An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

  1. Home
  2. Newsroom
  3. Local Media Release
  4. Baltimore CBP Officers Seize $314K in Counterfeit Converse-like Sneakers

Baltimore CBP Officers Seize $314K in Counterfeit Converse-like Sneakers

Release Date
Thu, 07/27/2023

BALTIMORE -- Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but we're sure Chuck Taylor would come apart at the seams if he saw these knockoffs of his long beloved sneaker.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Baltimore seized over 13,000 pairs of counterfeit sneakers on July 21, 2023, that violated the Converse midsole design trademark, that, if authentic, would have been valued at more than $314,000. The sneakers were shipped from China and destined to an address in Los Angeles County.
This blue Chuck Taylor look-alike was among the counterfeit sneakers.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Baltimore seized a Los Angeles-bound shipment of 13,660 pairs of canvas-topped sneakers on Friday that violated the trademarked Converse midsole design. If authentic, the sneakers would have been valued at more than $314,000.

CBP officers initially inspected the shipment, manifested as “shoes,” on June 23 after it arrived from China. Officers suspected the sneakers to be counterfeit and detained the shipment. Officers then submitted photos and documentation to CBP Office of Trade’s Intellectual Property Enforcement Branch (IPE) for an infringement determination.

On June 27, the IPE Branch confirmed that the shipment violated Converse’s trademark. Officers inventoried the entire contents of the shipment and on July 18 submitted an inventory list and pictures for appraisal to CBP’s trade experts at the Apparel, Footwear, and Textile Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE).

On July 2019, a CBP import specialist appraised the sneakers at $314,180 manufacturer’s suggested retail price, if authentic.

CBP officers seized the counterfeit Converse sneakers. No one has been criminally charged.

“Unscrupulous manufacturers and vendors illegally profit on the sale of substandard counterfeit products, such as these fake Chucks, at the expense and safety of American consumers,” said Adam Rottman, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Baltimore. “Customs and Border Protection urges consumers to protect their health and wallets by buying authentic consumer goods from reputable or authorized vendors.”

The international trade in counterfeit consumer goods is illegal. It steals revenues from trademark holders, steals tax revenues from the government, funds transnational criminal organizations, and the unregulated products potentially threaten the health and safety of American consumers. Counterfeit consumer goods may also be sourced or manufactured in facilities that employ forced labor.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Baltimore seized over 13,000 pairs of counterfeit sneakers on July 21, 2023, that violated the Converse midsole design trademark, that, if authentic, would have been valued at more than $314,000. The sneakers were shipped from China and destined to an address in Los Angeles County.
One of 13,000 pairs of counterfeit sneakers that violated the Converse midsole design.

CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program.

U.S. trademark and copyright owners can register with CBP to have their intellectual property protected at the border through the e-Recordation program (https://iprr.cbp.gov/s/).

During fiscal year 2022, CBP officers and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents seized nearly 21,000 shipments containing goods that violated IPR, which equates to nearly 25 million counterfeit goods. The total estimated MSRP of the seized goods, had they been genuine, was over $2.98 billion (USD), or an average of over $8 million every day.

Additionally, HSI special agents arrested 255 individuals in 2022, obtained 192 indictments, and received 95 convictions related to intellectual property crimes. To learn more at HSI’s role in combatting counterfeiting, visit the National IPR Coordination Center.

Media can search for additional enforcement details by viewing CBP’s IPR webpage or by viewing previous years’ annual counterfeit goods seizure reports.

To report suspected counterfeits, visit CBP’s online e-Allegations portal or call 1-800-BE-ALERT. More information about counterfeit goods is available on CBP’s Truth Behind Counterfeits website and StopFakes.gov.

CBP's border security mission is led at our nation’s Ports of Entry by CBP officers and agriculture specialists from the Office of Field Operations. CBP screens international travelers and cargo and searches for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, invasive weeds and pests, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality.

See what CBP accomplished during "A Typical Day" in 2022. Learn more at www.CBP.gov.

Follow the Director of CBP’s Baltimore Field Office on Twitter at @DFOBaltimore for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos, and CBP’s Office of Field Operations on Instagram at @cbpfieldops.

Last Modified: Jul 28, 2023