Customs Seizes Thousands of Toasters with Counterfeit Safety Markings

By May 7, 2013 Import

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and import specialists assigned to the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport complex seized 14,904 toasters bearing counterfeit Underwriters Laboratories (UL) safety markings.

“This is yet another example of CBP officers’ vigilance in preventing potentially dangerous counterfeit appliances from reaching American consumers,” said Todd C. Owen, CBP director of field operations in Los Angeles. “CBP takes an aggressive stand against counterfeiters attempting to introduce unsafe products that disregard quality, safety and the law.”

One of the toasters seized by Customs

Example of the UL certification mark









The uncertified toasters that arrived from China in two shipments were seized on March 28 and 8, after UL confirmed to CBP officials that the safety markings on the toasters are counterfeit. The combined estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail value is $297,931. The combined domestic value of the shipments is $72,597.

An independent product safety certification organization, UL rigorously tests and
evaluates products for potential risk of fire, shock, and/or personal injury. Products are not certified until they meet established UL standards.

Products bearing counterfeit UL certification marks have not undergone such a testing and certification process, and can present potential safety hazards to the consumer.

In fiscal year 2012, consumer electronics/parts presenting potential safety or security risks, with an estimated domestic value of $33.5 million, represented 23 percent of all commodities seized by CBP nationwide.