U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers recently seized more than $77,000 worth of clothing bearing unauthorized designer brand logos at Washington Dulles International Airport.
CBP officers seized more than 100 pieces of clothing bearing 25 designer brand names on Oct. 28, that if authentic, would have been valued at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $77,034. This seizure actually started with a routine baggage examination on Oct. 7, when CBP agriculture specialists inspected a traveler from Cameroon and discovered food products in his baggage. They also discovered what appeared to be counterfeit designer brand named clothing in his four checked bags.
CBP agriculture specialists notified CBP officers who inventoried the clothing, with brand names and logos from AWGE, Bottega, Eden Park, Gucci, Kappa, Palm Angels, Prada, Versace and many others. Officers also discovered two pairs of shoes bearing Yeezy and Adidas brand names.
CBP officers detained the clothing and released the traveler. CBP officers submitted photos and documentation to Customs’ Centers of Excellence and Expertise, which are the agency’s trade experts, who determined that the clothing were counterfeit. CBP officers then seized the counterfeit clothing.
CBP is withholding the traveler’s name because he has not been criminally charged. An investigation continues.
“We are approaching the holiday shopping season and Customs and Border Protection encourages travelers to exercise caveat emptor, or buyer beware, when considering purchasing counterfeit consumer goods overseas as gifts for family and friends,” said Kim Der-Yeghiayan, acting area port director for Washington, D.C. “Counterfeit and pirated goods are illegal and they pose a real health and safety threat to consumers, so we encourage consumers to buy authentic products from reputable vendors.”
CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program. During fiscal year 2021, CBP and Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) seized more than 27,000 shipments containing goods that violated IPR. The total estimated MSRP of the seized goods, had they been genuine, was $3.3 billion. Moreover, HSI special agents arrested 388 individuals during 2021, obtained 155 indictments and received 100 convictions related to intellectual property crimes.