LOUISVILLE, Ky—Customers are always looking for a bargain and criminals are always looking for a way to make a quick dollar. Recently, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Louisville didn’t allow an illegal bargain from Turkey reach a residence in Georgia.
On June 2, CBP officers inspecting parcels at the Express Consignment Operations hub in Louisville stopped two shipments from Istanbul. Both shipments contained counterfeit Louis Vuitton sandals. The first parcel contained two boxes of fake sandals, and the other box contained one box of phony Louis Vuitton sandals. If these sandals were real, the MSRP for these was $276,540.
“The sale of counterfeit goods brings in a billion dollars a year,” said Thomas Mahn, Port Director, Louisville. “Criminals will continue to sell these items, and it robs businesses of revenue. Regrettably, many consumers do not realize the damage counterfeit products have on American businesses.”
CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program. Importation of counterfeit merchandise can cause significant revenue loss, damage the U.S. economy, and threaten the health and safety of the American people.
On a typical day in 2019, CBP officers seized $4.3 million worth of products with Intellectual Property Rights violations. Learn more about what CBP did during "A Typical Day" in 2019.
CBP officers and Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents seized 27,599 shipments containing counterfeit goods in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, down from 33,810 seizures in FY 2018. However, the total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the seized goods, had they been genuine, increased to over $1.5 billion from nearly $1.4 billion in FY 2018.
E-Commerce sales have contributed to large volumes of low-value packages imported into the United States. In FY 2019, there were 144 million express shipments and 463 million international mail shipments. Over 90 percent of all intellectual property seizures occur in the international mail and express environments.
The People’s Republic of China (mainland China and Hong Kong) remained the primary source economy for seized counterfeit and pirated goods, accounting for 83 percent of all IPR seizures and 92 percent of the estimated MSRP value of all IPR seizures.
Read CBP’s Intellectual Property Seizure Report for Fiscal Year 2019 for more IPR stats and analysis.