On April 26, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati seized 9,377 pieces of jewelry from a shipment originating in China and destined to an address in McAllen, Texas.
Officers inspected the shipment on March 30 and found thousands of jewelry items bearing protected trademarks from Tiffany, Pandora, Cartier, Bvlgari, Dior, Gucci, Chanel, Rolex, Versace, and Tous. Unprotected “generic” jewelry was comingled in the same box with protected jewelry that was undervalued on the invoice. Officers reached out to CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE), and an import specialist determined the jewelry was counterfeit. Had they been genuine, the items would have been worth more than $4.2 million although the declared value was only $119.
“Intellectual property theft harms the U.S. economy and threatens the security, health, and safety of the American people,” said Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie. “Our officers are committed to protecting private industry and consumers and ensuring that legal trade continues to power our economy.”
CBP has established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers that are often associated with the purchase of counterfeit and pirated goods. Information about the Truth Behind Counterfeits public awareness campaign can be found at https://www.cbp.gov/FakeGoodsRealDangers.
Intellectual property rights (IPR) protection is a priority trade issue for CBP. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, CBP and their partner agency Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) seized 27,599 shipments containing IPR violations with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of over $1.5 billion had the goods been genuine. Watches and jewelry represent 15 percent of all IPR seizures and continue to top the list of all seized IPR materials.
CBP conducts operations at ports of entry throughout the United States, and regularly screens arriving international passengers and cargo for narcotics, weapons, and other restricted or prohibited products. CBP strives to serve as the premier law enforcement agency enhancing the Nation’s safety, security, and prosperity through collaboration, innovation, and integration.