With the NFL draft in the rearview mirror and the 2020 schedule released, fans are clamoring for the start of the NFL season. Unfortunately, scam artists are using this season to steal money from fans and collectors.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers at Chicago O’Hare’s International Mail Facility seized a shipment from China of 35 counterfeit NFL Championship rings on April 27.
Due to X-ray inconsistencies the parcel was held for inspection. The customs declaration listed a ring as its contents with a value of $10, but when CBP officers opened the package 35 counterfeit NFL Championship rings were inside. After examining the rings, officers deemed them as counterfeit based on the poor quality, poor packaging and low value. Had the rings been real, the MSRP would have been $350,000.
“Preventing counterfeit items from entering the United States is crucial to protecting consumers and our nation’s economy,” said Acting Assistant Area Port Director Ralph Piccirilli. “This most recent intercept of counterfeit NFL rings is a great example of how our CBP officers stand ready to serve the United States in support the CBP mission as the world battles this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.”
The parcel contained fake Superbowl rings for the NY Jets (1) and Giants (4), Pittsburgh Steelers (6), San Francisco 49ers (5), Dallas Cowboys (5), Washington Redskins (5), Green Bay Packers (6) and Denver Broncos (3).
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement is a Priority Trade Issue. 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 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. In FY2019, over 90 percent of IPR seizures were found in express and international mail shipments.