LOS ANGELES—U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and import specialists assigned to the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport complex seized 1,500 high-fashion leather handbags bearing counterfeit "Hermès" listed trademark. Had the goods been genuine, the seized handbags would have an estimated manufacturer's suggested retail price of $14,100,000.
The merchandise, which arrived from China in two shipments, was seized by CBP officers on February 12 and 26.
"Once again, this seizure demonstrates the high level of skill and vigilance of our officers in protecting the intellectual property rights of companies and individuals, as well as, preventing the proliferation of counterfeit luxury handbags, potentially damaging our national economy," remarked Todd C. Owen, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Director of Field Office Los Angeles.
Approximately $1.26 billion worth of counterfeit goods originating overseas were seized by CBP in 2012. China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India and Taiwan are the top five countries of origination for counterfeit goods seized by CBP.
Nationwide, handbags and wallets comprised the greatest number of counterfeit items seized by CBP last year, with the value of seizures up 142 percent compared to 2011. Of the approximately $511 million in handbags and wallets seized, more than $446 million came from China.
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.