CINCINNATIâOn November 30, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati seized a shipment containing counterfeit designer jewelry and scarves. The fakes, which originated in China, would have been worth a total of $ 3.09 million if they had been genuine.
CBP agents inspected the shipment and found 1,830 scarves, bracelets, rings and earrings from designers such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Cartier, Hermes, Versace and Chanel. Officers suspected the items were counterfeit due to the packaging and poor quality of the materials. All of the items were determined to be counterfeit by CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE), the agency’s trade experts. The cargo was en route to a private residence in Flushing, New York.
âIn addition to the impact on business and the economy, purchasing counterfeit products carries harmful risks for buyers,â said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, director of field operations in Chicago. âIt is essential that consumers are aware of what they are buying and the dangers that may be involved. ”
The fight against counterfeiting and pirated products by CBP is accomplished through the cooperative efforts of its agents, other government agencies and the business community. In addition, CBP has an online registration system, the Electronic Registration of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), which allows rights holders to electronically register their trademarks and copyrights with of CBP. Registration facilitates enforcement of IPRs by making trademark and copyright information available to CBP staff at points of entry across the country.
IPR violations are associated with smuggling and other criminal activity, and often fund criminal enterprises. CBP Trade protects the intellectual property rights of American companies, protecting them from unfair competition and malicious use while supporting American innovation and ingenuity.
âAs the holidays approach, I urge consumers to purchase their gifts from legitimate retailers and websites,â said Port of Cincinnati Manager Richard Gillespie, âCounterfeit products are having a negative impact on our economic success. , and the purchase of these articles funds criminal networks. Our agents in Cincinnati are working around the clock to intercept and stop illegal shipments like this on a daily basis. “
CBP has established an educational initiative, Truth Behind Counterfeits, to educate consumers about the consequences and dangers that are often associated with the purchase of counterfeit and pirated products. The agency encourages anyone with information about counterfeit goods illegally imported into the United States to submit an e-Allegation. The Electronic Claim System provides a means for the public to anonymously report to CBP any suspected violation of trade laws or regulations relating to the importation of goods into the United States.