LOUISVILLE, Ky— U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Louisville stopped and inspected two shipments containing designer rings, watch bands, and phone cases deemed to be counterfeit by CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise, the agency’s trade experts on Monday night.
CBP officers examined the first shipment to determine the admissibility of the goods and found 2,500 rings displaying the logos of Versace, Gucci, Bvlgari, and Rolex. While the shipment was manifested as rings stainless steel, they were seized for infringing on the designer’s protected trademarks. The merchandise was arriving from Hong Kong and was heading to Suwanne, Georgia.
The second shipment was also arriving from Hong Kong and was headed to a residence in Orlando, Florida. Officers inspected the shipment and found 319 phone cases and 210 watch bands bearing Louis Vuitton logos, and 60 watch bands bearing the Gucci logo. These items were also seized for infringing on the designer’s protected trademarks.
“Counterfeit goods are poor quality products that cost U.S. businesses billions of dollars a year while robbing our country of jobs and tax revenues,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations, Chicago Field Office. “CBP officers throughout the nation remain committed to stopping counterfeit smuggling, taking profits from organized crime, and helping protect our communities from potentially hazardous knockoffs.”
The illicit trafficking of counterfeit goods offers criminals a complementary source of income and a way through which they can launder money. Additionally, monies received from the sale of counterfeit products can be channeled towards the further production of fake goods or other illicit activities. Additionally, counterfeiting is a hugely profitable business, with criminals relying on the continued high demand for cheap goods coupled with low production costs.
Had all these items been genuine, the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price would have been $1.76 million. On a typical day in fiscal year 2022, CBP seized $8 million worth of products with Intellectual Property Rights violations.
Nationwide in Fiscal Year 2022, CBP seized over 24.5 million shipments of IPR violations that would have been worth just shy of $3 billion, had the goods been genuine. CBP protects citizens from unsafe and substandard products by seizing merchandise that infringes on trademarks and copyrights recorded with CBP through the e-Recordation program https://iprr.cbp.gov/s/. 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. Information about the Truth Behind Counterfeits public awareness campaign can be found at https://www.cbp.gov/FakeGoodsRealDangers.
“This is a great example of the work our officers do to protect consumers and the U.S. economy,” said Louisville Port Director Thomas Mahn. “Our officers continue to use their training, knowledge, and skills to identify high-risk shipments and shut down illicit suppliers.”
CBP encourages anyone with information about counterfeit merchandise illegally imported into the United States to submit an e-Allegation. The e-Allegation system provides a means for the public to anonymously report to CBP any suspected violations of trade laws or regulations related to the importation of goods in the U.S.
CBP’s border security mission is led at 328 ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders. Learn more about CBP at www.CBP.gov.