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Philadelphia CBP Seizes $3 Million of Counterfeit Designer Jewelry from Hong Kong

Release Date: 
May 17, 2018

Third Significant CBP Counterfeit Jewelry or Watches Seizure this Year

PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers in Philadelphia seized 23 pieces of counterfeit designer jewelry on March 20, and 64 pieces on April 3, both shipments coming from Hong Kong.  If authentic, the combined seizure of jewelry would hold a manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of over $3 million.

CBP officers seized $3 million in counterfeit designer brand rings and bracelets.CBP officers initially examined the first parcel on March 20.  The parcel was destined to Cincinnati and was manifested as containing bangles from Hong Kong, a known source of counterfeit products.  Officers discovered that the parcel contained what appeared to be various designer brand jewelry products of poor quality and packaging, and thus suspected it to be counterfeit.

On April 3, 2018, CBP Officers examined a second parcel that was manifested as containing an ornament, which instead contained various designer brand jewelry.  This jewelry was also poorly packaged and the contents were of poor quality, which led to the suspicions of the authenticity of the product.  Ultimately, the parcels contained bracelets, earrings, and rings bearing the names Cartier and Tiffany.

On both occasions, CBP officers submitted samples of the seized products to CBP’s Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Centers for Excellence and Expertise, the agency’s trade experts.  CBP’s CEE specialists worked with the trademark holders and determined the jewelry to be counterfeit.  Had the jewelry been authentic, the combined seizures from March 20 and April 3 would have had an assessed MSRP of $3,014,750.00.

“Our primary concerns in situations like these are consumer safety and trademark protection. Customs and Border Protection will continue to work closely with our trade and consumer safety partners to identify and seize counterfeit and inferior merchandise, especially those products that pose potential harm to American consumers,” said Joseph Martella, CBP Area Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia.

This is Philadelphia CBP’s third significant counterfeit jewelry seizure this year.  On February 28, CBP officers seized $233k in counterfeit designer brand watches from Hong Kong.  And on March 6, CBP officers seized $1.4 million in counterfeit designer jewelry, also from Hong Kong.

"The seizure of counterfeit items exhibits the commitment and expertise of Customs and Border Protection officers and import specialists, and their vigilant attention to the ongoing mission of preventing unlawful and potentially dangerous imports into the United States," said Casey Owen Durst, CBP Director of Field Operations in Baltimore. “We will continue to put substantial efforts and resources into protecting our economy and American consumers, as well as securing our homeland and keeping our families safe.”

CBP officers seized $3 million in counterfeit designer brand rings and bracelets.
CBP officers seized counterfeit Cartier and
Tiffany jewelry shipped form Hong Kong.

CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program.

On a typical day in 2017, CBP Officers seized $3.3 million worth of products with IPR violations. Learn more about what CBP did during "A Typical Day" in 2017.

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, the number of IPR seizures increased 8 percent to 34,143 from 31,560 in FY 2016.  The total estimated MSRP of the seized goods, had they been genuine, decreased to $1.2 billion from $1.38 billion in FY 2016. Read more 2017 IPR Enforcement Statistics.

As a result of CBP enforcement efforts, ICE Homeland Security Investigations agents arrested 457 individuals, obtained 288 indictments, and received 242 convictions related to intellectual property crimes in 2017.

If you have information concerning counterfeit merchandise illegally imported into the United States, CBP encourages you to submit an anonymous report through e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System.

CBP’s Office of Field Operations

Almost a million times each day, CBP Officers welcome international travelers into the U.S.  In screening both foreign visitors and returning U.S. citizens, CBP uses a variety of techniques to intercept narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products, and to assure that global tourism remains safe and strong.

CBP's border security mission is led at 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 CBP.gov.

Last modified: 
May 18, 2018