STERLING, Va. – Shipments containing a large amount of counterfeit consumer goods are usually transported in ocean freight, so it was a bit of a surprise when Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers encountered two women who recently arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport from Qatar with 806 counterfeit items 21 checked suitcases.
The 806 items, which included counterfeit designer branded jewelry, watches, clothing, shoes, sunglasses and handbags under the brand names Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Gucci, Hermes, Prada and Versace, would have a combined recommended retail price (MSRP ) from the manufacturer’s $ 1,065,779 if authentic.
Even the 21 suitcases in which the counterfeit goods were packed were counterfeit.
The two women, who are permanent residents in Virginia, arrived from Doha, Qatar on August 8th. A CBP officer referred the women to a second investigation area to make a formal entry for the commercial goods in their luggage.
CBP officials then suspected that the goods were counterfeit and held the goods for a more thorough inspection. Officers inventoried 806 items and submitted documentation of the inventory to the Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising (CPMM) and Apparel, Footwear, and Textile (AFT) Centers of Excellence and Expertise of CBP.
CBP’s Competence and Competence Centers, the agency’s retail experts, worked with brand owners and discovered on September 27th that all 806 pieces were counterfeit. CBP officials completed the seizure on September 29.
“This could be one of the most unique large-scale seizures of counterfeit goods that Customs and Border Protection officials have seen in regular passenger baggage,” said John Jurgutis, acting area port director for Washington, DC Area Port. “We know that trafficking in counterfeit consumer products is stealing revenue from American companies, threatening consumers with potentially unsafe products, and funding transnational criminal organizations, and CBP officials will continue to crack down on this illegal company while protecting American consumers.”
CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive program of intellectual property rights (IPR). In fiscal 2020, CBP reported 26,503 seizures of counterfeit goods valued at an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of over $ 1.3 billion that were genuine. That is equivalent to a daily seizure of counterfeit goods of approximately $ 3.6 million. Read the CBP Intellectual Property Seizure Report for more statistics and analysis on intellectual property rights for fiscal year 2020.
The CBP Border Security Mission is led by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations at the ports of entry.
CBP officials search international travelers and cargo looking for illegal drugs, unreported currencies, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, banned agriculture, and other illegal products that could harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and the safety and economic vitality of our nation. Find out more about what CBP achieved on “A Typical Day” in 2020.
Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our country’s borders. Learn more about CBP at www.CBP.gov.
Follow the director of the CBP Baltimore office on Twitter @DFOBaltimore and on Instagram at @dfobaltimore for breaking news, current events, stories of human interest and photos.
Â© Copyright US Customs and Border ProtectionNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 297