LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized counterfeit belts from China recently.
A shipper in Hong Kong sent two packages to a residence in New York. When the packages arrived at the Express Consignment Operations mailing facility in Louisville, CBP officers noticed the shipment was coming from a known counterfeit shipper.
When officers opened the first shipment, six boxes were inside containing a total of 432 Gucci belts. The second package from Hong Kong contained 72 more Gucci belts and 144 Salvatore Ferragamo belts. If these belts were real, the total manufacturer’s suggested retail price would have been $350,496.
“Consumers need to ensure the items they purchase are legitimate products,” said Thomas Mahn, Port Director, Louisville. “When consumers purchase these items, they are funding criminal activities. Our CBP officers continue to seize items that infringe on U.S. intellectual property laws, protecting businesses, jobs and consumers.”
The CBP says they protect businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights enforcement program. Importation of counterfeit merchandise can cause significant revenue loss, damage the U.S. economy and threaten the health and safety of the American people.
On a typical day in 2019, CBP officers reportedly seized $4.3 million worth of products with Intellectual Property Rights violations.
According to the agency, their officers and Homeland Security Investigation agents seized 27,599 shipments containing counterfeit goods in Fiscal Year 2019. That was down from 33,810 seizures the previous year, however the total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price 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. In FY 2019, there were 144 million express shipments and 463 million international mail shipments. More than 90% of all intellectual property seizures occur in the international mail and express environments.
The People’s Republic of China, including both the mainland and Hong Kong, remained the primary source economy for seized counterfeit and pirated goods, accounting for 83 percent of all Intellectual Property Rights seizures and 92 percent of the estimated MSRP value of all IPR seizures.