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CBP Seizes Fake Apparel Worth $48K

Release Date: 
May 22, 2015

Passenger packs phony high-value merchandise

HOUSTON - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport seized counterfeit Gucci, Burberry, Lacoste, Versace, Armani, Ferrari, Coco Chanel, Tory Burch and Michael Kors merchandise, May 13, valued at more than $48,000.

counterfeit shirts seized at George Bush International Airport

CBP officers seized 161 pieces of merchandise packed in a passengers' suitcase.

The seized items included shirts, hats, shoes, purses and jewelry destined for Houston.

CBP officers conducted an inspection of a passenger arriving from El Salvador with checked bags.  During the inspection, they discovered 161 brand-named articles that appeared to be counterfeit. The items did not appear to be of the quality consistent with legitimate goods as the items included unusual labeling and the markings on the clothing were not manufactured by the trademark holders.

“Packing hundreds of phony articles in suitcases doesn’t release passengers from their obligation to adhere to U.S. import laws and requirements,” said Houston CBP Port Director Charles Perez. “This seizure protects the trademark holder, their businesses and their employees and denies criminal organizations from reaping profits from the sale of counterfeit and illegitimate consumer goods.”

counterfeit Chanel jewelry

Counterfeit Chanel jewelry was among the seized items. Watches and jewelry topped the list of seized items sorted by value in fiscal year 2014.

CBP officers obtained digital images of the merchandise and forwarded them to the trademark owner to determine their authenticity. After verifying that the merchandise was counterfeit, CBP seized every item for infringement of intellectual property rights.   

On a typical day in fiscal year 2014, CBP officers around the country seized more than $3.4 million worth of products because of IPR violations.  Since 2007, CBP identified IPR enforcement as a priority trade mission. For additional statistics and a list of the most popular counterfeit items and their worth visit the fiscal year 2014 IPR report.

The IPR 2014 report provides seizure statistics including the top 10 counterfeit items and their estimated value.

CBP does offer importers/exporters with information to become familiar with applicable laws and regulations.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017