Cincinnati CBP seizes $7.8M in Fake Merchandise
CINCINNATI— Do you consider yourself a connoisseur of Rolex watches and Louis Vuitton purses? If you aren’t, don’t worry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have a keen eye for these fakes.
CBP officers at Cincinnati’s Express Consignment Operations hub seize fake merchandise daily, protecting the consumer and retail businesses. However, over a three day period, CBP officers seized fake designer apparel and other high-end merchandise with an estimated Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $7.8 million.
These, and other counterfeit items, are seized because they represent a violation of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). These violations undermine research and development efforts in new technologies, and rob from the investment and creativity of legitimate businesses.
CBP officers are vigilantly analyzing packages to determine if there may be an IPR violation. If they believe there may be a violation, the officer will send photos and information to a Center of Excellence and Expertise, where an import specialist, who has specialized training in identifying counterfeit merchandise, will make a determination. If the determination is made that the shipment is an IPR violation, then CBP detains the merchandise.
Frequently, the profits made from these illegal practices support other criminal activities such as money laundering and organized crime. CBP plays a vital role in the front-line enforcement of intellectual property rights.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.