SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in the San Juan Field Office intercepted and seized three shipments containing counterfeit luxury brand merchandise, including jewelry and sunglasses, with a combined Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of over $1.2 million, had the merchandise been genuine.
This first week of February, inside a shipment sent from China, described as “Transparent Jewelry Box,” CBP Officers found 165 jewelry items of the Van Cleef luxury brand.
Within another shipment sent from Hong Kong, Officers discovered seven boxes that contained apparel, jewelry, clothing, shoes, and handbags that infringed the intellectual property rights of various luxury brands, such as Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci.
A third shipment originating from China contained 240 units of sunglasses bearing trademarks owned by Cartier, Louis Vuitton, and Versace. The merchandise was determined to be inauthentic, such that the logos constituted counterfeit marks.
"As consumers increasingly turn to online platforms for their luxury purchases, the rising tide of counterfeit merchandise and jewelry poses a significant threat. Beyond the allure of a discounted price lies a web of dangers — from subpar craftsmanship to potential health risks,” stated Efrain Rivas, Assistant Director of Field Operations for Trade at the San Juan Field Office. “Counterfeit luxury goods not only undermine the integrity of renowned brands but also jeopardize the safety and satisfaction of unsuspecting consumers.
Recently, San Juan Field officers and Import Specialists collaborated on a seizure of counterfeit luxury jewelry that had an estimated MSRP of $700K.
In the 2023 federal fiscal year, the San Juan Field Office executed 1,313 seizures with a combined MSRP of nearly $21 million.
CBP has the authority to detain, seize, forfeit, and ultimately destroy merchandise seeking entry into the United States if it bears an infringing trademark or copyright that has been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or the U.S. Copyright Office, and has subsequently been recorded with CBP.
“Purchasing from unauthorized sources not only denies consumers the quality they expect but perpetuates a cycle of illicit practices. We urge consumers to be vigilant, choose authenticity, and join us in the fight against the proliferation of counterfeit luxury merchandise, ensuring that every purchase reflects the true value and uncompromising quality associated with genuine luxury brands," indicated Mr. Rivas.
When shopping online consumers need to beware of counterfeit goods. Fake goods can lead to real dangers, which are not always obvious to consumers. CBP established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers associated with purchasing counterfeit and pirated goods online or in stores. More information about that initiative is available at www.cbp.gov/fakegoodsrealdangers.
If you have any information regarding suspected fraud or illegal trade activity, please submit an allegation to CBP through the Trade Violations Reporting Tool or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT. Intellectual property rights violations can also be reported to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center at https://www.iprcenter.gov/referral/ or by telephone at 1-866-IPR-2060.
For more information about protecting yourself from counterfeit and pirated goods, visit https://www.stopfakes.gov/.