LAX CBP Officers seize 7,170 Counterfeit Designer Products arriving from China

LOS ANGELES—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers assigned to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) cargo operations in coordination with import specialists from the Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising (CPMM) and the Apparel, Footwear and Textiles (AFT)  Centers of Excellence and Expertise (Centers) seized 7,170 counterfeit high-fashion products arriving via express air cargo from China.

The seized items included 2,175 counterfeit Louis Vuitton sandals, 475 Chanel counterfeit sandals; 450 Dior counterfeit sandals; 400 Fendi counterfeit sandals; 375 Versace counterfeit sandals; 325 Gucci counterfeit sandals; 572 Dior counterfeit cross body handbags; 625 Louis Vuitton counterfeit clutches; 357 Gucci purses; 346 Gucci wallets and 1,100 Louis Vuitton scarves. If genuine, the seized merchandise would have had an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $4,899,905.00.

CBP officers discovered the counterfeit goods while conducting an enforcement exam on a shipment of 198 boxes that arrived on July 14. The shipment, falsely manifested as “Plastic Office Supplies,” was a clear attempt to evade U.S. law.

“Counterfeit products have an enormous impact on the American economy by eroding the competitiveness of American workers, manufacturers and innovation,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “CBP commits substantial resources to detect, interdict and seize goods that infringe intellectual property rights laws.”

Available on illegitimate websites and sold in underground outlets, counterfeit commodities multiply the illegal profits of smugglers and traffickers. Consumers are tricked into believing they are buying an original product at a significant discount.

“As the holiday shopping season fast approaches, consumers should proceed with caution while making online purchases,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, CBP LAX Area Port Director. “Consumers can protect themselves and their hard-earned money by making purchases from legitimate sources only.”

Nationwide in fiscal year (FY) 2019, CBP seized 27,599 shipments containing goods that violated intellectual property rights. The total estimated MSRP of the seized goods, had they been genuine, increased to nearly $1.5 billion from over $1.4 billion in FY 2018. 

Watches and jewelry topped the list for number of seizures based on intellectual property rights (IPR) violations with 4,242 representing 15 percent of all such seizures.  Watches and jewelry continued as the top product seized for IPR violations by total MSRP value with seizures valued at over $687 million, representing 44 percent of the total MSRP value of seizures in this category.  Violative wearing apparel and accessories seizures placed second by MSRP value, with seizures estimated to be valued at more than $226 million.

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