CINCINNATI–- During a one-week period in July, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers intensified inspections on incoming shipments moving through the Cincinnati Port of Entry. On July 10-14, during Special Operation Home Plate, officers focused enforcement efforts on counterfeit merchandise bearing protected brands or trademarked logos of teams within Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS), and the National Football League (NFL).
Cincinnati CBP officers seized 100 shipments containing counterfeit merchandise with a total Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $155,919. An additional 34 shipments were abandoned by the importers. Most of the products originated from China and Hong Kong, but officers also seized shipments imported from Mexico, Guatemala, and Canada. CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise provided support via import specialists trained to identify infringing merchandise and valuate products should they have been genuine.
“This operation helps CBP protect U.S. citizens and economic interests and supports the agency’s mission of enhancing the nation’s economic prosperity,” said Cincinnati Port Director Norma Porco. “Our officers are trained to identify and interdict high-risk packages containing fraudulent and illegal merchandise, especially for priority trade issues such as intellectual property rights enforcement.”
In Fiscal Year 2022, the People’s Republic of China remained the primary source economy for counterfeit and pirated goods seized in the U.S., accounting for a total estimated MSRP value of almost $1.8 billion (USD) or approximately 60% of the total estimated MSRP value of all IPR seizures.
“Legal trade is the backbone of American revenue, and illicit and counterfeit products often fund criminal activity,” said Director of Field Operations for the Chicago Field Office, LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke. “CBP continues to mitigate risks posed by illegal imports such as these by protecting the intellectual property rights of Americans and American businesses.”
CBP has established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers that are often associated with the purchase of counterfeit and pirated goods. The economic impacts of counterfeit goods are real and translates to lost profits and jobs over time. Information about the Truth Behind Counterfeits public awareness campaign can be found at https://www.cbp.gov/FakeGoodsRealDangers.
The e-Allegations program provides an electronic portal through which the trade community and the public can report suspected trade violations to CBP. The e-Allegations process enables CBP, in collaboration with partner government agencies, to protect the nation’s economy from the effects of unfair trade practices and guard against the entry of products posing a threat to health and safety.
CBP conducts operations at ports of entry and export throughout the United States, and regularly screens inbound and outbound international passengers and cargo for narcotics, weapons, and other restricted or prohibited products. CBP strives to serve as the premier law enforcement agency enhancing the nation’s safety, security, and prosperity through collaboration, innovation, and integration.