SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) San Juan Field Operations announced on Thursday that it has seized various courier packages containing counterfeit designer cellphone cases, jewelry and luxury watches sent from Hong Kong.
“Consumers and small resellers purchase these products knowing the intrinsic value that these brands represent,” indicated Leida Colon, Assistant Director of Field Operations for Trade. “Consumers are tricked into believing they are buying an original product at a significant discount.”
CBP officers discovered the counterfeit goods while conducting an enforcement exam on courier packages in the air cargo facility at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport.
The seizures included fake luxury watches under the protected brands for Patek Philippe, Ulysse Nardin and Rolex, as well for rhe “Swiss Made” marking, which is a protected trademark that can only be placed on watches that have been certified by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. The imported jewelry was seized bearing false Tous trademarks.
If genuine, the seized merchandise would have had an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $552,157.
The majority of the counterfeits seized in the San Juan Field Office are illegitimate goods in the jewelry, handbags, electronics, footwear, clothing and prescription drugs product categories. The source economies for most of these items are Hong Kong and China.
Nationwide in fiscal year (FY) 2019, CBP seized 27,599 shipments containing goods that violated intellectual property rights. The total estimated MSRP of the seized goods, had they been genuine, increased to nearly $1.5 billion from over $1.4 billion in FY 2018.
In Fiscal Year 2019, the San Juan Field Office seized 4,538 shipments that violate IPR. The total estimated MSRP, had they been genuine is more than $36 million.
Watches and jewelry topped the list for number of seizures based on intellectual property rights (IPR) violations with 4,242 representing 15 percent of all such seizures. Watches and jewelry continued as the top product seized for IPR violations by total MSRP value with seizures valued at over $687 million, representing 44 percent of the total MSRP value of seizures in this category. Violative wearing apparel and accessories seizures placed second by MSRP value, with seizures estimated to be valued at more than $343 million.
Fiscal year 2019 Intellectual Property Rights Statistics
If you have any 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.
IPR violations can also be reported to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center at https://www.iprcenter.gov/referral/ or by telephone at 1-866-IPR-2060.
Follow CBP Office of Trade on Twitter @CBPTradeGov.