Mercedes knock-offs seized in Philadelphia

Almost $1.8m-worth of counterfeit Mercedes-Benz automotive parts have been seized in Philadelphia by US customs officers.

The parts – shipped from China and destined for Newark, New Jersey – came from a shipment that was originally intercepted in early September. The shipment was manifested as “Other Parts and Accessories of Motor Vehicles” and came from Yangshan. 

Officers had concerns about the “quality, origination and destination of the shipment, and the corporate trademark logo on the auto parts”, so detained it as possibly counterfeit. It was formally seized on October 17.

A spokesman for Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) tells us that the shipment contained more than 5,100 pieces, including headlights and rear lamps, mirrors, chrome grills, fan blades, oil coolers, bearing kits, hood latches, rear bumpers, as well as various other parts and accessories.

“CBP closely guards our nation’s borders to ensure that all imports and exports are lawful and pose no threats to our citizens,” said Casey Durst, CBP’s director of field operations in Baltimore (pictured below). 

“Consumer safety is a top priority, and our officers will continue to be vigilant and work cooperatively with our trade partners to identify and seize counterfeit commodities and other unlawful imports that threaten our citizens and markets.”

Market research firm Allied Analytics has estimated that counterfeiting costs the automotive sector around $3bn a year, and is only expected to grow in the coming years.

Companies are turning to authentication technologies to protect their products, and holograms, inks and dyes are currently the most commonly adopted security measures “owing to their economic pricing and ease of application.” However, Allied Analytics says track and trace technologies are gaining popularity for product tracking and authentication.

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