When the officers opened the package they found 62 counterfeit pro sports championship rings inside. The intercepted rings were sent to an import specialist for evaluation. The specialist noticed the rings appeared new, were of poor quality, had poor and improper packing, a low declared value, were inaccurately declared/invoiced, co-mingled brans and lacked or had improper security features. The specialist deemed them counterfeit. Had the rings been real, the MSRP would have been $93,600.
“Shipments like these prey on the many sports fans across the nation who may be duped into paying high prices for garbage,” said Shane Campbell, Port Director-Chicago. ‘I’m extremely proud of these officers’ determination in stopping illegal shipments and our commitment to protecting the American economy.”
The parcel contained fake Superbowl rings, including 31 for the Washington Redskins, four for the Denver Broncos and two for the St. Louis Rams. Other championships rings included Chicago Cubs, Pittsburg Pirates, the Miami Marlins, Los Angeles Angels, Philadelphia Flyers, Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls. Additionally, there were Kevin Garnett championship rings and a Tim Duncan championship ring.
Intellectual Property Rights enforcement is a Priority Trade Issue. The importation of counterfeit merchandise can cause significant revenue loss, damage the U.S. economy and threaten the health and safety of American people. In partnership with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, CBP seized 27,599 shipments with IPR violations in the fiscal year 2019. If the seized products were genuine, the total manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the items would have been valued at over $1.5 billion.
Over the past five years, e-commerce has grown exponentially as consumers are increasingly completing purchases online. These purchases are typically shipped through international mail and express courier services.
If you are aware of, or suspect, a company or individual of infringing upon a trademark or copyright, please report the suspected violation to e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT.