CHICAGO— On Sunday, January 29, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the International Mail Facility near O’Hare intercepted two separate shipments originating from Thailand and heading to Alabama containing a total of 451 pieces of counterfeit jewelry and apparel that would have been worth over $686,000, if genuine.
CBP officers inspected both parcels to due to x-ray irregularities. In the first shipment, officers found Counterfeit Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, and Rolex Watches, counterfeit Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Gucci headbands, counterfeit Chanel, Balenciaga, and Burberry hats, counterfeit Chanel Jewelry Boxes, and counterfeit Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Hermes Wallets—a total of 85 items. Had the items been real, the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) would have been almost $313,000. The parcel was appraised and determined to be counterfeit based on poor packaging, low value, and poor quality by an Import Specialist. The shipment was destined for an address in Mobile, Alabama.
The second shipment was heading to a residence in Pelham, Alabama. Officers found counterfeit Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Christian Dior, Tory Burch, and Yves Saint Laurent earrings, counterfeit Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Chanel, Gucci, Tiffany, Cartier, and Prada necklaces, and counterfeit Louis Vuitton and Chanel hairbands. This shipment had a total of 366 items and would have had a MSRP of almost $374,000, if genuine. This parcel was also determined to be counterfeit based on poor packaging, low value, and poor quality.
“Consumers should be aware that if a known high-value brand is being offered for an unusually low price, it could very well be fake. CBP encourages the use of reputable vendors for your valuable purchases,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations, Chicago Field Office. “Our officers are dedicated to preventing counterfeiters from defrauding consumers and legitimate businesses.”
Sold in underground outlets and on third party e-commerce websites, counterfeit commodities fund illegal activities such as smuggling and organized crime. Consumers often believe they are buying a genuine product but soon realize the item is substandard and potentially dangerous.
CBP Trade protects the intellectual property rights of American businesses through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights enforcement program, safeguarding them from unfair competition and use for malicious intent while upholding American innovation and ingenuity. Suspected violations can be reported to CBP here.
“Intellectual property theft threatens America’s economic vitality and funds criminal activities and organized crime,” said Chicago’s Acting Port Director Ralph Piccirilli. “Our officers are dedicated to protecting private industry and consumers by removing these kinds of shipments from our commerce.”
Every year, CBP seizes millions of counterfeit goods from countries around the world as part of its mission to protect U.S. businesses and consumers. These goods include fake versions of popular products, such as smartphones and related accessories, electronics, apparel, shoes, cosmetics, and high-end luxury goods, as well as goods posing significant health and safety concerns, such as counterfeit pharmaceuticals, bicycle and motorcycle helmets, medical devices, supplements and other consumables. Sold online and in stores, counterfeit goods hurt the U.S. economy, cost Americans their jobs, threaten consumer health and safety, and fund criminal activity. Visit the National IPR Coordination Center for more information about IPR including counterfeiting and piracy.
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 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.
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.