US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Louisville, Kentucky are seeing nightly counterfeit jewelry shipments arriving from locations known to produce fakes. On August 17, CBP Louisville seized a shipment of jewelry deemed to be counterfeit by CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise, the agency’s trade experts.
Based on intelligence gathering and past shipments, CBP officers inspected the cargo and found 200 Louis Vuitton hoop earrings, 190 Chanel hoop earrings, 282 Dior hoop earrings, 300 Yves Saint Laurent hoop earrings, 1,284 Louis Vuitton diamond earrings, 1,680 Gucci diamond earrings, and 1,716 Chanel diamond earrings. The earrings, arriving from Hong Kong, would have been worth a total of $3.51 million had they been genuine.
“This just goes to show you how criminals are using express consignment facilities to ship their items to unsuspecting consumers damaging our economy,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, director of field operations in the Chicago Field Office. “I want to congratulate our officers for their outstanding job. CBP is the first line of defense, and we will continue to protect the safety of consumers.”
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 US economy. US consumers spend more than $100 billion every year on intellectual property right (IPR) infringing goods, falling victim to approximately 20 percent of the counterfeits that are illegally sold worldwide.
Intellectual property is a critical component of the US economy, and Thomas Mahn, Louisville port director, emphasized the necessary role CBP plays in protecting the economy and consumer safety and health.
“Legitimate trade strengthens our economy,” said Mahn, “but counterfeit and pirated goods threaten American jobs and innovation. Protecting intellectual property rights remains a priority trade issue for CBP, and our officers are committed to American consumers and our economic security.”
Learn more about counterfeiting here.