U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Port of New York/Newark recently intercepted 9,024 pairs of counterfeit Nike sneakers that, if authentic, would have a suggested retail price of $1.7 million.
CBP officers inspected the shipment in late September after it arrived from Dongguan City, China. Officers then submitted digital images of the sneakers to CBP’s Apparel Footwear and Textiles Center for Excellence and Expertise (CEE). CBP’s CEE specialists worked with the trademark holders and determined the sneakers to be counterfeit.
CBP completed the seizure of the sneakers, which were destined for an address in Chino, Calif., on Thursday. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations agents in Newark, N.J., continue to investigate.
“This significant seizure of counterfeit Nike sneakers illustrates Customs and Border Protection’s continued commitment to protecting the American consumer against the proliferation of substandard and potentially unsafe counterfeit consumer goods,” said Troy Miller, director of CBP’s New York Field Office. “Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights laws is a CBP priority trade mission. We will continue to work closely with our trade and law enforcement partners to identify and seize counterfeit merchandise that could potentially harm U.S. consumers and businesses.”
The manufacture of counterfeit goods robs legitimate businesses of revenue and American workers of jobs, and poses health and safety threats to U.S. consumers, CBP noted. Many times, the proceeds from counterfeit merchandise sales supports other nefarious and illicit businesses.
On a typical day in 2017, CBP officers seized $3.3 million worth of products with intellectual property rights (IPR) violations. In fiscal 2017, the number of IPR seizures increased 8 percent to 34,143. The total estimated retail value of the seized goods, had they been genuine, was $1.2 billion.
As a result of CBP enforcement efforts, ICE Homeland Security Investigations agents arrested 457 individuals, obtained 288 indictments, and received 242 convictions related to intellectual property crimes in 2017.