Los Angeles -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and import specialists assigned to the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport discovered and seized 30,300 pairs of sunglasses in violation of the Lacoste trademark in a shipment arriving from China.
On Sept. 15, CBP officers seized the infringing shipment with a domestic value of $48,000. If the sunglasses had genuine Lacoste trademarks, the manufacturer's suggested retail price of the shipment would have been $4.5 million.
"CBP officers and import specialists at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport complex aggressively safeguard one of America's valuable assets, intellectual property," said Todd C. Owen, CBP director of field operations in Los Angeles. "The theft of intellectual property poses a serious threat to the vitality of our nation's economy."
Along with the negative effect on legitimate manufacturers, counterfeit sunglasses may not be impact resistant, may cause injury by shattering, and may fail to provide UV protection.
CBP plays a critical role in enforcing trade laws including the enforcement of intellectual property rights. Preventing the entry of counterfeit items is crucial to protecting consumers as well as the economy of the U.S.
In fiscal year 2010, CBP at Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport accomplished a record breaking year with 863 trade seizures with a domestic value exceeding $34 million. This is a 42% increase in the number of seizures from fiscal year 2009.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.