Thousands of fake jewelry pieces seized by customs in 24-hour period

Published 8:38 am Friday, July 5, 2024

In just 24 hours, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers at the Port of Louisville seized three shipments containing a total of 2,387 pieces of jewelry including rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings bearing designer trademarks.

The items were deemed to be inauthentic by CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise, the agency’s trade experts, but if they had been genuine, would have had a combined Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of over $10.08 million.

On July 1, CBP seized the first shipment, which originated from China and was found to contain jewelry bearing the trademarks of famous luxury brands. The items were seized for infringing on the designer’s protected trademarks that had been recorded with CBP for border enforcement through the e-Recordation program. The shipment contained a total of 1,466 pieces of jewelry and was heading to a residence in Brooklyn, New York. Had the items been genuine, the MSRP for these products would have been over $5.13 million.

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On July 2, CBP seized the second and third shipments, totaling 921 pieces of counterfeit jewelry, also originated from China and were heading to separate residential addresses in Miami, Florida. Had the items been authentic, the MSRP for these products would have been over $4.95 million.

“These large seizures illustrate the work our officers do every day to protect our country, its citizens, and the economy,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations, Chicago Field Office. “Every day CBP officers are seizing these fraudulent de minimis shipments sent by bad actors. Criminals are trying to exploit the mail environment by peddling their counterfeit products. Even though this package had a low declared value, they pose the same potential health, safety, and economic security risks as larger and more traditional containerized shipments.”

The illicit trafficking of counterfeit goods offers criminals a source of income and a way to launder money. The profits can be channeled towards the further production of fake goods or other illicit activities. Counterfeiting is a hugely profitable business, with criminals relying on the continued high demand for cheap goods coupled with low production costs.

CBP encourages anyone with information about counterfeit merchandise illegally imported into the United States to submit an e-Allegation. The e-Allegation system provides a means 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.