– U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents earlier this month seized nearly $650,000 in counterfeit merchandise coming into Minnesota from Canada, including hundreds of hoverboards.

Field operations officers at the International Falls port of entry found the contraband in a rail container destined for nearby Rainier, agency officials said Wednesday. They seized 1,650 Smart Balance hoverboards and 90 computer motherboards with Bluetooth counterfeit trademark violations. The merchandise has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $645,252, authorities said.

Agency spokesman Brian King said the shipment was targeted for inspection because of past mechanical problems with hoverboards, which are motorized two-wheeled boards that have been known to catch fire.

The agency said the growth of foreign trade has resulted in unscrupulous companies making billions of dollars in profits from the sale of counterfeit and pirated goods. U.S. companies can register trademarks and copyrights with the CBP, as Bluetooth had done, King said.

Associated Press