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CBP Seizes $3M in Queens-Bound Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Hermès Fakes

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati seized a shipment on Nov. 30 containing counterfeit designer jewelry and scarves shipped from China.

If the counterfeits had been genuine, CBP said they would have been worth a total of $3.09 million.

CBP officers inspected the shipment and found 1,830 scarves, bracelets, rings and earrings bearing designers names including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Cartier, Hermès, Versace and Chanel. Officers suspected the items were counterfeit based on the packaging and the poor quality of the material.

All the items were determined to be counterfeit by CBP’s Centers for Excellence and Expertise (CEEs), the agency’s trade experts. The shipment was enroute to a private residence in Queens’ Flushing, N.Y. neighborhood.

“In addition to the impact on businesses and the economy, purchasing counterfeit goods carry harmful risks to shoppers,” LaFonda Sutton-Burke, director of field operations-Chicago, said. “It is vital that consumers be aware of what they are purchasing and know the dangers that may be involved.”

CBP’s enforcement of counterfeit and pirated goods is accomplished through the cooperative efforts of its officers, other government agencies and the trade community. Additionally, CBP has an online recording system, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) e-recording, which allows rights owners to electronically record their trademarks and copyrights with CBP. This method facilitates IPR enforcement by making information on trademarks and copyrights readily available to CBP personnel at ports of entry nationwide.

IPR violations are associated with smuggling and other criminal activities, and often funds criminal enterprises. CBP Trade protects the intellectual property rights of American businesses, safeguarding them from unfair competition and use for malicious intent, while upholding American innovation and ingenuity.

“As the holiday is approaching, I urge consumers to purchase their gifts from legitimate retailers and websites,” Cincinnati port director Richard Gillespie said. “Counterfeit goods impact our economic success in a negative way and purchasing these items fund[s] criminal networks. Our officers in Cincinnati work around the clock to intercept and stop illegal shipments like this one daily.”