U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Louisville, Ky., have seized four parcels containing more than 200 designer handbags worth more than a $500,000.
Early Monday morning, CBP officers in Louisville held four packages for inspection to determine the admissibility of its contents in accordance with regulations. When the shipments were opened, designer bags were found inside. The bags were sent to an import specialist who determined the bags were counterfeit.
In all, 204 counterfeit Louis Vuitton bags were seized, CBP said. If these bags were real, the total manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for these bags would have been $583,440. CBP said the packages came from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and were heading to a residence in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“As e-commerce grows at an extraordinary rate, our officers are working hard to identify threats and shut down illicit suppliers,” Louisville port director Thomas Mahn said. “I’m extremely proud of these officers’ determination in stopping illicit shipments and our commitment to protecting the American economy.”
Intellectual property rights (IPR) protection is a priority trade issue for CBP. In fiscal year 2019, CBP and its partner agency, Homeland Security Investigation (HSI), seized 27,599 shipments containing IPR violations with an MSRP in excess of $1.5 billion had the goods been genuine. Watches and jewelry, with 4,242 representing 15 percent of all IPR seizures, topping the list of all seized IPR materials.
Watches and jewelry continued are also the top product seized by total MSRP, with seizures valued at over $687 million, representing 44 percent of the total. Wearing apparel and accessories are second with seizures estimated to be valued at more than $226 million.
CBP has established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers that are often associated with the purchase of counterfeit and pirated goods. Information about the Truth Behind Counterfeits public awareness campaign can be found at cbp.gov/FakeGoodsRealDangers.