NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Port of Norfolk seized hundreds of hoverboards after officials discovered they contained phony trademarks and batteries.
The officers inspected a shipping container on Nov. 16 and discovered counterfeit boards — which were manufactured in China.
If you look at the boxes of hoverboards from China, they may have looked like any other shipment at the Port of Virginia, but that’s why U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have a system to catch problem packages.
“In this case, there were indicators that told us you may want to take a look at this,” Port Director for U.S. Customs and Border Protection Mark Laria said.
The investigation started after a custom agent noticed marks on the electrical cord. The agent saw a tiny irregular UL marking; or Underwriters Laboratory mark. From there the deceit decks began to unravel.
The batteries read “Samsing” instead of “Samsung.” Even the hoverboard’s manual, is a direct Chinese to English translation with improper grammar.
After the investigation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized 445 counterfeit boards valued around $170,000
“We have provided samples to the Consumer Products Safety commission who are doing the actual safety testing,” Laria said.
Consumer safety specialists said counterfeit batteries and boards caused explosions on hoverboards. All the more reason to make sure the board you buy is legitimate.
“If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is,” Laria said.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection would not release the name of the importer who brought the fake hoverboards into the country. They have a pending appeal of their counterfeit cargo.