LOUISVILLE, Ky— U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers that inspect packages at the Louisville Port of Entry see a variety of illegal items arriving and departing the U.S. Recently, however, CBP officers seized one package concealing bracelets, necklaces, and earrings would total over $2.5 million had the merchandise been genuine.
On October 26, officers inspected a shipment arriving from Hong Kong that was manifested as necklaces and was heading to a corporation in New York. Upon examination, officers found 403 Chanel branded necklaces, 128 Van Cleef and Arpels design necklaces, 52 Cartier Love bracelets, 379 Van Cleef and Arpels design bracelets, 154 Van Cleef and Arpels design pairs of earrings, 560 Cartier style pair of earrings, and 398 Chanel branded pairs of earrings. These 2,074 pieces of jewelry had a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $2.51 million, had they been genuine.
“CBP is responsible for enforcing nearly 500 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 protect the American consumer, the U.S economy, and U.S. jobs,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations-Chicago Field Office. “This is yet another dramatic example of how dedicated CBP officers are to the CBP mission.”
The rapid growth of e-commerce enables consumers to search for and easily purchase millions of products through online vendors, but this easy access gives counterfeit and pirated goods more ways to enter the U.S. economy. U.S. consumers spend more than $100 billion every year on intellectual property rights (IPR) infringing goods, falling victim to approximately 20% of the counterfeits that are illegally sold worldwide. CBP has established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers that can be associated with the purchase of counterfeit and pirated goods in the Truth Behind Counterfeits campaign.
“Intellectual property theft threatens America’s economic vitality and funds criminal activities and organized crime,” said Thomas Mahn, Port Director-Louisville. “Our officers are dedicated to protecting private industry and consumers by removing these kinds of shipments from our commerce.”
CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts narcotics, weapons, currency, prohibited agriculture products, counterfeit goods, and other illicit items at our nation’s 328 international ports of entry and has authority to enforce trademarks and copyrights at the border if they are recorded through the e-Recordation program.
On a typical day in 2021, CBP officers seized $9 million worth of products with Intellectual Property Rights violations. Learn more about what CBP did during "A Typical Day" in 2021.
CBP's border security mission is led at 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.
Follow CBP Office of Trade on Twitter @CBPTradeGov.