NORFOLK, Va. – You can fool some people sometimes, but you can't fool all the people all the time. And you certainly can’t fool U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers when it comes to importing counterfeit consumer goods.
On Tuesday, CBP officers at the Area Port of Norfolk-Newport News, Va., intercepted 86 counterfeit 3-D holographic pictures bearing the unauthorized trademarks of reggae icon Bob Marley and the clown prince of crime, the Joker.
CBP officers initially examined the shipment, which consisted of six Bob Marley pictures and 80 Joker pictures, on July 5. It arrived from China and was destined to an address in Louisville, Kentucky.
Officers suspected that the pictures violated Bob Marley and Joker trademarks, detained the shipment, and submitted photos and documentation to CBP’s Apparel, Footwear and Textiles Centers of Excellence and Expertise, which are the agency’s trade experts.
CBP import specialists determined that the shipment of artwork was counterfeit and appraised them at $4,180, had they been authentic.
This seizure occurred just one week after CBP officers seized nearly $2 million in counterfeit diabetic socks.
“The counterfeit socks and artwork seizures prove that no matter how large or small the volume, Customs and Border Protection officers stand up for trademark holders’ rights and help consumers feel alright by intercepting potentially harmful products,” said Mark Laria, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Norfolk-Newport News. “CBP encourages consumers to protect themselves and their families by purchasing goods only from known or reputable vendors. As Bob Marley sings: ‘Wisdom is better than silver and gold.’”
The international trade in counterfeit consumer goods is illegal. It steals revenues from trademark holders, steals tax revenues from the government, funds transnational criminal organizations, and the unregulated products potentially threaten the health and safety of American consumers. Counterfeit consumer goods may also be sourced or manufactured in facilities that employ forced labor.
CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program. During fiscal year 2021, CBP officers and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents seized over 27,000 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, was $3.3 billion, or an average of about $9 million every day.
The information obtained from this seizure will be communicated to HSI for further investigation. As an example of HSI’s role in combatting counterfeiting, HSI special agents arrested 388 individuals in 2021, obtained 155 indictments, and received 100 convictions related to intellectual property crimes. Learn more at the National IPR Coordination Center.
CBP's border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers and agriculture specialists from the Office of Field Operations. CBP screens international travelers and cargo and searches for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, invasive weeds and pests, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality. Learn what CBP accomplished during "A Typical Day" in 2021. Learn more about CBP at www.CBP.gov.
Follow the Director of CBP’s Baltimore Field Office on Twitter at @DFOBaltimore for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos, and CBP’s Office of Field Operations on Instagram at @cbpfieldops.