U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Philadelphia seized 269 pieces of designer brand jewelry from Hong Kong March 6, which, if authentic, held a manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of nearly $1.4 million.
CBP officers initially examined the parcel on February 13. The parcel, destined to a Philadelphia address, was manifested as stainless steel pendent with earrings. Officers discovered that the parcel contained various designer brand jewelry of poor quality and packaging, and suspected it to be counterfeit.
Officers submitted samples to CBP’s Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Centers for Excellence and Expertise, the agency’s trade experts. CBP’s CEE specialists worked with the trademark holders and on February 28 determined the jewelry to be counterfeit.
Had the jewelry been authentic, it had an assessed MSRP of $1,379,650.
“Intellectual property rights enforcement is a Customs and Border Protection priority trade issue. CBP remains committed to working with our consumer health and safety partners and seizing counterfeit and substandard merchandise at our nation’s borders, especially those products that pose potential harm to American consumers, workers, and businesses,” said Edward Moriarty, CBP Acting Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia.
The parcel contained necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and diamond pendants bearing the names Cartier, Chanel, Bvlgari, and Tous.
This is Philadelphia CBP’s second significant counterfeit in a month. On February 28, CBP officers seized $233k in counterfeit designer brand watches from Hong Kong.
CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program.
On a typical day in 2017, CBP officers seized $3.3 million worth of products with IPR violations.
“The interception of counterfeit items demonstrates the commitment and expertise of Customs and Border Protection officers and import specialists, which is critical to the detection and seizure of unlawful and potentially dangerous imports,” said Casey Owen Durst, CBP Director of Field Operations in Baltimore. “The trade of fake goods, and the widespread violation of private intellectual property rights threaten the American economy, as well as our national security.”
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, the number of IPR seizures increased eight percent to 34,143 from 31,560 in FY 2016. The total estimated MSRP of the seized goods, had they been genuine, decreased to $1.2 billion from $1.38 billion in FY 2016. Read more 2017 IPR Enforcement Statistics.
As a result of CBP enforcement efforts, ICE Homeland Security Investigations agents arrested 457 individuals, obtained 288 indictments, and received 242 convictions related to intellectual property crimes in 2017.