PHILADELPHIA – When U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized 48 counterfeit Cartier Love Bracelets on July 23 at the Port of Philadelphia, they proved that true love isn’t as cheap as some may hope.
CBP officers selected a shipment manifested as bracelets from Hong Kong. When the shipment was inspected for possible counterfeit merchandise, the officers found 31 Cartier Rose and Yellow Gold Bracelets and 17 Cartier White Gold Bracelets, all diamond paved. Due to the poor packaging and quality of the items, CBP officers detained the shipment for further evaluation.
Officers worked with CBP’s Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Centers for Excellence and Expertise, the agency’s trade experts, who verified through the trademark holders that the bracelets were counterfeit.
Upon further vetting, it was discovered that the consignee had a previous shipment seized for counterfeit Cartier bracelet.
“For these CBP officers, keeping their ‘eyes on the prize’ didn’t mean finding real gold, but instead finding fool’s gold,” said Joseph Martella, CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia. “Our expertly trained CBP officers stopped dozens of illicit consumer products from entering the United States yet again.”
CBP has designated Intellectual Property Rights enforcement as a Priority Trade Issue. Importation of counterfeit merchandise can cause significant revenue loss, damage the U.S. economy and threaten the health and safety of American people.
“American consumers and American businesses are the victims when these illicit counterfeit goods are bought or sold here in the United States,” says Casey Durst, CBP Director of Field Operations in Baltimore. “Our CBP Officers do great work interdicting counterfeit items every day, ensuring our businesses, friends, family and neighbors aren’t being taken advantage of by unscrupulous companies outside the U.S.”
Last year, CBP launched a major ad campaign – Fake Goods, Real Dangers – and a companion webpage containing information about the downsides of purchasing counterfeit goods.
CBP also collaborates with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) and 21 other partners at the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center to ensure a comprehensive response to intellectual property theft.
If you have information concerning counterfeit merchandise illegally imported into the United States, CBP encourages you to submit an anonymous report through the e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System.