ST. LOUIS–Since Friday, March 5, U.S. Customs and Border Protections officers at the port of St. Louis have seized a plethora of counterfeit items: six designer handbags, 21 designer outfits, 148 championship rings and 286 $100 bills. If the items were real, they would have been worth over $293,000.
On Friday, March 5, CBP officers seized two shipments that were arriving from Saudi Arabia and the Philippines. CBP officers inspected the first parcel, manifested as bag, to determine if the goods were admissible in accordance with CBP regulations. What officers found was one handbag bearing the Louis Vuitton Trademark. A CBP Import Specialist inspected the item and deemed it counterfeit. The shipment was headed to a residence in Springfield, and if the item was real, it would have had a MSRP of $2,700.
The other shipment seized on Friday was also inspected to determine if the items were admissible. Officers found multiple clothing items with logos such as Louis Vuitton and Channel on them. The shipment included 1 Dior Handbag, 4 Luis Vuitton Handbags, 6 Luis Vuitton Sleep Shirts, 3 Chanel Sleep Shirts, 5 Fendi Sleep Shirts, 4 Gucci Sleep Shirts and 3 Hermes Sweat Suits in the box. A CBP Import Specialist determined the items were counterfeit and infringed upon trademarks related to Christian Dior, Luis Vuitton, Fendi, Gucci and Hermes. The shipment was manifested as dresses and local bags and was heading to a residence in O’Fallon. If the items were real, they would have had a MSRP of $38,320.
On Monday officers detained a shipment coming from Hong Kong and headed to a residence in Overland. When officers inspected the shipment, they found 148 Championship Rings including NFL teams, the Lakers/Warriors from the NBA, teams from MLB & Notre Dame from the collegiate level. The rings were inspected by a CBP Import Specialist who deemed the items were counterfeit and infringed upon all corresponding trademarks from their respective teams. If the items were real, they would have had a MSRP of $223,500.
Additionally, on Monday officers seized a shipment from China that contained 286 counterfeit $100 bills. The items were manifested as bar props and were headed to a residence in Crystal City. The shipper made the description on the manifest vague intentionally to avoid detection.
All shipments were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations, the investigating arm of Department of Homeland Security, and investigating efforts are ongoing.
“These seizures highlight the typical things criminals try to import into the U.S. on a routine basis,” said Area Port Director-St. Louis. “Customs and Border Protection’s trade enforcement mission places a significant emphasis on intercepting illicit products that could harm American consumers, and we will continue to work with our consumer partners to identify and seize illicit goods.”
Sold in underground outlets and on third party e-commerce websites, counterfeit commodities fund smugglers and members of organized crime. Consumers often believe they are buying a genuine product but soon realize the item is substandard.
CBP Trade protects the intellectual property rights of American businesses through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights enforcement program, safeguarding them from unfair competition and use for malicious intent while upholding American innovation and ingenuity. Suspected violations can be reported to CBP here.
Every year, CBP seizes millions of counterfeit goods from countries around the world as part of its mission to protect U.S. businesses and consumers. These goods include fake versions of popular products, such as smartphones and related accessories, electronics, apparel, shoes, cosmetics, and high-end luxury goods, as well as goods posing significant health and safety concerns, such as counterfeit pharmaceuticals, bicycle and motorcycle helmets, medical devices, supplements and other consumables. Sold online and in stores, counterfeit goods hurt the U.S. economy, cost Americans their jobs, threaten consumer health and safety, and fund criminal activity. Visit the National IPR Coordination Center for more information about IPR including counterfeiting and piracy.
Nationwide in Fiscal Year 2020, CBP seized 26,503 shipments containing goods that violated intellectual property rights. The total estimated value of the seized goods, had they been genuine, was nearly $1.3 billion. 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 https://www.cbp.gov/FakeGoodsRealDangers.
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.