In a recent operation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Louisville intercepted a shipment containing a staggering 1,672 counterfeit designer jewelry pieces, including rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. The jewelry shipment originated from Hong Kong and was found to bear logos from renowned luxury brands such as Van Cleef and Arpels, Hermès, and Cartier, among others. If authentic, these pieces would have commanded a combined Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) exceeding a whopping $12M.
The CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise, a team of trade experts, quickly determined that these items were in fact counterfeit. The shipment contained 806 necklaces, 290 pairs of earrings, 588 bracelets, and 63 rings, all with logos from luxury brands such as Van Cleef and Arpels, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, and Hermès. The jewelry was easily identifiable as counterfeit due to its poor packaging, and construction – and consequently was seized for infringing on the design’s protected trademarks.
LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director, of Field Operations, Chicago Field Office, reiterates the importance of intercepting counterfeit goods:
“CBP is responsible for enforcing all U.S. trade laws and regulations on behalf of 49 other federal agencies. CBP officers play a critical role in the Nation’s efforts to keep unsafe counterfeit and pirated goods from harming the American public. This is yet another dramatic example of how CBP officers work every day to protect the American consumer, the US economy, and US jobs.”
The illicit trade in counterfeit goods not only provides criminals with an additional source of income but also facilitates other illegal activities. Throughout Fiscal Year 2022, CBP seized more than 24.5 million shipments involving Intellectual Property Rights violations, which could have amounted to nearly $3 billion if the products had been genuine.
To educate consumers about the risks and consequences associated with counterfeit products, CBP has launched the ‘Truth Behind Counterfeits’ public awareness campaign. This initiative aims to increase awareness about the dangers of counterfeit goods. Further information about The Truth Behind Counterfeits public awareness campaign can be found here.