Norfolk, US CBP Officers Seize $130k in Counterfeit Goods, Including Infant and Children’s Products
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Area Port of Norfolk-Newport News, Va., seized more than $130,000 in counterfeit consumer goods recently, including infant loungers and children’s clothing and backpacks featuring Disney characters.
CBP officers inspected two shipments that arrived from Istanbul, Turkey, on September 21. One shipment consisted of 2,562 items destined to an address near Wilmington, Delaware, and the second consisted of 654 items destined to an address near Baltimore.
CBP officers suspected that the consumer goods were counterfeit and detained them to verify authenticity.
Officers submitted documentation and photographs to CBP’s trade experts at the Apparel, Footwear and Textiles Centers of Excellence and Expertise.
On September 22, CBP’s trade experts verified that the consumer goods were not authentic and that they bore infringing trademarks and copyrights that had been recorded with CBP through the e-Recordation program.
The shipments consisted of mattress covers and infant loungers bearing counterfeit OKEO-TEX product safety labels, mosaic lamps bearing counterfeit UL (Underwriters Laboratories) safety certification marks, and backpacks and clothing bearing Disney and Marvel characters in violation of copyrights recorded with CBP.
The counterfeit consumer goods were valued at $130,786 MSRP, had they been authentic.
CBP officers seized the counterfeit goods on October 11.
No one has been criminally charged. An investigation continues.
“Unscrupulous vendors threaten the health and safety of unsuspecting consumers by peddling counterfeit goods as authentic and safe products, and as a grandparent, these seizures are particularly worrisome considering that some of these consumer goods were infant and children’s products,” said Mark Laria, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Norfolk-Newport News. “CBP strongly encourages consumers to protect their families by purchasing authentic goods from reputable vendors.”
CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program. The international trade in counterfeit consumer goods is illegal. It steals revenues from trademark holders, steals tax revenues from the government, funds transnational criminal organizations, and unregulated products potentially threaten the health and safety of American consumers. Counterfeit consumer goods may also be sourced or manufactured in facilities that employ forced labor.
During fiscal year 2021, CBP officers and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents seized over 27,000 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, was $3.3 billion, or an average of about $9 million every day.
Additionally, HSI special agents arrested 388 individuals in 2021, obtained 155 indictments, and received 100 convictions related to intellectual property crimes.