Customs and TradeNews

In Less than 24 Hours CBP Officers in Louisville Intercept $3.65M in Counterfeit Designer Apparel & Unapproved Medication

In 24 hours, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Louisville have seized a myriad of items: counterfeit driver’s licenses, counterfeit Apple Air pods and Watches, and counterfeit designer watches. However, three shipments of designer apparel and medications valued at $3.65 million had the most items in each shipment.

Intellectual Property Rights violations is a big business. CBP officers in Louisville are stopping these counterfeits before they reach the distributor who will look to make easy money by selling these cheap reproductions at a ​​marked-up value.

On May 17 officers inspected a shipment arriving from Hong Kong that was heading to a residence in Suwanee, Georgia. Inside officers found over 5,000 pairs of counterfeit Chanel earring. An Import Specialist determined that the earrings were counterfeit. The 5052 earrings had a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $2.27 million, had they been genuine.

Later that night, officers were inspecting a shipment arriving from the United Kingdom and was heading to a residence in Las Vegas, Nevada. Officers inspected the shipment and found 1,000 blister packs of Sildenafil along with clothes and Cheetos. The Sildenafil has a MSRP of more than $309,000.

Early the next morning, officers were still inspecting shipments and targeted a shipment arriving from Hong Kong. The package supposedly contained a kid bag. When officers inspected the shipment, they found more than 150 counterfeit Chanel handbags. An Import Specialist also determined these were counterfeit knockoffs. The 156 handbags had a MSRP of $1.07 million, had they been real. These fakes were heading to a residence in Sands Point, New York.

“Our officers and import specialists have done an excellent job targeting shipments and identifying counterfeit items,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations-Chicago Field Office. “CBP protects businesses and consumers every day with an aggressive intellectual property rights enforcement program.”

The rapid growth of e-commerce enables consumers to search for and easily purchase millions of products through online vendors, but this easy access gives counterfeit and pirated goods more ways to enter the U.S. economy. U.S. consumers spend more than $100 billion every year on intellectual property rights (IPR) infringing goods, falling victim to approximately 20% of the counterfeits that are illegally sold worldwide.

“Counterfeit and pirated goods pose a serious danger to America’s economic vitality and national security, and public safety,” said Thomas Mahn, Port Director-Louisville. “Our officers understand their critical role in protecting the U.S. from not only terrorist threats, and narcotics smuggling, but also safeguarding the American consumer and companies from counterfeit products that hurt our economy.”

CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts narcotics, weapons, currency, prohibited agriculture products, counterfeit goods, and other illicit items at our nation’s 328 international ports of entry.

On a typical day in 2021, CBP officers seized $9 million worth of products with Intellectual Property Rights violations. Learn more about what CBP did during “A Typical Day” in 2021.