U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized counterfeit consumer goods from China last week with an estimated retail value $2.2 million.
CBP officers at Washington Dulles International Airport initially examined the air cargo shipment of 2,601 coin purses, 459 purses and three backpacks adorned with fake Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior, Prada and Hermes brand names that arrived in 18 boxes on Sept. 25. Officers suspected the products to be counterfeit and detained the shipment, which was destined for an address in Queens, N.Y.
CBP officers worked with the agency’s Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Centers for Excellence and Expertise–the agency’s trade experts–and verified through trademark holders that the products were counterfeit and seized the shipment.
“Counterfeit consumer goods fund transnational criminal organizations, are manufactured in unregulated facilities and with substandard materials that may potentially harm American consumers, hurt our nation’s economy, and steal revenue and brand integrity from U.S. businesses and trademark holders,” Casey Durst, director of field operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office, said.
“Customs and Border Protection will continue to work closely with our trade and consumer safety partners to intercept counterfeit consumer goods,” Durst added, “especially products that can harm American consumers.”
CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program. On a typical day in 2018, CBP officers seized $3.7 million worth of products with IPR violations.
In fiscal year 2018, the number of IPR seizures decreased by 333 seizures to 33,810 from 34,143 in 2017. The total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the seized goods, had they been genuine, increased to nearly $1.4 billion from over $1.2 billion in 2017.
As a result of CBP enforcement efforts, agents from Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit arrested 381 individuals, obtained 296 indictments and received 260 convictions related to intellectual property crimes in 2018.