LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) - A shipment that arrived at the Express Consignment Operations mail facility in Louisville recently led U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to seize 300 counterfeit items worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
CBP officers inspected the parcel shipped from Hong Kong that was listed as containing belts. They found 16 Gucci belts, 4 Rolex watches, 4 Cartier watches, 2 Panerai Luminor watches, 5 pairs of Tory Burch sandals, 8 Louis Vuitton belts, 19 Louis Vuitton bracelets, 48 pairs of Chanel earrings, 6 pairs of Gucci sandals, 73 Louis Vuitton Leather bracelets, 33 Gucci bracelets, 31 Louis Vuitton necklaces, 20 Chanel scarves, 20 Louis Vuitton scarves, 10 Gucci scarves and 1 pair of Fendi shoes.
If these items had been real, the CBP says the manufacturers’ suggested retail price would have been $371, 365.
“Our officers are vigilant and conduct these seizures to protect the American economy,” said Thomas Mahn, Port Director, Louisville. “This seizure demonstrates that no matter what trick criminals use, our officers will always find it and put a stop to this illegal activity.”
The CBP says they protect businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights enforcement program. They warn that Importation of counterfeit merchandise can cause significant revenue loss, damage the U.S. economy, and even threaten the health and safety of the American people.
CBP officers and Homeland Security Investigation agents seized 27,599 shipments containing counterfeit goods in Fiscal Year 2019, down from 33,810 seizures the previous year. However, they say that the total value of the seized goods, had they been genuine, increased to over $1.5 billion from nearly $1.4 billion in FY 2018.
E-Commerce sales have contributed to large volumes of low-value packages imported into the United States, according to the agency. In FY 2019, there were 144 million express shipments and 463 million international mail shipments. Over 90 percent of all intellectual property seizures occur in the international mail and express environments.
The People’s Republic of China, both mainland China and Hong Kong, remain the primary source for seized counterfeit and pirated goods, accounting for 83 percent of all IPR seizures and 92 percent of the estimated MSRP value of all counterfeit item seizures.