The U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in the San Juan Field Office have successfully intercepted and seized three shipments containing counterfeit luxury brand merchandise. The seized items, which included jewelry and sunglasses, have a combined manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of over $1.2 million, had they been genuine.
In the first week of February, a shipment from China, declared as “Transparent Jewelry Box,” was found to contain 165 jewelry items from the luxury brand Van Cleef. Another shipment from Hong Kong held seven boxes of apparel, jewelry, clothing, shoes, and handbags that infringed on the intellectual property rights of various luxury brands, including Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci.
A third shipment, originating from China, contained 240 units of sunglasses bearing trademarks of Cartier, Louis Vuitton, and Versace. The merchandise was determined to be counterfeit, with logos constituting counterfeit marks.
Efrain Rivas, assistant director of field operations for trade at the San Juan Field Office, emphasized the increasing threat of counterfeit luxury goods, especially for online consumers. He warned of the dangers associated with these counterfeit items, ranging from poor craftsmanship to potential health risks, and highlighted the impact on the integrity of renowned brands and consumer safety.
The San Juan Field Office said it has been proactive in addressing this issue. Recently, officers and import specialists seized counterfeit luxury jewelry estimated at $700K. In the 2023 federal fiscal year, the office executed 1,313 seizures with a combined MSRP of nearly $21 million.
CBP holds the authority to detain, seize, forfeit, and destroy merchandise entering the United States if it bears a trademark or copyright infringement registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or the U.S. Copyright Office and recorded with CBP.
Rivas urged consumers to be vigilant and choose authenticity to combat the proliferation of counterfeit luxury goods. He highlighted the importance of purchasing from authorized sources to ensure quality and uphold legal practices.
CBP has launched an educational initiative, “Fake Goods, Real Dangers,” to raise awareness about the consequences and dangers of purchasing counterfeit and pirated goods. More information on this initiative can be found at www.cbp.gov/fakegoodsrealdangers.
For reports on suspected fraud or illegal trade activity, CBP encourages submissions through the Trade Violations Reporting Tool or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT. Intellectual property rights violations can also be reported to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center at https://www.iprcenter.gov/referral/ or by telephone at 1-866-IPR-2060.
For additional information on protecting oneself from counterfeit and pirated goods, the public is directed to visit https://www.stopfakes.gov/.