US CBP intercepts counterfeit jewellery

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Port of Louisville seized two shipments containing at total of 3,301 pieces of counterfeit designer rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. The items were deemed to be inauthentic by CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise, the agency’s trade experts, and if genuine, would have had a combined Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) over $9.58 million.

The first shipment arrived from Hong Kong and contained jewelry bearing the trademarks of famous luxury brands, which included: 92 bracelets displaying the logos of Gucci, Tory Burch, Hermes, Tiffany, Bvlgari, Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels and Louis Vuitton; 24 necklaces bearing the logos of Van Cleef and Arpels and Louis Vuitton; 23 rings bearing the logos of Van Cleef and Arpels and Gucci; and 18 pairs of earrings bearing Van Cleef and Arpels logos. The items were seized for infringing on the designer’s protected trademarks recorded with CBP. The shipment was heading to a residence in Lehigh Acres, Florida and had the items been real, the MSRP for these products would have been over $726,000.

The second shipment was also arriving from Hong Kong and was heading to a residence in Huntington Beach, California. When CBP officers inspected the items, they found 600 bracelets displaying the logo of Cartier and 2,544 pairs of earrings bearing the logo of Prada. The items were seized for infringing on the designer’s protected trademarks. Had the items been real, the MSRP for these products would have been over $8.85 million.

“These large seizures illustrate the work our officers do every day to protect our country, its citizens, and the economy,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations, Chicago Field Office. “Our officers are dedicated to preventing counterfeiters from defrauding consumers and legitimate businesses.”

The illicit trafficking of counterfeit goods offers criminals a complementary source of income and a way through which they can launder money. Additionally, monies received from the sale of counterfeit products can be channelled towards the further production of fake goods or other illicit activities. Additionally, counterfeiting is a hugely profitable business, with criminals relying on the continued high demand for cheap goods coupled with low production costs.