Fake rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings among seized items by CBP in Louisville

Published 2:50 pm Wednesday, September 20, 2023

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Louisville seized a large shipment containing 1,672 pieces of counterfeit designer rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings that arrived at their facility Monday night.

The items, which were shipped from Hong Kong, were deemed to be counterfeit by CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise, the agency’s trade experts.

When CBP officers examined the shipment to determine the admissibility of the goods, they found 806 necklaces displaying the logos of Van Cleef and Arpels and Louis Vuitton, 290 pairs of earrings with Van Cleef and Arpels logos, 588 bracelets bearing logos of Van Cleef and Arpels, Gucci, Cartier, and Louis Vuitton, and 63 rings bearing Van Cleef and Arpels, Valentino, and Hermes logos.

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The items were poorly packaged and constructed and were seized for infringing on the designer’s protected trademarks.  The shipment was heading to a residence in Ontario, Canada and had the items been real, the manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for these products would have been $12.2 million.

“CBP is responsible for enforcing all U.S. trade laws and regulations on behalf of 49 other federal agencies,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director of Field Operations for the Chicago Field Office. “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 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 channeled toward 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.

Nationwide, during Fiscal Year 2022, CBP seized over 24.5 million shipments of Intellectual Property Rights violations, which would have been worth just shy of $3 billion had the goods been genuine.

CBP encourages anyone with information about counterfeit merchandise illegally imported into the United States to submit an e-Allegation. That provides a way for the public to anonymously report to CBP any suspected violations of trade laws or regulations related to the importation of goods in the U.S.