Sunday, February 14, 2016

Philly customs officers seize $5K in counterfeit workout DVDs

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Philadelphia last month seized 48 boxes of counterfeit workout DVDs worth an estimated $5,800, investigators announced this week.

The counterfeit Beachbody Focus T25 and Beachbody P90X3 DVDs arrived in two separate shipments from Hong Kong and were destined for two Philadelphia addresses, according to officials. 

Officers detained the shipments April 1 to determine the products’ authenticity. The parcels were seized April 25 after neither the importer nor broker was able to provide proof that trademark holder Beachbody authorized them to import the products, investigators said. 

Beachbody then confirmed the fitness videos were counterfeit, according to officials. The DVDs will be destroyed.

Philadelphia-area port director Susan Stranieri said in a statement that U.S. Customs and Border Protection “urges consumers to be especially vigilant against purchasing suspected counterfeit technology products” because they may contain viruses with the potential to steal personal information or destroy electronic devices. 

“If the price seems too good to be true, it likely is a counterfeit or pirated item, and is a potentially dangerous product,” Stranieri said. It’s not clear whether the DVDs seized last month were embedded with viruses.

Investigators noted that China, where the confiscated DVDs were manufactured, remains the primary source economy for counterfeit and pirated goods seized by U.S. customs officers.

Goods from China accounted for 68 percent of U.S. intellectual property rights seizures last year, and their total retail value was estimated to be $1.1 billion, officials said. 

Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; Follow @phillynews on Twitter.
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