Trusted Travelers' Knock-Offs Knock Them off Global Entry
Sterling, Va. - Acceptance into the Global Entry trusted traveler program allows U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to fly through Customs and Border Protection international arrivals processing in just a couple of minutes. However, it was never intended to be a freeway for smuggling merchandise knock-offs.
Two airline employees learned that hard fact last week at Washington-Dulles International Airport.
One was caught Tuesday with 53 pieces of counterfeit designer scarves, purses, bracelets and sunglasses that she reportedly purchased in China. The merchandise carried top-end names such as Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Coach and Prada. The estimated domestic value of the counterfeit merchandise is about $36,000.
A second airline employee was caught Thursday with 10 pairs of counterfeit Ray Ban sunglasses.
CBP officers seized the knock-offs and revoked both employees' Global Entry privilege.
"It's called a trusted traveler program because we place a significant amount of trust in enrollees to continue complying with all customs, agriculture and immigration laws," said Christopher Hess, CBP Port Director for the Port of Washington. "Violators face consequences; most severe are the loss of their expedited processing privilege and possibly civil penalties or arrest."
CBP is required to validate trusted traveler programs through random compliance inspections, and officers were conducting a compliance inspection when they discovered the counterfeit items.
Enforcing intellectual property rights is a CBP Priority Trade Issue. Counterfeit merchandise can cause significant revenue loss, hurt the U.S. economy, or threaten the health and safety of the American people.
These are the eighth and ninth Global Entry compliance violations that CBP officers have discovered. All violators have been airline employees. Five of the nine violations were for possessing counterfeit merchandise.
As many as 12,000 international travelers a day may process their arrivals at Washington-Dulles. During peak arrival periods, it could take as long as 60 minutes or more to process the last person in a primary inspection line.
Global Entry shaves that processing time considerably for trusted travelers through biometric verification at automated kiosks. Average processing time for Global Entry members is 64 seconds.
CBP introduced Global Entry at Washington-Dulles on June 6, 2008. Since then, Global Entry members have used the 14 Washington-Dulles Global Entry kiosks nearly 65,000 times.
Nationally, CBP employs 126 Global Entry kiosks at 20 airports. More than 80,000 members have enrolled in Global Entry since its inception, and have used the automated kiosks more than 470,000 times. Average processing time is 58 seconds.
"Clearly, this program works. More than 75 percent of travelers who are enrolled in Global Entry have completed their arrival processing in less than five minutes," said Hess. "Global Entry increases our ability to expedite legitimate travel for low-risk, international air travelers."
Participation is voluntary. Participants must possess a machine-readable U.S. passport or permanent resident card, pay a non-refundable $100 application fee, submit an online application, and complete an interview at a CBP enrollment center.
Returning to the United States from overseas is quick and easy. Please visit the Global Entry website for more information.
For more information on CBP's IPR enforcement strategy, please visit the website.