It is a common practice for US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to confiscate counterfeit AirPods and iPhones. However, in latest news US Customs and Border Protection seized OnePlus buds under the guise of “counterfeit AirPods” whereas the earbuds seized were not fake at all. The seizure was announced on Friday, US Customs and Border Protection revealed that they seized 2,000 counterfeit Apple AirPods earlier that were worth $398k.
US Customs Seizes OnePlus Buds thinking they are counterfeit AirPods
The seize occurred on August 31, Friday. The “counterfeit Apple AirPods earbuds” were being being transported from HongKong to Nevada through air cargo facility situated at the John. F Kennedy International Airport. The worth of merchandise was calculated as per Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) at a whopping $398,000.
Troy Miller, the Director of US Customs and Border Protection gave the following statement, “CBP Officers are protecting the American public from various dangers on a daily basis. The interception of these counterfeit earbuds is a direct reflection of the vigilance and commitment to mission success by our CBP Officers daily.”
The US Customs and Border Protection explained this was one of the 27,599 seizure of fake goods. The total retail value was calculated at $1.5B. It said the seizure of such products protects both the economy and consumers from the risks posed by fake electronics.
Seizure gone wrong
However, The Verge reports, the AirPods seized were actually genuine OnePlus buds manufactured by Apple. The report says, “The only problem is, based on the agency’s own photos, the seized products appear to be legitimate OnePlus Buds — transported in a box that plainly says as much. But CBP proudly tweeted “THAT’S NOT AN APPLE,” as if its people had astutely detected a forged piece of 18th-century art. It’s not clear if all of the 2,000 blocked units were OnePlus Buds, though the CBP images are unmistakable. The units originated from Hong Kong and were seized at JFK on August 31st; they were headed to Nevada, according to the press release. If they were all OnePlus Buds, CBP’s math is way off: at $79 each, 2,000 of them would be worth $158,000.”
It is true that OnePlus Buds do look quite similar to the AirPods. But they are not exactly identical, and given that the packaging clearly identified them, it seems hard to understand why the customs department thought they were counterfeit goods. Photos in the press release appear to show boxes of OnePlus Buds, the wireless earphones made by smartphone maker OnePlus, and not Apple AirPods as the US Customs department had claimed.
OnePlus Buds were announced earlier this year and has been on sale in the United States for the past couple of months. The packaging shown in the photograph posted by the custom department doesn’t hide this fact either, clearly showing the OnePlus logo and various certifications that the product has.