CBP Stops Attempt to Smuggle $3.4 Million worth of Counterfeit Products at LAX
Handbags, Belts, Shoes, Watches, Electronics and other items in violation of Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Gucci, Versace, Nike, Casio and Samsung Protected Trademarks
LOS ANGELES— U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers assigned to Cargo Operations at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in coordination with the Import Specialist assigned to the impacted Centers, seized 5,300 counterfeit products. If genuine, the seized merchandise would have had an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $3,475,000.
Among the seized products were 1,242 counterfeit Gucci belts, 678 pairs of counterfeit Nike shoes, 531 counterfeit Louis Vuitton handbags, 500 counterfeit Samsung adaptors, 502 counterfeit Gucci fanny packs, 230 counterfeit Hermes handbags, 192 counterfeit Casio Shock watches, 144 counterfeit Ferragamo belts, 100 counterfeit Versace belts, and 119 counterfeit Fendi shorts.
“CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive intellectual property rights enforcement program,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “These seizures demonstrate the high level of skill and vigilance of our officers and import specialists.”
The merchandise arrived at LAX via air cargo from Hong Kong. The quantity and value of counterfeit merchandise seized is a clear indication of the profits that are involved in the illegal trade of luxury goods.
“The American public should be aware that buying a counterfeit product is a lose-lose proposition, because the money they paid often funds criminal enterprises,” said Donald R. Kusser, CBP Port Director at LAX. “In addition, buyers get a substandard low-quality product, containing unknown chemicals and likely produced under inhumane conditions.”
Available on illegitimate websites and sold in underground outlets, counterfeit high fashion commodities multiply the illegal profits of smugglers and traffickers. Consumers are tricked into believing they are buying an original product at a significant discount, and the money they spend on these types of goods is often used in other forms of criminal enterprises.
In fiscal year (FY) 2018, CBP seized 33,810 shipments containing goods that violated intellectual property rights. The total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the seized goods, had they been genuine, increased to nearly $1.4 billion from over $1.2 billion in FY 2017.
Wearing apparel and accessories once again topped the list for number of seizures with 6,098, representing 18 percent of all seizures. Watches and jewelry continued as the top product seized by total MSRP value with seizures valued at over $618 million, representing 44 percent of the total. Handbags and wallets were second with seizures estimated to be valued at more than $226 million.
If you have any suspicion of or 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.
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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.