Fake Filters Seized

Approximately $224,000 worth of counterfeit refrigerator water filters were recently seized at the LA/Long Beach Seaport by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in partnership with import specialists assigned to the Machinery Center of Excellence and Expertise.

The 5,200 fake filters were found while CBP officers examined a Chinese shipment bound for the state of Washington and Machinery Center import specialists confirmed that the filters violated Brita, GE, Frigidaire, PUR and NSF certification protected trademarks.

“Protecting our communities from untested and potentially harmful imports is paramount for CBP,” said CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles, Carlos C. Martel. “The risk is the consumer inadvertently may be exposing their family to drinking water that is not up to industry standards.”

According to a study conducted by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, counterfeit refrigerator water filters pose a serious risk to consumer health and safety. The use of fraudulently copied trademarks, branding and misleading claims make the filters look legitimate and while the water may look, smell or taste fine, the counterfeit filters that were tested show that they fail to remove lead from water. Further, many of the filters tested introduced harmful chemicals into clean water.

“It is incredibly difficult for consumers to spot counterfeit filters – and they are widespread online,” said Jill A. Notini, spokeswoman for Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.

“We are grateful that CBP officers were able to stop this large shipment of counterfeit water filters from finding their way to online markets,” she said, adding that “5,200 counterfeit filters equates to more than 33 million glasses of potentially unsafe water that could have been put into the hands of Americans across the country.”

By Karen Robes Meeks