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  4. CBP Officers Stop Attempt to Smuggle $207,000 Worth of Fake Shoes at LAX

CBP Officers Stop Attempt to Smuggle $207,000 Worth of Fake Shoes at LAX

Release Date
Wed, 08/19/2020

Counterfeit Shoes Falsely Manifested as “Plastic Ornament”

Fake Nike Shoes 1
CBP in Los Angeles seized 1,755 pairs of
counterfeit shoes arriving via express
air cargo from Hong Kong.

LOS ANGELES— U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers assigned to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) cargo operations, in coordination with import specialists at the Apparel, Footwear & Textiles Center of Excellence and Expertise (Apparel Center), seized 1,755 pairs of Nike and Adidas counterfeit shoes arriving via express air cargo from Hong Kong.

The seized items included 597 pairs of counterfeit Nike Air Force One shoes and 918 pairs of other counterfeit Nike shoes, as well as 48 pairs of Adidas Mickey Edition shoes and 192 pairs of other counterfeit Adidas shoes. If genuine, the seized merchandise would have had an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $207,000.

CBP import specialists assigned to the Apparel Center confirmed that the shoes were in violation of the Nike and Adidas registered trademarks. CBP officers discovered the goods while conducting an enforcement exam on a shipment of 22 boxes that arrived on July 3. In an attempt to evade detection, smugglers falsely manifested the shipment as “plastic ornament.”

“CBP is using all of its authorities to combat trade fraud by detecting high-risk activity, deterring non-compliance, and disrupting fraudulent behavior,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “CBP continues using all methods at its disposal—including enhanced targeting and inspection of high-risk imports—to ensure a fair and competitive trade environment.”

Fake Shoes 2
In an attempt to evade detection,
smugglers falsely manifested the shipment
as “plastic ornament.”

Available on illegitimate websites and sold in underground outlets, counterfeit commodities multiply the illegal profits of smugglers and traffickers. Consumers are tricked into believing they are buying an original product at a significant discount.

“LAX CBP officers and Apparel Center import specialists bring a wealth of knowledge, dedication and expertise to their daily duties,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, CBP Area Port Director of the Los Angeles International Airport. “I’m extremely proud of their efforts in stopping illicit shipments, and their commitment to protecting the American economy.”

Nationwide in fiscal year (FY) 2019, CBP seized 27,599 shipments containing goods that violated intellectual property rights. The total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the seized goods, had they been genuine, increased to nearly $1.5 billion from over $1.4 billion in FY 2018. 

Fake Shoes 3
 Consumers are tricked into believing they
are buying an original product
at a significant discount.

Watches and jewelry topped the list for number of seizures with 4,242, representing 15 percent of all seizures.  Watches and jewelry continued as the top product seized by total MSRP with seizures valued at over $687 million, representing 44 percent of the total.  Wearing apparel and accessories are second with seizures estimated to be valued at more than $226 million.

Fiscal year 2019 Intellectual Property Rights Statistics

If you have any suspicion of or information regarding suspected fraud or illegal trade activity, please report the trade violation to e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT. 

The enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights is a CBP Priority Trade Issue. Priority Trade Issues represent high-risk areas that can cause significant revenue loss, harm the U.S. economy, or threaten the health and safety of the American people. They drive the risk-informed investment of CBP resources as well as enforcement and facilitation efforts, including special enforcement operations, outreach, and regulatory initiatives.

Last Modified: Feb 03, 2021