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U.S Customs seizes high fashion counterfeit products worth $1.8M

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Posted at 1:28 PM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 16:28:09-04

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and import specialists assigned to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) cargo operations seized 3,524 counterfeit YSL, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Versace, Gucci, Fendi, Nike, Under Armor, Adidas, Cartier, Rolex, Dior, Pandora, Casio, Michael Kors, Tiffany & Co., Burberry and Christian Louboutine high fashion products.

The products were arriving via express air cargo from Hong Kong.

The seized items included handbags, shoes, watches, sunglasses, t-shirts, purses, sandals, gym bags, dresses, belts and ball caps.

In the same shipment, CBP officers discovered and seized 2,160 pills of Sildenafil and 4,500 pills of Ranitidine Hydrochloride. If genuine, the seized merchandise would have had an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $1,884,769.

CBP officers discovered the counterfeit goods while conducting an enforcement exam on a shipment of 99 boxes that weighed 3,827 pounds and arrived on June 25.

The shipment, falsely manifested as “Ladies Tops Storage Bag Empty,” was a clear attempt to circumvent U.S. law.

Available on illegitimate websites and sold in underground outlets, counterfeit commodities multiply the illegal profits of smugglers and traffickers. Consumers are tricked into believing they are buying an original product at a significant discount.

Nationwide in fiscal year (FY) 2019, CBP seized 27,599 shipments containing goods that violated intellectual property rights. The total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the seized goods, had they been genuine, increased to nearly $1.5 billion from over $1.4 billion in FY 2018.

Watches and jewelry topped the list for number of seizures with 4,242 representing 15 percent of all seizures. Watches and jewelry continued as the top product seized by total MSRP with seizures valued at over $687 million, representing 44 percent of the total.

Wearing apparel and accessories are second with seizures estimated to be valued at more than $226 million.