US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Cincinnati CBP seizes $7.8M in Fake Merchandise

Release Date: 
April 30, 2019

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.

Two Breitling  Navitimer 01 Blue Dial watches, one is counterfeit and one is real
Can you tell the difference between these two Breitling
Navitimer 01 Blue Dial watches? One will cost you close to
$6,000 while the other may only cost you a few hundred bucks.

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.

Last modified: 
May 1, 2019