LOUISVILLE, Ky— Last night, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Louisville seized a shipment containing 1,747 pieces of counterfeit designer rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. The items were deemed to be counterfeit by CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise, the agency’s trade experts, and if genuine, would have had a combined Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) over $12 million.
The shipment arrived from Hong Kong. When CBP officers examined the shipment to determine the admissibility of the goods, they found 806 necklaces displaying the logos of Van Cleef and Arpels and Louis Vuitton, 290 pairs of earrings with Van Cleef and Arpels logos, 588 bracelets bearing logos of Van Cleef and Arpels, Gucci, Cartier, and Louis Vuitton, and 63 rings bearing Van Cleef and Arpels, Valentino, and Hermes logos. The items were poorly packaged and constructed and were seized for infringing on the designer’s protected trademarks. The shipment was heading to a residence in Ontario, Canada and had the items been real, the MSRP for these products would have been $12.2 million.
“CBP is responsible for enforcing all U.S. trade laws and regulations on behalf of 49 other federal agencies. CBP officers play a critical role in the Nation’s efforts to keep unsafe counterfeit and pirated goods from harming the American public,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations, Chicago Field Office. “This is yet another dramatic example of how CBP officers work every day to protect the American consumer, the US economy and US jobs.”
The illicit trafficking of counterfeit goods offers criminals a complementary source of income and a way through which they can launder money. Additionally, monies received from the sale of counterfeit products can be channeled towards the further production of fake goods or other illicit activities. Additionally, counterfeiting is a hugely profitable business, with criminals relying on the continued high demand for cheap goods coupled with low production costs.
Nationwide during Fiscal Year 2022, CBP seized over 24.5 million shipments of Intellectual Property Rights violations which would have been worth just shy of $3 billion, had the goods been genuine. CBP protects citizens from unsafe and substandard products by seizing merchandise infringing on trademarks and copyrights recorded with CBP through the e-Recordation program https://iprr.cbp.gov/s/. CBP has established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers often associated with the purchase of counterfeit and pirated goods. Information about the Truth Behind Counterfeits public awareness campaign can be found at https://www.cbp.gov/FakeGoodsRealDangers.
CBP encourages anyone with information about counterfeit merchandise illegally imported into the United States to submit an e-Allegation. The e-Allegation system provides a means for the public to anonymously report to CBP any suspected violations of trade laws or regulations related to the importation of goods in the U.S.
CBP’s border security mission is led at 328 ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders. Learn more about CBP at www.CBP.gov.