HOUSTON—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized a shipment of counterfeit perfume with an estimated manufacturer's suggested retail price(MSRP) more than $344,000.
The officers seized the shipment, which contained more than 5,000 bottles of perfume, after they confirmed the merchandise violated trademark laws Feb. 21.
"CBP offices are actively enforcing trade laws and protecting legitimate business owners and consumers from copyright and trademark infringements," said Acting Houston Director of Field Operations, Judson W. Murdock II. "When we identify products as counterfeit or confusingly similar, we take the necessary steps to protect the consumer and seize the shipment, preventing criminals from profiting from this type of illegal activity."
The shipment arrived at the Port of Houston Jan. 24. It was bound for Dallas when officers intercepted it to conduct an examination. During their inspection, they found perfumes labeled as Flirt and Sensuous, which are an Estee Lauder trademark. CBP officers sent pictures and samples of the merchandise to CBP headquarters where coordination with the trademark holder confirmed the merchandise was in fact counterfeit.
CBP seizures of counterfeit perfume/cologne increased in value by 471% to $9.4 million in fiscal year 2011. This marked increase in seizures is attributed to increased partnerships between CBP and right holders as well as coordinated enforcement efforts.
Seized property specialists will take possession of the seized perfumes. CBP could assess fines and penalties to the importer that could equal the amount of the MSRP value.
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.