U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport complex, in coordination with import specialists from the Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Center of Excellence and Expertise, recently intercepted 13,586 counterfeit designer products arriving in a containerized cargo shipment from China.
CBP officers discovered handbags, tote bags, shoulder bags, crossbody bags, backpacks, shirts, and pants bearing numerous registered and recorded trademarks, including Gucci, Chanel, Fendi, YSL and Louis Vuitton.
CBP officers, in cooperation with U.S. Homeland Security special agents, seized the shipment on November 9, 2021. If genuine, the seized merchandise would have a combined estimated value of $30.4 million, according to Customs.
Historically, counterfeit products have been sold on illegitimate websites and in underground outlets. The rise of e-commerce offers a haven for criminals who are now able to hide behind seemingly legitimate listings on well-known websites.
The sale of counterfeit commodities multiplies the illegal profits of smugglers and traffickers who reinvest the proceeds from such sales into further criminal enterprises, CBP has said.
“Bad actors exploit e-commerce operations by selling counterfeit and unsafe goods through online platforms, particularly during the holiday season when shoppers are looking for deals,” Donald Kusser, director of Customs’ Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport office, said. “If the price of the product seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
In Fiscal Year 2020, CBP personnel nationwide seized 26,503 shipments containing counterfeit goods estimated to be worth nearly $1.3 billion had they been genuine.
Suspected fraud or illegal trade activity can be reported by contacting CBP through the e-Allegations Online Trade Violations Reporting System, https://www.cbp.gov/trade/e-allegations, or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT.