Customs officials seize phony shipments of sports paraphernalia, would have been worth nearly $300K if real

Counterfeit shipments have been on the rise in recent years, CBP says

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized a batch of phony sports paraphernalia earlier this week that, if real, would have fetched a combined value of nearly $300,000. 

CBP officers in Indianapolis and Louisville seized nearly 180 counterfeit championship rings and more than 170 counterfeit professional sports jerseys. If genuine, the combined Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) value would have been $288,350, CBP said. 

Sports Paraphernalia seized by CBP. 

Sports Paraphernalia seized by CBP.  (CBP)

CBP officers in Indianapolis discovered a shipment of 108 counterfeit jerseys from several National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), and National Football League teams Monday evening. The items were all destined for a residence in Bakersfield, California.

That same evening, CBP officers in Louisville seized 63 counterfeit MLB jerseys from reaching their destination in University Park, Illinois.

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On Tuesday, CBP officers in Louisville seized 178 counterfeit championship rings from various locations in China heading to West Chapel, Florida. The championship rings were for the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, NBA Boston Celtics, and the University of Georgia, CBP said. 

"Shipments like these prey on the many sports fans across the nation who may be duped into paying high prices for non-genuine products," LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations-Chicago Field Office said in a statement. 

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CBP seized 27,107 shipments with Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) related violations in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021.  If genuine, the total MSRP of the items would have been valued at over $3.3 billion. That figure, according to CBP, was a 152% increase compared to FY2020, when goods valued at $1.31 billion MSRP were seized for IPR violations.